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Cultural Landscape

Saxony is a state with centuries-old traditions, a rich and diverse landscape, dramatic history and a fascinating modern era. With its castles, fortresses, and gardens, Saxony has some of the richest and most varied cultural landscapes in Europe.

Art & Culture

Saxony has grown as a centre of culture over hundreds of years. Institutions like the State Art Collections (Staatliche Kunstsammlungen) in Dresden, and the Leipzig 'Thomaner' are known far beyond the state borders. Johann Sebastian Bach, Carl Maria von Weber, Richard Wagner and Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy worked here. Internationally known orchestras like the Leipzig Gewandhaus orchestra and the Saxon State Band (Sächsische Staatskapelle) continue to play the works of the masters. New directions in the performing arts also had their beginnings in Saxony: Caroline Neuber (16971760) reformed the German theatre sector; Gret Palucca founded the modern Expressionst dance in the 20s in the last century.

Architecture

The economic and cultural riches of the past can be explored in many historic city centres. The old towns of Bautzen, Freiberg, Görlitz, Grimma, Meissen, Pirna and Torgau are especially attractive. The economic upturn at the end of the 15th century is reflected in the grand late gothic churches from that era, such as those in Annaberg, Schwarzenberg and Görlitz. After the destruction caused by the Thirty Years War, a new baroque architecture style evolved, inspired by Italian and French influences. Examples of the dominant classicism around 1800 include the renovated Nicolai Church in Leipzig, the Landhaus (manor) in Dresden, and the New Palais at Pillnitz Castle. The industrialisation of Saxony in the 19th century led to major construction for the railways and industry. A particularly impressive building is the former Imperial Court, now the seat of the national Supreme Court. Another monumental construction is the memorial to the Battle of Nations in Leipzig.

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