Dresden, Germany’s remarkable city risen from the ash of World War II, lies in the broad basin of the Elbe River. Before the war, it was a thriving center of modern art and culture, hosting composer Richard Strauss and debuting the operas of Richard Wagner in grand concert halls that stood alongside ornate, baroque churches. Today, its stunning architecture and world-class museums stand once again, earning Dresden the nickname Elbflorenz, or “Florence of the Elbe.” Perhaps inspired by the natural mountainous beauty of nearby Saxon Switzerland, more than 60% of modern Dresden is parkland, making it one of Europe’s greenest cities. Adjacent to the Elbe, the 18th-century Zwinger Palace, a fine example of Germany’s rococo architecture, is a museum complex of art, porcelain and mathematical instruments. At the renowned Green Vault, the Saxon monarchs’ dazzling crown jewels are on display. In the finely re-crafted Old Town, the Semper Opera stands like a baroque three-layer cake. The city’s most glorious restoration, the Frauenkirche, or Church of Our Lady, is a magnificent and ornate work of Protestant sacred architecture. It is a glorious centerpiece of Neumarkt square, a gathering of more baroque buildings.