Fascinating Saxony

This item appears on page 14 of the September 2011 issue.
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My husband, Bernie, and I visited eastern Germany, Sept. 16-26, 2010, to attend his class get-together. After the reunion, we went to Dresden.

We had been to Dresden in 1991, two years after the Berlin Wall fell. At that time, the famous Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady) as well as the Zwinger Palace were simply piles of rubble. Now they are completely restored, using some of the original pieces of stone. We could see the difference between the new and old stones.

The restoration team used old photos and a computer to meticulously re-create the church as it once was. The restorations were paid for entirely by donations.

Friends took us to the Antique Café (Kunst-Café-Antik, An der Frauenkirche 5, Dresden; phone +49 0 351/496521 7) on the street Frauenkirche. This place is stuffed full of antiques — tables, chairs, cabinets, pictures, books, porcelain and cups and saucers, even a life-size cardboard Charlie Chaplin. Everything had a price tag on it; it all was for sale.

Our friends warned us, “If you don’t watch out, someone may buy the very chair you are sitting on and walk away with it.”

We had some beer and espresso, but I don’t recall the prices.

We visited the unique and interesting Asisi Panometer Dresden (Gasanstalstr. 8b, 01237 Dresden, Germany; phone +49 [0] 351 8 60 39 40). Completing it in 2006, Mr. Asisi spent many years painting a 360-degree scene of 1756 Dresden on a cloth, which is hung inside a storage tank that was built in 1879-1880 to hold natural gas. There is an observation tower in the middle where you climb up to have a bird’s-eye view.

The detail is so precise — roof tiles, pedestrians’ clothing, a cat on a roof. Everything is accurately drawn, and the lighting changes according to the time of day. Admission cost €8.50 (near $12).

From Dresden we proceeded south to Müglitz, where friends took us to Schloss Weesenstein (Am Schlossberg 1, 01809 Müglitztal, OT Weesenstein, Germany; phone 035 027-62418).

This castle was built in the year 1318, and each generation of owners enlarged it from top to bottom. The strangely built castle had the family’s living quarters and the big hall down below, while the kitchen and stable were above.

The castle has a beautiful garden that has been restored since it was flooded by the River Elbe in August 2002. There we had dinner in the castle’s candle-lit pub, the servers dressed in medieval clothing. Our delicious dinner with a couple beers, two desserts and after-dinner liqueurs cost a total of €46.40 ($67) for four persons.

Our last stop was Fürstenwalde, about 30 kilometers east of Berlin along the Spree River, not too far from the Polish border. There we went to a most unusual restaurant, Spreewald Bahnhof Burg (Am Bahnhof 1, 03096, Burg, Germany; phone 0356603-842).

It’s set up like an old train coach, with train memorabilia filling all four walls and the ceiling, and each table has a “station name.” You write your drink orders on a form with your station name, put it on a miniature train set up along the wall next to your table and send it off. Lo and behold, the train returns with your drinks.

Of course, your dinner order is brought by a waiter, but it was fascinating to see how these little trains functioned. Our dinner for four, including entrées, a couple beers and some ice cream, cost a total of €64.90 ($93).

MIYAKO STORCH
Santa Barbara, CA

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

My husband, Bernie, and I visited eastern Germany, Sept. 16-26, 2010, to attend his class get-together. After the reunion, we went to Dresden.

We had been to Dresden in 1991, two years after the Berlin Wall fell. At that time, the famous Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady) as well as the Zwinger Palace were simply piles of rubble. Now they are completely restored, using some of the original pieces of stone. We could see the difference between the new and old stones.

The restoration team used old photos and a computer to meticulously re-create the church as it once was. The restorations were paid for entirely by donations.

Friends took us to the Antique Café (Kunst-Café-Antik, An der Frauenkirche 5, Dresden; phone +49 0 351/496521 7) on the street Frauenkirche. This place is stuffed full of antiques — tables, chairs, cabinets, pictures, books, porcelain and cups and saucers, even a life-size cardboard Charlie Chaplin. Everything had a price tag on it; it all was for sale.

Our friends warned us, “If you don’t watch out, someone may buy the very chair you are sitting on and walk away with it.”

We had some beer and espresso, but I don’t recall the prices.

We visited the unique and interesting Asisi Panometer Dresden (Gasanstalstr. 8b, 01237 Dresden, Germany; phone +49 [0] 351 8 60 39 40). Completing it in 2006, Mr. Asisi spent many years painting a 360-degree scene of 1756 Dresden on a cloth, which is hung inside a storage tank that was built in 1879-1880 to hold natural gas. There is an observation tower in the middle where you climb up to have a bird’s-eye view.

The detail is so precise — roof tiles, pedestrians’ clothing, a cat on a roof. Everything is accurately drawn, and the lighting changes according to the time of day. Admission cost €8.50 (near $12).

From Dresden we proceeded south to Müglitz, where friends took us to Schloss Weesenstein (Am Schlossberg 1, 01809 Müglitztal, OT Weesenstein, Germany; phone 035 027-62418).

This castle was built in the year 1318, and each generation of owners enlarged it from top to bottom. The strangely built castle had the family’s living quarters and the big hall down below, while the kitchen and stable were above.

The castle has a beautiful garden that has been restored since it was flooded by the River Elbe in August 2002. There we had dinner in the castle’s candle-lit pub, the servers dressed in medieval clothing. Our delicious dinner with a couple beers, two desserts and after-dinner liqueurs cost a total of €46.40 ($67) for four persons.

Our last stop was Fürstenwalde, about 30 kilometers east of Berlin along the Spree River, not too far from the Polish border. There we went to a most unusual restaurant, Spreewald Bahnhof Burg (Am Bahnhof 1, 03096, Burg, Germany; phone 0356603-842).

It’s set up like an old train coach, with train memorabilia filling all four walls and the ceiling, and each table has a “station name.” You write your drink orders on a form with your station name, put it on a miniature train set up along the wall next to your table and send it off. Lo and behold, the train returns with your drinks.

Of course, your dinner order is brought by a waiter, but it was fascinating to see how these little trains functioned. Our dinner for four, including entrées, a couple beers and some ice cream, cost a total of €64.90 ($93).

MIYAKO STORCH
Santa Barbara, CA