The easternmost and most populous state in Germany has the status of a “free state”. Saxony covers an area of only 18,415 sq. km. Remarkably, the Saxons never lived here, the tribes lived on the territory of present-day Lower Saxony. The local population prefers to be called Meissen, or Meissen. It was the Margraviate of Meissen that became the “cradle” in which Saxony was born. In the distant past, the land was called the “Meissen Mark” or “Upper Saxony”.
Saxony has received the title of “free state” twice in history – in 1918 and 1990. It is not surprising that the inhabitants of an independent territorial entity are distinguished by a special temperament, and there is no single dialect on this earth.
The three largest settlements of Saxony – Chemnitz, or Chemnitz, Leipzig and Dresden – are classified as “free cities”. Saxon Switzerland, Gothic architecture, Baroque buildings, Meissen porcelain, the Lace Museum in Plauen, castles on the Elbe – these are just a small part of the treasures that a free state hides. One of the most developed economic regions has given the world many eminent personalities. Among them are Robert Schumann, Richard Strauss, August Bebel, Wilhelm Liebknecht and others.
The capital is Dresden. The largest cities are Leipzig, Chemnitz.
How to get to Saxony
The most important air shipyard in Saxony is the airport in Dresden, the flight from the Russian capital will take about two hours. There is also an airport in Leipzig, but there are no direct flights from Moscow to this point in Germany yet. It is convenient to get to Dresden from the Czech Republic, which borders the free state in the southeast. The distance from Prague to the main city of the earth is 146 km, the easiest way to overcome it is by train. It will be comfortable to move around the territory by car, from Berlin deep into Saxony the A9 and A13 autobahns lead. Also a popular mode of transport for tourists is the bus, high-speed trains.
Entertainment and attractions
The landscape diversity of Saxony will surely impress tourists. “The sea created from the earth” – this metaphor is not accidental, the wild mountains in this region are adjacent to the wide water surface of the Elbe River. The natural wealth of the free state is represented primarily by Saxon Switzerland. A piece of the Elbe Sandstone Mountains was formerly called the Meissen Plateau. The comparison of the national park with Switzerland is attributed to the artists Anton Graf and Adrian Zingg. The terrain is suitable for rock climbing, stone obelisks covered with endless forests, table mountains have over 1000 peaks suitable for climbers to explore.
Most of the sights of Saxon Switzerland can be seen on the Artists’ Route. The 112 km long path was really overcome by many famous painters, whimsical landscapes became a source of inspiration for them.
You can enjoy the panorama of the national park from the Bastei observation deck. The rock formation offers stunning views of the bends of the Elbe. The Bastion is famous for the Bastei Bridge built in 1824. The structure was originally wooden, but over time it was made of stone.
The natural riches of Saxony are mountains covered with forests, descending to the wide Elbe.
Königstein Fortress is another pearl of Saxon Switzerland, located on the mountain of the same name. Over the years, it served as a refuge for the royal family, a point for keeping prisoners of war, and storing paintings. It is known that Peter I visited Koenigstein, since the middle of the 20th century, the fortress, together with the castle, turned into a museum. Take a look at the Lichtenhain waterfall, Kushtal, rock gates with a “stairway to heaven”, Stolpen Castle with a unique well carved into the mountain.
Whichever direction you choose to travel around Saxony, you will find picturesque villages and skillful park ensembles everywhere. The free state is rich in museums, most of all in “Florence on the Elbe”, that is, in Dresden – over 40. The history of Chemnitz will appear before the eyes of guests of the third largest Saxon city in the Museum of Industry. Founded in 1143, the settlement got its name from the name of the river flowing nearby. And in the dialect of the Lusatian Serbs living today in the Upper Luzatsia region, this word means “stone stream”.
During the GDR, Chemnitz was renamed Karl-Marx-Stadt, but it only regained its former name in 1990. “Saxon Manchester”, the industrial center of the free state has such a nickname, it impresses with its architectural diversity.
In Chemnitz, in 1839, the first German steam locomotive was manufactured, called “Saxony”. In the same period, it was launched along the line of the first railway in Germany, linking Leipzig and Dresden.
The red brick tower of the 12th century, Roter Turm, is recognized as the symbol of the third largest city in the region. On the streets of Chemnitz, you can see buildings from the early and late Gothic period, such as the Palace Church from 1136. And in the Kasberg district, buildings of the Art Nouveau era are presented.
Weather in Saxony
In the free state of Saxony, a temperate continental climate reigns, characterized by a harsh character in the mountainous terrain, milder in the flat part. The average temperature in winter is -2 °C, and in summer – +16 °C. According to Bridgat, there are many mountains on the territory – in addition to the vast Saxon Switzerland, these are the Ore, Lusatian Mountains. The highest point in the free state is Mount Fichtelberg – 1,215 meters. Naturally, in mountainous regions it is colder in winter. The largest river in the region is the Elbe, almost all other water arteries belong to its system.