vrijdag 7 juni 2013

Germany, Dresden Elbe Valley (delisted 2009)

The 18th- and 19th-century cultural landscape of Dresden Elbe Valley extends some 18 km along the river from Übigau Palace and Ostragehege fields in the north-west to the Pillnitz Palace and the Elbe River Island in the south-east. It features low meadows, and is crowned by the Pillnitz Palace and the centre of Dresden with its numerous monuments and parks from the 16th to 20th centuries. The landscape also features 19th- and 20th-century suburban villas and gardens and valuable natural features. Some terraced slopes along the river are still used for viticulture and some old villages have retained their historic structure and elements from the industrial revolution, notably the 147-m Blue Wonder steel bridge (1891–93), the single-rail suspension cable railway (1898–1901), and the funicular (1894–95). The passenger steamships (the oldest from 1879) and shipyard (c. 1900) are still in use.




The Dresden Elbe Valley has been the crossroads of Europe in culture, science and technology. Its art collections, architecture, gardens, and landscape features have been an important reference for Central European developments in the 18th and 19th centuries. It contains exceptional testimonies of court architecture and festivities, as well as renowned examples of middle-class architecture and industrial heritage representing European urban development into the modern industrial era.
It is also outstanding as a cultural landscape, an ensemble that integrates the celebrated Baroque setting and suburban garden city into an artistic whole within the river valley, and as an example of land use, representing an exceptional development of a major Central-European city. The value of this cultural landscape has long been recognized, but it is now under new pressures for change.
The cultural landscape of Dresden Elbe Valley extends some 18 km along the river from the Übigau Palace and Ostragehege fields in the north-west to the Pillnitz Palace and the Elbe River Island in the south-east. The area is characterized by its cultural values, but it has also valuable natural features and protected biotopes. On the sides of the river, land rises gradually in terraces to form the surrounding Elbe hillsides. In the past, these used to be cultivated as vineyards. Most of the vineyard areas were transformed into wealthy bourgeois villas, gardens and parks in the 19th century.


There are old villages that have retained their historic structure in Laubegast and Loschwitz. The most important buildings include three villas on the Loschwitz Hill: Schloss Albrechtsburg and Villa Stockhausen with their parks (1850-54) refer to English prototypes in the style of late Berlin Classicism, adopting Italian Renaissance ideas, whereas Eckberg Palace (1859-61) represents late Romanticism. Later periods are represented by Tolkewitz Crematorium and urn grove, built in 1909-11.
With the advent of the Industrial Revolution, the navigability of the river was improved, and the landscape assumed its current appearance. This period has left various elements, including the steel bridge, the single-rail suspension cable railway (1898-1901), and the funicular railway (1894-95), all in Loschwitz.
The main focal point on the river is the historic centre of Dresden, the capital of the Electors of Saxony, one of the wealthiest lands in Germany, from 1547. This fortified city grew from the Middle Ages with its main part on the south side of the river. After a fire in the late 17th century, the Electors Augustus I and Augustus II modernized the city in Baroque and Rococo styles, including the Zwinger. The north bank became known as Neustadt (New Town) and the German town on the south bank as Altstadt (Old Town). From the end of the 18th century, the importance of the river for shipping increased rapidly. Towpaths were made along it for towing ships, and these paths still exist. The economy of the town developed rapidly in the 19th century, in a large measure as a result of the completion of rail connections to Berlin and Leipzig. This led to improving the navigability of the river (Law of 1844). Dykes were built, and old river arms were cut off from the main river. The agricultural fields gradually changed into meadows and gardens. New suburban areas and residential villas were built in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
The series of public buildings include the Japanese Palace with its gardens, built as an integral part of the royal ensemble of Dresden in the 18th century. A second focal point in the river landscape is the Pillnitz Palace with its parks and vineyards, built starting in the 1720s, which became the summer residence of Elector Frederick Augustus III after 1778. It is characterized by curved roof lines, and a monumental staircase opening to the river. It has a large Baroque garden with various pavilions and features, including gardens in different styles (English, Dutch and Chinese). At the west end of the Elbe Valley area there is another small royal palace complex, the Übigau Palace with its Baroque park, built in 1724-26 and forming the counterpart of the Pillnitz Palace.

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