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Aside from its impressive architecture, the Zwinger is famous for its Dresden Porcelain Collection the scientific instruments on display in the Royal Cabinet of Mathematical and Physical Instruments, and the magnificent art collections housed in the Old Masters Picture Gallery.

The Zwinger itself is notable for its extraordinary variety and magnificence of form: the majestic 32-bayed Long Gallery on the south side, the four symmetrically arranged pavilions on the east and west sides, the Wallpavillon, and the Nymphenbad (Bath of the Nymphs) with its graceful fountains and mythological female figures.

In the center stands an equestrian statue from 1883 of King John, while the west side is dominated by the magnificent Semperoper, the city's opera house.

Built in the style of the Italian High Renaissance, the building can be explored on a guided tour (better still, try to catch a performance).

Nearby is the Peace Fountain, as well as the Bundeswehr Military History Museum, the museum of the German armed forces.

No trip to Dresden is complete without a visit to Brühl's Terrace, or Brühlsche Terrasse, also known as the "Balcony of Europe." Best approached from the Schlossplatz by a broad flight of steps, this area on the site of the old city ramparts was laid out in 1738 as a private garden (it opened to the public in 1814).

Other highlights include the Zoological Museum, and the Historical Museum with its displays of weapons from the 15th - 18th centuries.

Dresden's Theaterplatz, one of Germany's finest public squares, is home to numerous architectural wonders.

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Finally, be sure to check out the Terrassenufer on the banks of the Elbe, the main landing stage for boats.

Notable interior features are the processional ambulatories, a magnificently carved pulpit from 1722, the altarpiece of the Ascension from 1751, and the Silbermann organ from 1753.

In four burial vaults are the remains of many kings and princes of Saxony, and an urn contains the heart of Augustus the Strong (his body was buried in Krakow).

This excellent museum contains numerous historic vehicles including aircraft, steam engines, cars, and motorbikes, as well as many artifacts related to the country's railroads, urban transport, and shipping.

The museum also boasts numerous scale models reflecting the history of transportation through the ages.

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