Dresden was involved in almost all great European wars at this time. Several times in its history, it was captured by Prussia, for the first time in 1745 in the course of the Austrian war of succession. Eleven years later, the Prussians re-captured Dresden and had it partially burned down as Austrian forces approached the city. During the siege of Dresden in 1760, the city was again bombarded by Prussian forces.
In the 19th century, Saxony fought alongside Napoleon. The French fortified and protected the city of Dresden as numerous preliminary battles of the Battles of Nations were fought during the wars of liberation against Napoleon near Leipzig in the Greater Dresden area. As is generally known, in the battle of nations in 1813, Napoleonic France was driven back, whereby Saxony and Dresden were on the losing side.
Today, "Ode of Joy" by Friedrich Schiller has become a symbol of the European unification as anthem of the European Union. It was written in Dresden in 1785. Other famous artists of European level worked in Dresden, for example Gottfried Semper and Ricahrd Wagner. However, both of them had to leave Dresden after the suppression of the May Uprising in 1849, as they both fought against the King of Saxony, Frederick Augustus II.