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Dresden is the capital of the Free State of Saxony. With around 560,000 inhabitants on September 30, 2020, Dresden is the second largest Saxon municipality after Leipzig and the twelfth largest city in Germany in terms of population.

As the seat of the Saxon state government and the Saxon state parliament as well as numerous state authorities, the city is the political center of Saxony. In addition, important educational and cultural institutions of the Free State are concentrated here, including the renowned Technical University, the University of Technology and Economics, the University of Fine Arts Dresden and the University of Music Carl Maria von Weber Dresden. The independent city on the Elbe is both one of the six regional centers of Saxony and the economic center of the Dresden metropolitan area, one of the most economically dynamic regions in Germany with over 780,000 inhabitants. Innovations and cutting-edge technologies play an outstanding role in the Dresden area; Information technology and nanoelectronics are economically significant, which is why it is also positioned as the center of “Silicon Saxony”. The pharmaceutical, cosmetics, machine, vehicle and plant construction, food, optical industry, services, trade and tourism sectors also generate great added value in the Dresden area. With three motorways, two long-distance train stations, an inland port and an international airport, Dresden is also an important transport hub.

Archaeological traces in the later urban area indicate settlement as early as the Stone Age. Dresden was first mentioned in documents that have survived in 1206 and developed into an electoral, later royal residence, 1918–1933 and from 1990 capital of the Free State of Saxony, in the GDR from 1952–1990 district capital.

Dresden is internationally known as a cultural city with numerous important buildings such as the baroque Zwinger, outstanding museums such as the Old Masters Picture Gallery, and famous orchestras such as the Saxon State Orchestra or the Kreuzchor. The old town of Dresden was largely reconstructed and shaped by various architectural epochs, in addition to the Zwinger, for example, the Frauenkirche am Neumarkt, the Semperoper and the Hofkirche as well as the Residenzschloss. The Striezelmarkt, founded in 1434, is one of the oldest and most famous Christmas markets in Germany. Dresden is also called Florence on the Elbe, originally primarily because of its art collections; Its baroque and Mediterranean architecture as well as its picturesque and climatically favorable location in the Elbe Valley contributed significantly to this.