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"Semper Opera House - History and Exterior" Semperoper - Semper Opera House Tip by nicolaitan

The famed Saxon State Opera Dresden known as the Semper Opera House is a post war reconstruction of the building planned by famed architect Gottfried Semper between 1871-8 replacing his earlier work destroyed by fire. This boat shaped Renaissance style building is an outgrowth of Semper's great love of classical and Italian architecture and is considered one of the world's most famous both for its beauty and its acoustics. Performances cost in excess of $100 US and are sold out way in advance. Tours are only in German - join the long line at the right side of the building for the tours beginning at 2:30 PM. An English summary is available free of charge but the interior is so stunning that you may have little time to read it. Most of the tour guides, with the help of the rest of the tour group, will do their best to translate the essentials ( more or less ).

The building dominates the Theaterplatz - at the entrance look up to see the chariot drawn by four panthers with Dionysius, the Greek god of art, and Ariadne, in some myths his wife or lover (image 4). The main statues on either side are von Goethe and Schiller, the famous writers. The periphery of the roof and the niches contains statues (image 5) of other famed art legends including Moliere, Shakespeare, Sophocles, and Euripides ( but not Eumenides ) as well as ancient Greek and Roman heroes and gods. Some of these statues are pre-WWII originals saved after the bombing which destroyed the building. The cupola over the central entrance, ( image 3 ), features The Three Graces - daughters of Zeus representing joy, charm, and beauty - with Apollo, the son of Zeus and god of poetry and music, and Marsyas, a flute-playing satyr.

Address: Theaterplatz 2
Phone: 0351 - 4911 705

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Dec 25, 2007
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