The Baroque-style Zwinger ranks among the most famous buildings of Dresden. The current building was errected by Matthäus Daniel Pöppelmann under the regency of Augustus The Strong as gardens and orangery for the royal celebrations and collections. Among others, the sculptor Balthasar Permoser was responsible for the elaborate sculptural design. However, as early as since the 16th century there was a garden on this site.
Originally planned as part of a new castle, construction work began around 1709. At this time, the architect Pöppelmann visited several European cities (Prague, Vienna, Florence and Rome, later also Paris) in order to get inspired for this ambitious project. Around 1728, the construction was finished without the construction of the originally planned castle being conducted. Gottfried Semper later built on the northern side (facing the Semperoper) which was not enclosed at this time.
The name Zwinger derives from the old fortifications of Dresden. In the Middle Ages, the ward between the outer and the inner wall of a fortress was called "Zwinger". Although the front with its remarkable Kronentor is placed on the former city walls, the Dresden Zwinger never had this function.
After its destruction in February 1945, the Zwinger was rebuilt as one of the first historic buildings in Dresden. Together with the castle, Hofkirche, Semperoper and Brühl's Terrace, it constitutes the heart of the historic city centre of Dresden. It nowadays houses important collections and museums of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (National Art Collections Dresden), among them the picture gallery "Gemäldegallerie Alte Meister".
Discover Dresden with the KIM HOTEL DRESDEN and the KIM HOTEL IM PARK.