Dresden: The heart of Silicon Saxony

One of Europe’s most elegant baroque capitals has put new shine on the Semper Oper and a cluster of museums and castles along the Elbe River.

City profile

The capital of Saxony has managed to stay largely free of the dour economic malaise that has struck the rest of east Germany after reunification, and its local universities are one of the major reasons. Major chip companies like AMD and Infineon have set up plants in Dresden as has the electronics firm ZMD, and all work closely with the Technical University Dresden, one of the country’s most prestigious. The city is also home to Volkswagen’s design wonder, the Glass Factory, and a host of automotive sub contractors. But not all is scientific progress. Dresden’s centuries- old reputation as an artistic hub is supported by a dance, visual arts and musical college well-respected across the country.

Overview of the universities

Technical University Dresden
The university is Dresden’s best and one among the best-known in Germany. It was recently the only eastern German university recognized as part of the government’s excellence initiative. Most known for its engineering - both mechanical and electrical – the university is also building up a formidable computer science department and benefiting from the proximity to major chip manufacturers like Infineon and AMD.


University of Visual Arts, Dresden
Initially founded in the 18th century, the hochschule is one of the oldest of its kind in Germany. It has counted Giovanni Casanova (the painter, not the rakish scoundrel) and painter Caspar David Friedrich as its professors, and the famous 20th century illustrator, Georg Grosz among its matriculated students. Of its four majors, “Art Technology, Conservation and Restoration” is one of the country’s oldest and most renowned.


University of Applied Sciences
Among the younger of Dresden's institutions of higher learning, the University of Applied Sciences has played catch up in recent years - thanks to Dresden's reputation as a science hub. Saxony's mittelstand (or mid-sized companies) benefit the most from access to the university's good crop of IT, electrical engineering and engineering graduates.

The university's Center for Applied Research and Technology cooperates with local and international companies and research institutes in such areas as transportation infrastructure, nano electronics and engineering. The University also offers cartography and landscaping as majors.


Did you know?

The city of Dresden is located in what was once called the Valley of the Clueless.  The city's position in a valley meant that it rarely received West German television signals.

Dresden was once known as "Florence on the Elbe." 

Things to check out

Pillnitz Castle - Sample royal sumptuousness at the royal summer palace in Pillnitz, in the east of the city, and see what happens when you cross Baroque architecture with 18th century Europe’s obsession with China. 

The Green Vault – View 18th century bling thanks to August the Strong, whose 4,000 piece treasure collection includes a diamond-encrusted sword and a 41-carat green diamond.

Useful links

The Dresden city site is available in English and can provide further information.

The Technical University Dresden has a comprehensive website including a “Services” section in English, that includes tips on housing.

To search available flats and apartments in Dresden go to immopool.de and click on Sachsen.