Fourteen Months Abroad – Dresden, Saxony

July 5.-I was up at four this morning. Cooked eggs for our lunch today and packed two telescopes and a box—a tiresome piece of work as there were breakable things to pack which needed careful attention. Had a wearisome hunt in the telescopes last night for missing articles. To my sorrow found a plate broken and let a souvenir china tray fall from my lap. It broke!

A journey of a little more than two hours brought us to this city, the capital of Saxony, on both sides of the river Elbe. We arrived here at 12:23. The only thing to mar the journey was that we were badly shaken by the cars. Leipsic was flat and we found the country flat nearly all the way here. It became more or less hilly as we approached Dresden. I enjoyed the flower gardens belonging to the humble homes as we rode along. We saw wind mills, some of them in motion. Crops of grain were badly beaten by the rain. Lilium candidums were in bloom. While crossing the river Elbe we saw many large flat boats. We are at Hotel Kaiserhof near the Old Bridge.

Later.—We both rested before starting out to see something of Dresden. First we went by electric tram and horse tram to the Grosser Garten which is southeast of the town. Our ride was delightful, the left side being quite park-like. As we entered we walked by a long river-like pond until we came to a pretty restaurant. In this winding pond was a beautiful fountain and father and mother swans with four large young ones. This park, consisting of about three hundred acres, is intersected by two broad avenues which approach each other towards the centre of the park where the Lustschloss is—a chateau built in 1680. We could not find this chateau. We took the wrong avenue. This gave us an opportunity to see more of this very beautiful park. At last we met a gentleman and lady who kindly allowed us to accompany them to this charming spot. The finely laid out grounds about the chateau, full of lovely flowers and foliage plants, were lovely to behold. L. said “there would be danger of my going crazy if I didn’t look out.” Near this chateau is a large pond where there were beautiful ducks with bright colors on their heads. L. called them “decorated ducks.” There were also two majestic swans and one little one. A large fish jumped up out of the water. I was anxious to see him do it again. We sat awhile and looked at the beautiful scene. In the center of the pond is a high fountain. Splendid trees are all about.

July 6.—This morning L. and I walked across the Elbe on the Augustus bridge, which we see from our room window. Built in the tenth century, it is yet in fine condition. We found fine buildings on the other side of the river and much that is interesting. In the Zwinger we visited the famous Picture Gallery which ranks with the Louvre, Pitti and Uffizi galleries. In this gallery, known as one of the finest in the world, we saw twenty-four hundred paintings, mostly by Italian and Flemish artists, which includes Raphael’s Sistine Madonna. We were glad indeed to see the original of this great painting by the great master—of which the best engravings seem to be faithful copies but of course without the lovely colors which we hope to remember. As is usually the case in paintings of the Madonna, the outer garment is blue with the under garment red—both colors harmonizing with the soft green of the curtains. Her hair is golden, as is that of the child Jesus. The cherubs at the bottom of the picture, looking wonderfully familiar, are in soft colors, the wings being delicately tinted. On the right of the Virgin is St. Sixtus, at the left is Santa Barbara.

We next visited the Green Vault of the Royal Palace where we saw an astonishing display of jewels, works of art and diamonds almost without number—one oval greenish diamond weighing five and one-third ounces and many as large as filberts. Rubies, pearls, emeralds and other precious stones are also there in large numbers. Besides these the eight rooms contain the Polish regalia, consisting of two gold crowns thickly set with beautiful jewels of enormous size, bronzes, ivories, enamels, mosaics, ostrich eggs, vessels of gold, silver and crystal, fancy articles, trinkets in gold, trinkets in wood, also in wax and cherry stones. The eighth room contains the jewels-the most valuable part of the collection. Here are the green diamonds, a bow containing 662 diamonds shaped like a bow of ribbon, a necklace of diamonds, buckles, clasps and rings without number. Two of the rings belonged to Luther and one to Melancthon. Many of the sword handles blaze with diamonds.

We have been into photograph stores and have looked into the windows of many other stores. Have bought photos of Antwerp and Cologne cathedrals. We climbed the broad steps to the terrace and sat there awhile looking up and down the river Elbe and across the river to our hotel. It is called the Bruhl Terrace and is the popular promenade on the bank of the Elbe. We are quite charmed with Dresden. It is a beautiful city. Last Sabbath we saw the King in Leipsic and now have come to Dresden—his winter home. We look down from our window upon a large outdoor restaurant connected with this hotel, where the band is playing delightfully. Last evening the restaurant was beautifully lighted by electricity and the band played until ten or later. Now we must go down to supper. We are sorry to leave the music, which is soft and sweet. They have just finished a piece and people are clapping their hands.

July 7.-We came to Dresden on the very last day of an agricultural fair which had been in progress a week. In the hotel we were told that if we had arrived two or three days earlier we could not have found a room. I enjoy looking out of our window at this fine old Augustus bridge. It is full of people, street cars and other vehicles. I have seen Jong lines of the yellow post wagons crossing the bridge. Have seen these in other cities.

Dresden has many splendid looking buildings. The royal palace is a large handsome building. The Zwinger with its seven pavilions is a unique edifice. The Theatre is perhaps the finest building of the kind in Europe.

The Frauenkirche, with its lofty dome 310 feet high, and the Roman Catholic Court Church are among the most noted churches. They are very conspicuous on the other side of the river as we look across the bridge from our window, where also are the royal palace and the Zwinger.

From the Augustus bridge we can see the two other bridges across the Elbe. Steamers are going back and forth all the while on the river and we can hear the bands playing on the steamers. Dresden is sometimes called “German Florence.”

We have seen the new railroad station, which is very large and said to be the finest in Europe. We meant to see the American and English quarters and also the Russian church but could not. The air was sharp and cutting yesterday, both in the morning and in the afternoon.