In November 2011 I took a trip through Germany, visiting UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the central and eastern parts of the country. Perhaps the most fascinating city I visited on that trip was the city of Dresden. Dresden has been through a lot over the last half-century. Firebombed in WWII, subject decades of communism and massive floods on the Elbe in 2010 it was also one of the few UNESCO World Heritage sites ever to be delisted by UNESCO (I have given my thoughts on the Dresden delisting which I think is one of the low points of the whole World Heritage program).
Dresden has handled its hardships well. Almost the entire city center was rebuilt after WWII and today it is one of the cultural centers of Germany. If you ever get the chance to visit Dresden, in addition to the city center also take the time to visit the palaces along the Elbe River. It is a testament to Dresden’s role in Central European history.