Dresden has more than 30 museums, many of them are world-class. The Zwinger Palace houses the famous Old Masters Gallery with the “Sistine Madonna” and the world’s largest porcelain collection. Equally renowned is the collection of former crown jewels, now on display in the Green Vault on Brühl Terrace. Please note that while some of the museums are closed on Mondays, others close on different days – it is best to check the web site before visiting.
The Zwinger Palace Dresden State Art Collections
Theaterplatz 1 Tel. 351/49142000
The Zwiger was built in the 18th century as a setting for outdoor court festivities. Today it houses priceless collections in 11 separate museums, including Old Masters Picture Gallery, Armoury (Rüstkammer), Porcelain Collection, Mathematisch-Physikalischer Salon, Zoological Museum and others.
Old Masters Gallery
The Old Masters Gallery in Dresden’s Zwinger Palace holds one of the world’s most important collections of European paintings, with more than 760 works on display, dating from around 1350 to 1800. Italian paintings from the earlier Renaissance and baroque periods are a particular speciality, with major works by artists such as Raphael, Correggio, Giorgione and Titian. Equally significant is the work of 17th century Dutch and Flemish painters such as Rembrandt, Vermeer, Ruysdael, Rubens, Jordaens and Van Dyck. The gallery also displays works by Old German and Old Dutch masters, as well as important paintings by Spanish and French artists.
Open: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., closed Mondays
Zwinger, Glockenspiel Pavillion Entrance
The Dresden Porzellansammlung (Porcelain Collection) comprising some 20,000 pieces of Chinese, Japanese and Meissen porcelain, is the largest porcelain collection in the world. The Chinese vessels and figures of the Song, Ming and Kangxi periods as well as Japanese Imari and Kakiemon porcelain from Arita are included in the collection.
Open: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., closed Mondays
The Green Vault
Dresden Royal Palace, Sophienstraße, opposite Taschenberg Palais
The Grünes Gewölbe (Green Vault) enjoys world renown as one of Europe’s most sumptuous treasure chambers. The former treasure chamber of the Wettin dynasty of Saxony covers around 2,000m² of exhibition space and is renowned for its large collection of former crown jewels. Founded around 1560 by Elector Augustus, it is Europe’s richest, most magnificent treasure chamber museum.
In two exhibition areas “Neues Grünes Gewölbe” (New Green Vault) and “Historisches Grünes Gewölbe” (Historic Green Vault) of very different character, visitors will experience the magnificent artworks of gold, silver, precious gems, enamel, ivory, bronze and amber in an unparalleled intensity.
Wheelchair access, multilingual audio guides available.
Open: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., closed Tuesdays
Museum of Folk Art in Saxony featuring Puppet Theatre Collection
Jägerhof, Köpckestraße 1
Opened in 1913, the Museum of Folk Art in Saxony is housed in Jägerhof Palace in Dresden Neustadt. Among the items on display are hand-crafted wooden furniture, metal-forged objects, tin castings, pottery, glass-blowing art and Seiffen toys.
The puppet theatre collection is one of the largest in the world, with over 50,000 exhibits from Europe and Asia. Exhibits range from 200-year-old marionettes and hand puppets used at local fairs, to characters used in Bauhaus theatre and modern-day figurative puppets.
Open: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. closed Mondays Closed on Mondays.
Albertinum, Brühlsche Terrasse
One of Dresden’s oldest museums, the Coin Cabinet has its origins with George the Bearded, Duke of Saxony (1500-1539). Coins, medals and banknotes are important historical artifacts, and with approx. 300,000 objects, the Coin Cabinet ranks among the major universal collections in Europe. The collection includes coins from antiquity through the Middle Ages to the present day.
Open from March to the beginning of November, closed on Tuesdays.
German Hygiene Museum
Lingnerplatz 1 (Altstadt)
Europe’s only science museum to focus on the human being and body within the context of the environment, society, culture and science. Beside the permanent show, the museum’s temporary exhibitions look at current issues in science and society and how they affect our everyday lives. The children’s museum offers an interactive show on the human senses.
Admission: 6.00 € Adult, 3.00 € Children
Opening hours: Tue – Sun and public holidays 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Additional Features: audio guide, guided tour, museum café, museum shop, special exhibition
Tram Nos. 1/2/4/12 to “Deutsches Hygienemuseum,”
Tel. 351/ 86440
Dresden Transport Museum, founded in 1952, is in the Johanneum, a former Electoral coach house and stable building in the heart of the old quarter. The museum has one of the oldest transport collections in Germany (dating back to 1877) and unites five modes of transport under one roof, including exhibitions on railways and urban transport systems.
The museum is closed on Mondays (except Easter Monday).
State Natural History Collections
The State Natural History Collections consist of the Museum of Mineralogy and Geology, the Zoology Museum and the Central Natural History Library. The collections include 6.5 million rocks, minerals and fossils from sites around Saxony. The museum’s work focuses on mineralogy, petrography and palaeontology. Closed on Mondays.
The Erich Kästner Museum
Founded in 1999, the Erich Kästner Museum is the world’s first “mobile, interactive micro-museum”. In an arrangement reminiscent of building blocks, 13 free-moving sections are arranged around a central spine. The author’s works are explored in a number of key themes, which provide an insight into his character and work. Open Sunday to Wednesday, Thursdays are reserved for groups, closed Friday to Saturday.
The Book Museum is housed in the new facilities of the Saxon State Library. Among its most famous exhibition objects are the Dresden Maya Manuscript and the sketchbook of Albrecht Dürer.
Admission: free of charge
Opening hours: Permanent exhibition: Mon – Fri 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Special exhibitions: Mon – Sat 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Address: Zellescher Weg 18
Tram Nos. 3/8 to “Nürnberger Platz,” Bus No. 61 to “Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek”
Carl Maria von Weber Museum
The museum is housed in Carl Maria von Weber’s (1786-1826) summer home. It was at this picturesque estate that he wrote many of his operas, among them “Der Freischütz,” “Euryanthe” and “Oberon.” Today, pictures, texts and other artifacts related to his work are on view in the former living and working rooms.
Admission: Adults 3.00; Reduced (Seniors, Students) 2.00€; Groups (10 person minimum) 2.00€ per adult, 1.50 € per reduced fee guest.
Opening hours: Wed – Sun 1 p.m. – 6 p.m. Tel 351/2618234
Address: Dresdner Straße 44
Bus No. 83 to “Van-Gogh-Strasse