Dresden, Germany (Dresden meaning people of the riverside forest) is situated in a valley on the River Elbe. Dresden was heavily impacted during World War II when the city was bombed by the Allied Forces. Specifically, on Feb 14, 1945, Allied planes carpet bombed the Altstadt (Old Town) even though Dresden was not considered militarily strategic, but simply because the Soviet army was situated fifty miles east of the city. Due to this damage, and the subsequent attempt at revival, Dresden has become a popular tourist site in Germany today.
One of the best ways to start a trip through Dresden is by taking a walk through the Old Town as many of the most popular tourist attractions are within one mile from here. For example, the Royal Buildings are some of the most impressive buildings in Dresden. The Dresden Castle, once the home of the royal household, has been renewed, built upon and restored many times. Another popular tourist attraction in Dresden is the Semper Opera House, also a World Heritage Site. This impressive building was destroyed by fire in both 1869 and 1945, but has been re-built twice as an exact replica of the original structure.
Dresden claims to be one of the greenest cities in Europe as 63% of the city is covered by green areas and forests. Dresden also boasts several World Heritage Sites including the Zwinger, the Royal Castle with the "Green Vault" and the terraces of the Elbe riverside.