Count Pillnitz, an ancient Dresden family, was ahead of his time. Why put up with the city's humid nights and rattling carriage wheels when I can build my palace and plant my roses on the banks of the Danube River, just a stone's throw from town," he told himself.
Or, if he didn't really say it, he probably thought it often as he strolled among his formal gardens, as big as a football field, and tinked with the telescope in his private oibservatory.
And who's to say that he wasn't thinking ahead by several centuries? If the Pillnitz Schoss (castle) had been in the middle of Dresden, it would have been bombed and burned to the ground in 1945, near the end of World War II. Instead it survived to live another life, as a state park xxxxx, public gardens and and a xxx-room hotel.
Though I've always preferred, when visiting a city like Dresden, alive with history and culture, to stay in the town center. Cobblestone streets, narrow pathways and the hum of people adds a sense of what it was like there, so many hundreds of years ago.
But as impressive as Dresden is today -- restored to the near-image of its former self -- summers are as as hot and humid, and as crowded with gawking tourists as they ever were.
Published on Oct 12, 2011