Global Conference in Prague, 2023 Top Travel

Visiting artsy, historic, timeless Dresden

The main plaza in Dresden, Germany. (Regina López/YJI)

Dresden, GERMANY – In Europe it just takes a train or a bus ride to get to a place with a whole different language, scenery, history, culture and even weather.

Click on the image above to see more ‘Postcards from Prague.’ Viktorie Goldmannová/YJI

This transportation concept in Europe is still very fascinating to me. In my home country of Mexico, the transportation system is poorly maintained and not very safe. If you don’t have a car, your best shot at getting to another state that is not next to yours is by plane.

As part of Youth Journalism International’s 2023 Global Conference in Prague, our group took a day trip across the Czech-German border to Dresden.

A bus from Prague, in the Czech Republic, will take you to Dresden, in Germany in a little less than two hours. In Prague I was getting roasted by the sun in the streets and the next day in Dresden we were expecting a big storm and foggy skies.

Inside the Zwinger. (Regina López/YJI)

Almost 80 years ago, six months before the World War II, Dresden was brutally bombarded by the allies. The city was turned to dust and thousands of people died. So from this perspective, the Dresden of today could only be described as a standing miracle.

Artistic graffiti on buildings in the center of the city. (Regina López/YJI)

In the center of the city lay places like the Zwinger, an emblematic 18th century palace surrounded by small statues with gold details.

Most of the historic places’ exteriors were tinted in black tones. It was easy to tell the original colors apart from the old bomb stains.

While we were standing on grounds that were meant to be destroyed, the scene in the main square was pretty alive.

A view of the Zwinger. (Regina López/YJI)

A few steps away from the Zwinger and outside the astonishing building of the Semper Opera, two beautiful voices emerged from a crowd of people.

Street singers are not an unusual thing on Mexico City’s sidewalks. Generally, I would see a man with a guitar singing in Spanish at the park.

But there I was, listening to live opera just outside a palace in Germany. As cliché as it may sound, I would’ve stayed there forever but sadly it was just a day trip and it was about to rain any minute.

Dresden is a historic town inside a modern city, where the time mixes with every step you take.

The porcelain mural Fürstenzug (Procession of Princes). (Regina López/YJI)

One moment we were staring at the Fürstenzug – in English, Procession of Princes – porcelain mural in the downtown and the next we were admiring the graffiti that embellishes Dresden’s buildings.

We even got to go into Dresdner Molkerei Gebrüder Pfund which come call “The most beautiful milk shop in the world.” The insides of the store are covered with colorful tiles which together make figures of children, flowers or small animals. It felt like stepping into a children’s book.

Gazing up at the ceiling inside Dresdner Molkerei Gebrüder Pfund , known as “the most beautiful milk shop in the world.” (Regina López/YJI)

Almost at the same time we went outside, small drops started to fall and a few seconds later the storm began. Although clouds painted the skies gray, it didn’t tone down the magic of the city.

Youth Journalism International conference attendees in rain ponchos on famously artsy Dresden street. (Regina López/YJI)

I was happily getting soaked dancing through the famous art quarter, where every building has a theme and each of them is a different work of art.

Dresden taught me there are countless wonders waiting to be seen outside the big cities.

This is the kind of place where you can find yourself cycling down the Elbe River at sunset or playing on a swing outside the Martin Luther Kirche church.

Regina López is a Senior Correspondent with Youth Journalism International.

The author with a YJI flag outside the Zwinger in Dresden. (YJI photo)

Read more from YJI’s ‘Postcards from Prague’ series about the 2023 Global Conference.

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