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Suggestions for Austria/Germany

We will be in the Dolomites and then plan to visit Vienna, Prague and then into Germany probably to Nuremberg and Dresden before ending up in Berlin.
We have 10 nights before we need to be in Berlin and wondering the best way to do this.
1.) train from Bolzano to Vienna (via Innsbruck?) then spend 4 days in Vienna
then train to Prague for 2 nights, then to Nuremberg for 2 nights and day trip to Rothenburg and then head to Dresden for 2 nights and then Berlin.

We wanted to do all by train unless that seems unreasonable. Any help with these plans as far as trains go or accommodations?
2.) Any other suggestions for a better itinerary?
thank you

Posted by
6543 posts

With #1, you've got it.

You're fortunate to see Dresden. We have a relative that grew up there, and she got on the last American ship leaving Germany 11/1939. It was an incredible city prior to the massive Allied bombing at the end of WWII. Might have been the most beautiful city in Europe at one time.

Posted by
15573 posts

Looks a bit zig zaggy, but it is what it is. You might consider taking the DB bus from Prague to Nuremberg.

Posted by
12091 posts

"Might have been the most beautiful city in Europe at one time." At the very least in Central Europe. Before the horrors of Nazism and the ensuing war, Dresden was known as "Florence on the Elbe."

Posted by
11613 posts

@George: The bombing of Dresden was tragic. However, to say that the Nazis did nothing physical to Dresden ignores the destruction of Jewish synagogues on Kristalnacht and the deportation of the remaining Jews in the city, most to death in the camps.

Posted by
6543 posts

My sister and her in laws went over to Dresden before the fall of the Iron Curtain, and they found some areas had been rebuilt and some areas were intact. Our relatives lived in an absolutely huge home, and it was still standing. They were the first to stay in a new 5 Star hotel purposely built for Americans. And at the time, the hotel had two Volvo's with drivers to haul you around the city--the only non-Russian cars in town.

My sister and niece have since been back to Dresden, and they just love the place.

Posted by
7641 posts

George, I believe the quote about 135,000 being killed in Dresden is way off the mark with estimates being closer to 25,000-35,000 +. Lots of military industry in this area, so it wasn't just bombing of a cultural city.

I guess London and Coventry weren't spared by the nazis either. Over 20,000 killed just in London, and they also lost many historic buildings. Nothing is ever fair in war.

The nazis were deporting people to Concentration Camps, right up until the very last minute, so whether or not the bombing of Dresden was demoralizing or not becomes a moot question. The war continued up until May, so no, the nazis were not demoralized at all.

Posted by
12040 posts

"So it is basically a total reconstruction? Is anything real?"

Define "real". Pretty much what you see in any substantial city in Germany today, with a few notable exceptions, is largely a rebuild. Each city chose to rebuild with different priorities. Dresden made the decision to rebuild most of the city to meet the practical purposes of the post war, but they also wanted to recover some of the lost glory of the capital of the former Kingdom of Saxony.

I was there two weeks ago. The restored Altstadt is fairly small, and it's an on-going project to recreate this district block by block. It's not all completely rebuilding everything from scratch, though. Except for the Frauenkirch, the outer shell of most of the major buildings (like the Residenz Schloss, Zwinger, opera) remained standing, so these aren't just de novo recreations. Rather, consider it an massive repair job. And plenty of the extensive art and artifact collections of the kings of Saxony (the reason they called it a "museum city") remain undamaged and unplundered. I saw a significant area of the city north of the river that looks like it dates from before the war, but this isn't necessarily something that you would travel all the way to Dresden to explore. The rest of the city shows the result of postwar central planning. Clean and well kept, but rather sterile and even a bit sinister.