Dresden (pop. 488,800), historic German city on the Elbe River, administrative center of the district of Dresden, in southeastern Germany. Products include porcelain, chemicals, various light-engineering products, and beet sugar. Its river location and site on a network of railroads link Dresden with other major eastern German cities. It is also famous as a cultural center and contains world-famous art museums. Dresden originated as a Slav fishing village. The town developed during the 13th century and became the residence of the Saxon sovereigns in 1485. In the late 17th and early 18th centuries many rococo and baroque buildings were constructed. It survived the Battle of Dresden (1813), Napoleon's last great victory, but many historic buildings were destroyed in a devastating air raid in World War II which claimed thousands of lives and razed the city. The city has since been largely restored.
See also: Germany.