Dessau Tourist Attractions
Dessau, once capital of the Free State of Anhalt, lies at the junction of the Mulde with the Elbe. The Princes of Anhalt fostered literature and the arts, and the town developed into a considerable cultural center. The Bauhaus, the 20th century's most celebrated school of design, was based in Dessau from 1925 until its closure in 1932.
The Bauhaus, a World Heritage Site, is a cultural center that is housed in a beautiful building known for its splendid architecture.
Natural History Museum
The Dessau Museum of Natural History and Prehistory (1746-50) is a reproduction of the Santo Spirito Hospital in Rome; its angular tower, 40 m/130ft high, was added in 1847. The collection covers geology, mineralogy, botany, paleontology and zoology, with prehistoric material from the districts of Dessau, Rosslau and Köthen.
St George's Church
The Georgengarten in Dessau is an English-style garden.
Schloss Georgium Picture Gallery
In Dessau's Georgengarten is the neo-classical Schloss Georgium (by Friedrich Wilhelm von Erdmannsdorff, 1781), with a notable picture gallery (works by Dürer, Lucas Cranach the Elder and Tischbein; Dutch, Flemish and German painting of the 12th-20th centuries).
In the Lehrpark (16 ha/40 ac; a zoological and botanical "study park") in Dessau's Georgengarten can be seen almost 500 animals of 110 different species and 125 species of tree. The park was established in the 19th C by August Hooff.
9km/6mi southwest of Dessau is Schloss Mosigkau, a gem of Late Baroque architecture (designed by Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff), which since 1951 has housed the State Museum (Staatliches Museum). The collection includes Dutch, Flemish and German painting of the 17th and 18th centuries (with works by Rubens, Pesne, Jordaens, van Dyck, Moreelse and Fyt) and 17th and 18th century applied and decorative art.In the park (laid out in 1755-57 by C. F. Brose and J. G. Schoch in the French style, with Japanese gardens) are a variety of rare and exotic plants and a maze.
The Luisium in Dessau is an intimate English-style garden (by Johann Friedrich Eyserbeck, 1780), with a house in the style of an Italian villa (by Friedrich Wilhelm von Erdmannsdorff, 1774-77). It is lavishly decorated with arches, colonnades, temples, statues, monuments, grottoes, a Chinese bridge and an orangery.
Mosikau Castle Museum
The Mosikau Castle Museum is a late Baroque structure with a Rococo-style period gallery.
23km/14mi southeast of Dessau is Gräfenhainichen, birthplace of the greatest Protestant hymn-writer Paul Gerhardt (1607-76), with the neo-classical Paul Gerhardt Chapel (1844) and the Paul Gerhardt House (1907-09; monument to Gerhardt by Friedrich Pfannenschmidt).
Rosslau, 6km/4mi north of Dessau, on the Elbe, has a castle built in 1215. Other features of interest are the cemetery gateway (1822) and the Innungsbrauhaus (Guild Brewhouse; 1826), both by Gottfried Bandhauer.
20km/12.5mi north of Dessau is Zerbst, which has an almost completely preserved circuit of walls (4km/2.5mi long, up to 7 m/23ft high), with a wall-walk (half-timbered roof) and three 15th century town gates.
The Trinity Church in Zerbst (by Cornelis Ruckwaert, 1683-96), in Dutch Baroque style, has fine sculpture by Giovanni Simonetti.
Thiessen, 16km/10mi north of Dessau, boasts a water-powered copper-works of around 1600, one of the oldest and best-preserved of its kind (now a museum).
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