Erfurt & Dresden
Two Days in Erfurt:
Dining, Climbing, & Sleeping
We arrived in Erfurt late in the early evening and enjoyed a group dinner together.
The next day in Erfurt was super fun! We had a guided tour in the morning.
I met Mr. Sandman! (Yes!)
And then we were set free for the rest
of the day.
A few tour mates and I went to lunch at a charming Italian restaurant. After getting our fill, we were ready to climb up to the Petersberg Citadel. When we were done exploring the citadel, we made our way over to the two giant cathedrals in town.
It was hot this day, and after our adventures, we were ready for some ice cream!
We found a nice Eis Café and cooled off with our yummy gelato and the shade from the umbrellas.
After a late afternoon rest, a few of us ate dinner at a packed bierhaus along the little canal in town. Before retiring for the night, we had one last kugel Eis!
I crashed as soon as I hit the bed :D
Krämerbrücke (Market bridge) in Erfurt.
One of the largest and
best-preserved town fortresses in Europe. This area, under various occupations, was used by Sweden, Prussia, Napoleon, the German Empire, the Nazis, and the German Democratic Republic (East Germany).
Here I am having a bit of fun!
I saw this door and just had to pretend to sneak inside!
Shhhh...Don't tell! :D
Did you know Napoleon visited here
many times? Did you also know that it was built on top of an old medieval Benedictine Monastery? I thought that was pretty neat!
Here I am on top of a mound overlooking the hill up to the citadel. A tour mate and I decided to climb this mound to get a good look-out at the city and the cathedrals.
It really was a great view!
Getting down, with my little canvas shoes, was another story...let's just say I crouched down on my tushy and slid down!
Here I am with my tour mates on the tower overlook at the citadel. You can see the two cathedrals, of which Erfurt is well-known.
Erfurt Cathedral is the largest and oldest church building in Erfurt. This site has been the location of a Romanesque basilica
and a church hall.
St. Severus' Church is one of the most important Gothic buildings in Germany. The site of the church has been home to many churches over the centuries.
Erfurt sign at the top of the hill to the citadel.
Hotel Room Safes.
My passport got locked in the safe.
You may say, that's what it's for...
Well, yes, but I couldn't get it out! Eeek!
Time was running out as we had to check out of the hotel and meet as a group to walk to the bus.
I notified the front desk but the only person who
had the key wasn't in yet.
I let Matti know that I was doing everything I could to
make it on time to our meeting point.
The guy with the key arrived about 10 minutes later
and I got my passport!
"Ich habe Schwein gehabt!"
Literally: I've had a pig!
German meaning: I was dead lucky!
The weather on our day in Dresden was a bit dreary, but it didn't dampen our spirits!
We arrived in town along the Elbe River and met our
tour guide for our walking tour of the city.
Learning about the reconstruction of the city after
WWII was quite remarkable. The resiliency and steadfastness of the German people never ceases to amaze me! It's pretty amazing how these buildings were rebuilt following so much destruction.
We also learned about August II, or August the Strong,
who was born in Dresden, became Elector of Saxony,
and was King of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.
A man of great physical strength, he certainly lived up to his name! (Reminded me of Gaston from Disney's Beauty and the Beast! hehe!)
August the Strong was a great patron of the arts and architecture, building many palaces and public museums, including The Green Vault...
Kathedrale Sanctissimae Trinitatis (or Dresden Cathedral).
The "Dresden Green" - The Green Diamond.
Dresden: The Green Vault
It's funny how things work out...
On the bus ride to Dresden, I came across an interview of Rick Steves (on becoming a cultural chameleon) in which he mentioned The Green Vault in Dresden, which houses the Green Diamond.
Another tour member was reading the same article at the exact same time! What are the odds!
We compared notes and decided to visit the infamous
The Green Vault contains 8 rooms filled with the treasures of
August the Strong. The Green Diamond, or "Dresden Green", is one of the rarest gemstones in the world. It is 41 carats (oh, baby!). It is the largest natural green diamond known today.
The gemstone is a symbol of the constancy of
*If using the hotel room's safe, make sure to follow
directions very carefully.
(I did, but I still could not get it to unlock.)
Take out your valuables the night before to avoid
any last-minute emergencies.
Hover or click the pictures to view descriptions and see them larger.
My Favorite Erfurt & Dresden Things!
Augustinian Monastery - The monastery Martin Luther attended to become a monk.
Petersberg Citadel - Built in the 1600s after Erfurt was subdued by the Archbishop of Mainz.
Erfurt Cathedral - Gothic cathedral that houses the "Gloriosa", the world’s largest medieval free-swinging bell.
St. Severus Church - Early Gothic Catholic church with 5 naves.
Augustiner - Delightful restaurant with excellent food and seating along the little canal.
Fürstenzug - The long mural depicting the leaders of Saxony.
The Green Vault - August the Strong's collection of jewels and artifacts.
Rick Steves' Interview - The interview/article that popped up in my newsfeed (and that of a tour mate!), which inspired us to visit The Green Vault.