From Porcelain to Painting: The Treasures of Dresden

This tour has already taken place and is now here as an archive
Dr Marie-Anne Mancio


In the eighteenth century, Dresden was known as the “Florence of the North” because an unprecedented host of Italian artists and craftsmen were drawn to the Saxon Court. Elector Augustus the Strong made Saxony’s capital a magnificent one by commissioning stunning baroque architecture and collecting widely. Restored since the bombing raids of 1945, Dresden is once more one of Germany’s most picturesque and culturally rewarding cities with decorative and fine art works of international repute acquired by Saxon electors and Polish kings. We will also visit Meissen, Saxony’s oldest town, legendary for its exquisite, world-renowned porcelain.

Frauenkirche, Dresden, View from top
Frauenkirche, Dresden, View from top

Your lecturer

Dr Marie-Anne Mancio trained as an artist before gaining a D.Phil in Art History and Critical Theory from the University of Sussex. She lectures extensively on art and architecture at THE COURSE. She was recently commissioned by Tate and Pearsons to create online art history courses and writes historical fiction in her spare time, publishing her first novel: Whorticulture. She is now working on her second, Bouche, about the artist Francois Boucher and his patron Mme de Pompadour.

Your Hotel

The Best Westin Bellevue Hotel (4*) view website »

Sited in Dresden’s city centre within walking distance of the Zwinger, this luxury hotel stands amid pretty gardens. Its terraces look onto the banks of River Elbe to impressive views of Dresden’s famous skyline. It also boasts a spa, free wirelesss connection, and an excellent restaurant.

Westin Bellevue Dresden
Westin Bellevue Dresden
Meissen, Cathedral
Meissen, Cathedral

The price includes:

  • Lecturing by Dr Marie-Anne Mancio
  • Return British Airways flights from London Heathrow to Berlin Tegel Airport
  • All airport taxes, security charges and local taxes
  • 4 nights’ bed and breakfast accommodation at 4* The Best Westin Bellevue Hotel
  • 4 lunches
  • 4 dinners
  • all coach transfers to and from Berlin Tegel airport
  • all coach transfers as per itinerary
  • transportation to and from dinner venues
  • paddle steamer
  • all entrance charges to visits as per the itinerary
  • services of a qualified, English speaking guide on first day
  • licensing fees for lecturer
  • vox guides throughout
  • porterage

The price does not include:

  • Teas or coffees during any mid morning / mid afternoon breaks
  • Refreshments
  • Any incidental and personal expenditure (laundry, telephone, etc)
  • Taxis or other transport not specified
  • Personal insurance

This tour is organised by Heritage Group Travel who are responsible for all the arrangements. Please refer to Heritage Group Travel Booking Terms and Conditions which can be sent upon request. The Company holds ATOL number 3707 and ABTOT licence number 5093 for your protection. This itinerary is subject to change should local conditions or unexpected restrictions occur. As the tour is arranged many months in advance visits may be subject to amendment.
AITO assured ATOL protected

Book your place

Places are limited so please book early. For further information:

Mary Bromley
020 7266 7815
E Mail:
The Course, 105 William Court, 6 Hall Road, London NW8 9PB
Westin Bellevue Dresden Atrium
Westin Bellevue Dresden Atrium

The Tour: Itinerary

Day 1 / Thursday 23 March

London – Dresden
British Airways from London Heathrow Airport

Arrival in Berlin Tegel and to be met by local guide

Transfer by private coach to the Best Westin Bellevue Hotel, Dresden

Dinner Hotel restaurant

Westin Bellevue Dresden Atrium

Day 2 / Friday 24 March

Old Masters Gallery at the Zwinger Palace

We will spend most of the day exploring this superb collection which boasts works by Raphael, Giorgione, Cranach, Van Eyck, Dürer, and Vermeer as well as Canaletto’s nephew Bellotto’s famous panoramic views of Dresden. It is housed in the spectacular Zwinger Palace, a jewel of the German baroque, built between 1701 and 1732 as Augustus the Strong’s pleasure palace and museum.

Raffael, Sistine Madonna, 1513-14
Rembrandt, Rembrandt and Saskia in the Parable of the Prodigal Son, c. 1635

Porcelain Collection

August the Strong’s passion for porcelain forms the heart of the Porcelain Collection. See the luxury goods brought from China and Japan to Europe by The Dutch East India Company alongside works by the world-famous Meissen. Highlights include the Dragoon Vases (151 Chinese lidded vases), stunning large-scale animals including a copy of Durer’s Rhinoceros, examples of Bottgers’ very first European china and delicate flowers from Vincennes.

Lunch in a local restaurant

Meissen hard porcelain plate with Chinese dragons 1734
Meissen Porcelain, Le Marquis Cris de Paris, c1757, P.Reinicke
Meissen hard porcelain tea pots circa 1720 decorated in the Netherlands c. 1735


Late afternoon we will visit the renovated Lutheran Frauenkirche which boasts the largest stone dome north of the Alps with unique views over Dresden and its surroundings. The Baroque church was severely damaged in 1945 but an extensive restoration project has returned it to its former glory.

Dinner in a local restaurant

Frauenkirche, Dresden
Frauenkirche, Dresden, Cupola

Day 3 / Saturday 25 March

New Masters Gallery at the Zwinger Palace

In the morning we will visit the New Masters Gallery at the Zwinger to see a range of key works by German masters from the nineteenth century to the present. These include legendary Romantic artist Caspar David Friedrich as well as Expressionists Otto Dix and Die Brücke (Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff) and modern legends Sigmar Polke and Georg Richter.

Lunch in a Local restaurant

Caspar David Friedrich, Cairn in Snow
Edgar Degas, Two Dancers, c.1898
Paul Gauguin, Parau Api. What News, 1892
Vincent Van Gogh,Stilll Life with Quinces, 1887

Sculpture Gallery at the Albertinum

After lunch, we will visit the Sculpture Gallery, housed in the Albertinum, a sandstone-clad Renaissance Revival building in Dresden’s historic centre. Here are works by the great Rodin, as well as artists from the GDR such as Wieland Förster, Neo-Classicists like sculptor Ernst Rietschel, and other gems from classical antiquity, and the Middle Ages to the present day.

Dinner in a Local restaurant

Albertinum, Sculpture Gallery, Dresden
G. E. Lessing, Albertinum Dresden

Day 4 / Sunday 26 March

Green Vault and Historic Green Vault at the Residenzschloss

One of the richest collections of decorative arts in the world, these vaults contain a dazzling display of objects from the late Renaissance and Rococo periods. Among their priceless treasures: the exquisite Court of Delhi on the Birthday of the Great Moghul, an astonishing recreation in gold, silver, emeralds, rubies, pearls and 5,000 diamonds with 137 enamelled and gilded figures; and virtually the entire Saxon crown jewels, including the Sapphire Set and the Cornelian Set made by Dinglinger's workshops for Augustus the Strong.

Light Lunch in a Local restaurant

Bath of Diana, Johan Melchior Dinglinger, Historic Green Vault
Johann Melchior Dinglinger, Ceremonial Cup of Augustus the Strong, c 1700
Pretiosensaal in the Historic Green Vault in Dresden

Gardens of Pillnitz Palace

After lunch, we will transfer by coach to Pillnitz for a tour of the extensive Gardens of Pillnitz Palace, with their spectacular greenhouses designed in Chinese style.

We will return to Dresden by paddle steamer, taking coffee and cake on board, as we admire the beautiful landscape of the Elbe River Valley (including 3 palaces and the Blue Wonder Suspension Bridge)

Dinner at Coselpalais Restaurant

Pillnitz Castle,   Upper Palace  c1723
Pillnitz Castle, Water Palace

Day 5 / Monday 27 March


After breakfast, we will travel by coach to Meissen, Saxony’s oldest town, legendary for its exquisite, world-renowned porcelain. Trace the story of porcelain (once a closely-guarded secret) from Böttger’s brown stoneware, the cobalt blue onion design, the Indian décor, to the Full Green Vine garland and Count Brühl’s 2,200-piece Swan Service.

Meissen, View from Dome
Clock with birds, Meissen porcelain by Johann Joachim Kaendler, c.1746

Meissen Cathedral

After a short walking tour of Meissen’s narrow cobblestone streets, we will visit Meissen Cathedral, one of Germany's finest Gothic buildings.

Lunch in a Local restaurant

Meissen, Cathedral
Meissen Cathedral

Albrechtsburg Castle

Finally, we will explore the breathtaking Albrechtsburg Castle, high on the Burgberg (Castle Hill)

Albrechtsburg Meissen

Home travel

By private coach to Berlin Tegel airport

British Airways

Arrival at London Heathrow airport