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Dresden - the German Florence

By Maike Mintelowsky

Dresden - the pearl on the Elbe - is one of the top ten locations for business and academia in Germany. The city is home to traditional economic sectors, new growth industries and a diverse range of higher education and research institutions.

© Deutsche WelleIn Dresden there is always something going on

Dresden as a research location

'Globally focused - locally active' is the slogan that promotes business, education and research in Dresden. The main focus is on developing new commercial space and helping entrepreneurs and business founders. Partnerships between research and industry are encouraged in Dresden with lucrative results.

The city is actively growing due in no small part to future-oriented sectors such as information and communications technology, nanotechnology and life sciences. Technology is a top priority in Dresden - with 36,000 students TU Dresden (Dresden University of Technology) is the largest institution of higher education in the federal state of Saxony.

Dresden is home to the largest number of Fraunhofer institutes in Germany - twelve. The Max Planck Society, Leibniz Association and German Research Foundation (DFG) are also based in the Dresden region. In total, research institutions in the city employ more than 3,000 people.

In order to compete in the Initiative for Excellence, a nationwide competition for excellence in research, the various Fraunhofer, Leibniz and Max Planck institutes in Dresden have joined forces with TU Dresden in a unique alliance: DRESDEN-Concept. This project is designed to safeguard postgraduate study and to optimise research facilities for up-and-coming academics who are attracted to Dresden from all over the world.


First mentioned in records in 1206, Dresden became a royal seat during the Baroque period and is still known as a Baroque pearl. During the Second World War, the city - including many world-famous buildings and art treasures - was largely destroyed as a result of several waves of bombing. As part of the former East Germany, the once splendid city was rebuilt in a rather pragmatic manner, with some parts of Dresden still showing signs of prefabricated concrete today. Since German reunification in 1989, Dresden has received a lot of funding to restore it to its former glory.

Photo Gallery

Dresden Dresden Dresden

Living in Dresden

Thanks to a slack housing market, anyone looking for somewhere to live in Dresden is spoilt for choice: villas with river views, houses in leafy areas or well-maintained apartments in older buildings are inexpensive to rent by German standards.


  • 470,000 inhabitants
In the early part of the 20th century, the city was an important centre of modern dance and the school of dance founded by Gret Palucca in 1925 still trains students from all over the world. Events at the Hellerau festival theatre and Semperoper - one of the most famous opera houses in the world - regularly attract large numbers of visitors to the capital of Saxony.

Saxon Switzerland (the German part of the Elbe Sandstone Mountains) is a lovely area for hiking in summer and skiing in winter, while the banks of the river Elbe are a great place to relax. Dresden is only two hours' drive from Berlin or Prague and Poland is just a short distance away.

Typical aspects of Dresden

It is no surprise that Johann Gottfried Herder named Dresden the 'German Florence': the city's architecture is on a par with that of the Tuscan capital and Dresden is also home to a huge collection of art treasures. The Old Masters Picture Gallery features illustrious names such as Rafael, Rembrandt and Rubens. The reconstructed Dresden Frauenkirche with its baroque sandstone dome dominates the city's skyline. The church was destroyed by firebombing during the Second World War but was restored following reunification and completed in 2005.

Interesting links
region.dresden.de» (German only)

Back to Research Locations in Germany»

academics :: July 2010