It's frivolous, perhaps, to rue the destruction of tourist sites in the same breath as the human casualties of war. But to lose a Frauenkirche is to lose history, art and culture that cannot easily be recovered. In Dresden, they have been, which makes the city doubly precious.
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From LAX, Lufthansa and Air Canada offer connecting flights (change of plane) to Dresden. Restricted round-trip fares begin at $940.
I flew to Berlin and rented a car. It's about a two-hour drive, the same as by train. Lufthansa, Air France, KLM, British and Swiss offer connecting flights to Berlin. Restricted round-trip fares begin at $940.
To call the numbers below from the U.S., dial 011 (the international dialing code), 49 (country code for Germany) and the local number.
WHERE TO STAY:
Kempinski Hotel Taschenbergpalais Dresden, Taschenberg 3, 01067, Dresden; 351-49120, http://www.kempinski-dresden.de , is one of the premier hotels in the city center in the renovated palace of Countess Cosel, the mistress of August the Strong. Doubles begin at $350.
Hotel Bülow Residenz, Rähnitzgasse 19, 01097, Dresden; 351-80030, http://www.buelow-residenz.de , is a small, elegant hotel just across the Elbe River from the city center, part of the Relais & Châteaux group. Doubles $270.
Hilton Dresden, An der Frauenkirche 5, 01067, Dresden; 351-86420, http://www.dresden.hilton.com , enjoys the best location of any hotel in the city, right across the street from the rebuilt Frauenkirche. It's a modern building with contemporary décor, several restaurants and a health club. Doubles, $140, though Hilton special rates and packages are sometimes available.
WHERE TO EAT:
Caroussel, Hotel Bülow Residenz (see above) is a formal restaurant with pitch-perfect service and a sophisticated French-German menu. A four-course dinner, without wine, costs $93.
Italienisches Dörfchen, 3 Theaterplatz, 351-498160, is a historic building on theater square, overlooking the Elbe River, with six restaurants, including a beer garden. Casual to elegant.
Alte Meister, Theaterplatz 1A, 351-4810426, is a pretty cafe restaurant with umbrella tables, just outside the Old Masters Picture Gallery in the Zwinger. Two-course dinner, with a glass of wine, about $36.
TO LEARN MORE:
Dresden Tourist Information, Schinkelwache/Theater Square, P.O. Box 120952, 01010, Dresden; 351-491920 http://www.dresden-tourist.de .
German National Tourist Office, (800) 651-7010, http://www.cometogermany.com .
— Susan Spano