How to discover a gem?
Pirna is a small German town, located between Dresden and Kurort Rathen. Although the name of the city may suggest a Slavic country, I guarantee you that this town is entirety located in Germany. 😀 It doesn’t mean, that its inhabitants don’t have Slavic ancestors, who inhabited the nearby areas. Why am I writing about it? Because the name of the city inspired me to explore its secrets. I remember when I was going to Saxony-Switzerland for the first time and my S-Bahn stopped at the Pirna stop. As soon as I got back to my room, I immediately checked in internet what’s behind the name of Pirna. I was right! This slavic sounding town was full of lovely sights! So look what I’ve discovered!
How to get to Pirna?
In my case the journey was fast and easy. I was traveling by Deutsche Bahn train from Leipzig. I had to change in Dresden to S-Bahn in direction to Bad Schandau/Schona. I was traveling within Sachsen Ticket – here you can read how those tickets works!
The old one
The city’s history is already confirmed by its name, given by the Slavic peoples. Although the beginnings of settlement in this place reach even several thousand years ago, the official name of the city appeared on the pages of history for the first time in the 13th century. The development of the city is also an interesting issue. Pirna owes its existence to the Elbe, which turned out to be a convenient crossing point in this place. Elbe above our town has the character of a mountain river through which the river was not navigable. There was also no possibility of land travel along the Elbe, thanks to which Pirna gained a very important meaning as a place to cross the river and reload goods floated further down the Elbe. This role of the city is still readable in its plan, in which one of the streets is twice as wide as the others and it actually serves as the main communication axis, leading to the ferry crossing through the Elbe.
When I entered the historic part of the city, I immediately had noticed problematic issues related mainly to the eastern part of Germany. On the one hand, I deal with massive, but colorful tenements, whose splendor has long time ago passed away. (Such a little bit like socialism, only colorful) 😀. On the other hand, you can see that the city authorities are trying to renovate the city, but they can not afford for comprehensive repairs. However, don’t be discouraged by these slight negligence! This Renaissance city is a real time vehicle that will take you to the another epoch. The best place to travel in time is the Market Square. There is a magnificent Town Hall, which dates back to the 16th century. Surrounded by
colorful houses it looks really amazing!
Along colorful streets
Pirna is one of those cities that you just have to walk around to discover its beauty. There are several monuments worth your attention like, i.e. the Renaissance Town Hall, the Dominican Church from the 14th century or the 15th-century St. Mary’s Church. However, you only need 20- 30 min to see all this buildings and you won’t enjoy the town in right way! Personally, I really like this type of city, because I usually visit them without a map, digging into various corners and alleys. You’ll probably think that Pirna doesn’t offer anything special… In some way it’s true, but for me, it has a beautiful and colorful architecture that I trully adore! Besides, there are not many tourists here, so those who want to take a break from the city noise, will certainly experience peace here! 🙂
Be sure to go to the Sonnenstein Castle. I tried to take a picture of it from the square, but in the spring / summer it is so densely covered with trees that it’s hard to spot it from the city center. It was built in the 15th century on the site of an older, medieval castle. A rather harsh story is associated with it. From the beginning of 1940 to the end of June 1942, part of the castle was intended for the site of annihilation. The gas chamber and crematorium were installed in the basement. During this period, about 15,000 people were killed as a result of the T4 Action. People with disabilities were killed in it. After the end of World War II, the castle remained closed for a long time. In 1970 the castle was opened again and it was intended for a hospital for disabled people and in 1977 a rehabilitation center was established there. Since 2000, there is also a museum commemorating the participation of the castle in Action T4. I didn’t decide to go inside. I only admired the beautiful views of Pirna and the surrounding area from this place.
I hope you enjoyed my content! That’s all what I’ve prepared for you. 🙂
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