"Fürstenzug (Procession of the Sovereigns)" Top 5 Page for this destination Fürstenzug - Procession of Princes Tip by Kakapo2

  102 meteres long, made of 25,000 porcelain tiles.
by Kakapo2

Although Dresden has lots and lots of fantastic buildings and attractions this one is the most breathtaking one to me, and I do not care that it has only one star in one of my travel guides whereas Frauenkirche has two and Grünes Gewölbe even three (as does the Zwinger).
Coming from Frauenkirche you walk down towards Theaterplatz, and suddenly this incredible piece of art appears to your left.

It would already be impressive if it were only a sgraffito paining on the outside of Langer Gang (?long hallway?). Langer Gang is part of the so called Stallhof (Stables Court) which connects the castle with the Johanneum? Really too many places to fully follow, I know? So let me just say: Langer Gang is a wonderful archway on the inside of the Stallhof courtyard, decorated with sgraffito paintings :-)

So back to the Fürstenzug. Translated, it means: Procession of the Sovereigns.

This procession of the sovereigns of the Wettin dynasty (= the royals of Saxony) is immortalised on a 102 metre long and 957 square metre large frieze on the outer wall of the Langer Gang, along Augustusstraße. It shows 35 margraves, dukes, electors and kings who ruled Saxony from 1123 to 1904, sitting on horses, surrounded by 58 ordinary people carrying flags, and bodyguards. All names of the royals are inscribed on the wall. At the end of the procession, as a kind of rearguard, you can see students and professors, artists and artisans, and at the very end Wilhelm Walther who created the procession on this wall ? the modern successors of the royal, the start of a new era.

As said earlier, if this procession was ?only? a painting it would be fanstastic. But it only started as a painting on the wall in 1872 ? Wilhelm Walter worked on it until 1876, using the sgraffito technique.

Around 1900 the painting showed the first cracks. So the painting was copied onto 25,000 tiles of Meißener Porzellan (chinaware), 20.5 x 20.5 centimetres in size each, and laid into jointless grout. So the procession became the world?s largest porcelain picture, in only gold, black, white and all shades of grey in between.

The next wonderful thing is a kind of miracle: Whereas all surrounding buildings fell into rubble in the bombings of 1945 the porcelain picture remained on site mostly undamaged! From 1957 trucks were no more allowed to drive past the artwork to save it from damage.

When the procession picture was restored in 1978/79 only 654 tiles had to be replaced. Dirt and burn marks were removed.

I did not list Fürstenzug under the VT title Procession of the Dukes because the expression is not correct ? even if it is the official English name. I do not care. Dukes are Herzöge in German, and Herzöge are only part of the sovereigns of the Wettin dynasty. There also were kings, margraves and electors, and I sure do not call a king a duke?

Review Helpfulness: 4 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Sep 17, 2008
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