One of the most interesting places in Dresden has nothing to do with the destruction of the city during World War II, or even with the fantastic history museums and Christmas markets you’ll find here. Instead, Dresden’s Kunsthof Passage is an endearing reminder of the eternal power of art. Are you visiting Dresden on holiday? Or maybe you’re making a day trip from Berlin or Prague? We recommend stopping at this quirky spot.
Dresden’s Kunsthof Passage translates to English roughly as “Art Courtyard Passage.” It connects two streets, Alaunstrasse 70 with Görlitzer Strasse 23-25, to the north of Neustadt. It is more than a mere convenience however. Stepping into the passage, you’ll discover a place of creative abandon and colorful activity.
The passage has five courtyards. Each of which follows a specific theme, including Mythical Creatures, Elements and Metamorphosis. The courtyards will astonish you. They’re also home to numerous shops, restaurants, galleries and cafes.
The creation of Dresden’s Kunsthof Passage came about several decades ago. It started as an effort to promote a healthy combination of living, working and leisure spaces. At the same time the city wanted to revitalize run-down areas. Like Vienna’s Kunsthaus, it shows what can happen when you give artists the tools and the freedom to influence their surroundings.
Each of the facades in the Kunsthof Passage contains a detailed design that begs to be interpreted. The Metamorphosis courtyard features a changing series of kinetic sculptures. In the Elements courtyard, the drain pipes turn into instruments when it rains. This is one of the quirkiest and most colorful sites in the city. It’s a joy for young and old alike.
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Stephan Delbos is an internationally published writer and editor. Born in the US, he has lived, worked and traveled in Europe for a decade. He’s fond of oysters and arid martinis.