The Grand Garden – Dresden’s green lung

Dresden is a beautiful place to be but in some ways it’s also just like any other city – loud and hectic. To escape all of that, you don’t have to leave the city’s borders: Within walking distance to the city center you can find the Grand Garden with beautiful flowerbeds and picturesque alleyways through extensive meadows and forests. It’s the perfect location to relax – and more than just that. The Grand Garden isn’t just a simple public park. It stands in Dresden’s centuries-old tradition of landscaping and gardening and is one of the most important garden estates in […]

Ascension Day, Father’s Day or Gentlemen’s Day?

German traditions can be quite confusing – especially when there’s more than one holiday on a single day! This is why we’d like to explain why groups of males do hiking tours on Ascension Day. Ascension Day is the Thursday forty days after Easter and it’s traditionally a Christian Holiday which commemorates the bodily Ascension of Jesus into heaven. That’s the religious background and as it’s a federal holiday in Germany lots of employees use a “Brückentag” (bridging day) to extend their weekend. Even some schools are closed on the Friday following Ascension Day. To find out why groups of […]

Goodbye April – Hello May!

April is traditionally the month where the weather is most unpredictable, whereas the “merry month of May” is known for good weather with lots of sunshine to enjoy. There are several traditions in Germany to say goodbye to the colder seasons and to “help” make summer come quicker. We’d like to introduce you to some of them and who knows – maybe together we can chase away the cold! Walpurgis Night Walpurgis Night or Witches’ Night (in German “Walpurgisnacht” or “Hexennacht”) is celebrated in the night from 30 April to 1 May. The folkloric belief is that in this night […]

Come together – at the Elbhangfest

The hillside along the river Elbe is famous for its beauty and every year there’s a street festival to celebrate this special cultural landscape – the Elbhangfest. The tradition of the Elbhangfest began in 1990 as a charity event for the church in the vineyard of Pillnitz and the restauration of the church in Loschwitz. However, the first grand festivities took place about 300 years ago: August the Strong then ordered his master builder Pöppelmann to expand the manor of Pillnitz and create a castle complex that would suit August’s lavish celebrations. Now, on the last weekend in June, the […]

August II the Strong

You’ve probably already “met” him: Everyone knows the Golden Horseman near the Augustus Bridge depicting August II on horseback. He is certainly one of the most famous Saxons and the shiny representation of his person reflects his ambitions for Dresden. He wanted it to be the cultural center and most beautiful city of all of Saxony – and beyond. August II was called “the Strong” because of his great physical strength and numerous offspring. It has been reported that he was able to break horseshoes with his bare hands. We can’t be sure that this was true – monarchs are […]

Short trips in Saxony – Leipzig

If you ask anyone in Saxony which city you should visit besides Dresden, they’ll probably immediately reply “Leipzig”. The reasons are perfectly obvious, as Leipzig, with its over 1.000 years of history, combines both tradition and the modern age, culture and new trends. Thanks to its architecture, Leipzig has several nicknames: It is called “Little Paris”, “Athens on the River Pleisse” and “Venice of the North”. No matter which resemblance you prefer, once you visit Leipzig, you’ll find that the city of the Peaceful Revolution has a unique charm and that there are lots of things to visit. We have […]

Tea, cake and coziness: The England, England

If you love all things British or are interested in meeting new people or just want to have a piece of really good cake – the café “England, England” is exactly what you’re looking for. The small café in the middle of Dresden Neustadt is a haven for everyone loving the British culture. You can have a cup of excellent tea, browse through books (which you can also buy) and try some culinary classics. But the “England, England” is more than just a cosy little place to indulge your sweet tooth. It’s also a place to meet new people during […]

Happy Easter – enjoy the traditions!

There are lots of traditions in Germany for each festivity and especially for Easter. That makes it quite difficult to decide which traditions to present to you. We decided on these ones: Easter Fire Easter is a Christian tradition – celebrating the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus – but the Easter Fire is a pre-Christian, a Saxon tradition for which there are several explanations: It might be that the Saxons believed the seasons were like God-like creatures and that, around the time of Easter, Spring was battling with Winter. So the Saxons lit the fires to help Spring chase away […]

Printing books – a German tradition

Despite the digital revolution, books still are an essential part of everyday life as well as scientific research. Did you know that the Printing Revolution started in Germany, paving the way for a modern knowledge-based economy? The introduction of printing books with movable type by Johannes Gutenberg in the 15th century changed everything, and not only in Germany: Information suddenly was available for everyone and literacy increased. The political and religious elite found themselves in a difficult position because their authority was being questioned. In the end, Gutenberg’s invention changed the whole of society by making mass communication possible. Apart […]

Fasching – The German Carnival

The cliché of the Germans being serious all the time is well known, but in February it becomes clear just how wrong that stereotype can be: It’s time for Carnival. Granted, mostly the western and southern parts of Germany – especially the Rhineland – go absolutely crazy during the festivities but also the people in northern or eastern regions of Germany like put on their costumes and celebrate the “fifth season” of the year. That special season of merriment already begins on 11 November at exactly 11.11 a.m. and ends on “Aschermittwoch” (Ash Wednesday) of the following year with the […]