History of the Dresden Zwinger

Poetry in sandstone: The history of the Dresden Zwinger

View of the Wall Pavilion in the Dresden Zwinger in autumn light
View of the Wall Pavilion in the Dresden Zwinger in autumn light

The Dresden Zwinger is one of the most imposing buildings of Baroque. The principal and initiator in its planning and implementation was Augustus the Strong, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland. Matthaeus Daniel Poeppelmann as its architect and Balthasar Permoser as ist sculptor were the two outstanding virtuosos who have made the Zwinger unique. Poeppelmann’s famous copperplate engravings for his plans have been preserved up to our day.

The Baroque architecture of a former fortification

The Wall and Glockenspiel Pavilions, each centering in the arched galleries, the four corner pavilions and the Long Gallery with the Crown Gate in its middle symmetrically frame the rectangular courtyard, decorated with lawns and fountain pools. The Semper Wing closes the complex off to the north. The space between the inner and outer ramparts of the town, which once served to close in on the enemy, was used as a building site and storage yard.

A new Function for the Dresden Zwinger

Looking for a winter residence for its large collection of orange trees and other potted plants gave Augustus the Strong in 1709 his chief master builder Pöppelmann the contract to build an orangery in the Dresden Zwinger garden. Later, the system should be additionally used for festivities of the court.

The Festival Baroque culture not only served as the amusement and entertainment of court society, but primarily as a way to represent wealth and sovereign power.

Finale of Baroque conversion

1712 Long Gallery was built in 1714, the Crown Gate. the kennel in 1719 was officially inaugurated on the occasion of the wedding of the Elector Friedrich August with the Habsburg emperor's daughter Maria Josepha. The final completion of the building to house the stately collections but closed only 1728th

Reconstruction after the Second World War

The bombing of Dresden in February 1945 the kennel was almost completely destroyed. From 1945 was rebuilt. Parts have already been in 1960 reopened. Today, the Porzellansammlung, der Mathematisch-Physikalische Salon und die Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister are located in the pavilions and galleries of the Zwinger and the adjacent Semperbuilding.


The Dresden Zwinger

VERMIETUNGSANFRAGEN (Staatliche Schlösser, Burgen und Gärten Sachsen gGmbH)
E-Mail: zwinger@schloesserland-sachsen.de
Telefon: +49 (0) 351 4383703 12

BESUCHERSERVICE MUSEEN (Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden)

Theaterplatz | 01067 Dresden

Property of State Palaces, Castles and Gardens of Saxony, non profit

+49 (0)351 49142000

Admission & opening hours


  • Full rate 10,00 EUR
  • Reduced rate 7,50 EUR
Free admission to the inner courtyard and the exterior premises of the Dresden Zwinger all year round. Ticket rates for the following museums may be found on the homepage of the Saxon State Art Collections:
  • Old Masters Picture Gallery
  • Porcelain Collection
  • Royal Cabinet of Mathematical and Physical Instruments

Opening hours

April to October
  • daily: 6:00 am - 10:00 pm
November to December
  • daily: 6:00 am - 8:00 pm
January to March
  • daily: 6:00 am - 8:00 pm
The opening hours of the museums may be found on the homepage of the Saxon State Art Collections. 

Subject to modifications.