A journey through Dresden with Monika Hildebrand

The Dresden-born actress, Monika Hildebrand, has lived outside the area only once for any length of time. That was when she went to Berlin to pursue her theatrical studies. Since her return, she has performed on almost every stage in her native city. Certain locations have been very close to her heart over the years. Monika Hildebrand takes Dresden Magazine on a very personal tour of Dresden

My favourite place in Dresden is Schillerplatz, a square with cafes and shops whose owners I have known for ages, and with imposing 19th-century buildings. It has beautiful gas lanterns, which you won’t find anywhere else in the city, and a small market. In summer, I like to sit with my family under the old chestnut trees in the Schillergarten restaurant or in the beer garden and enjoy the view across the Elbe to the hills on the other side.

The beer garden near the Blue Wonder bridge is one of the most popular places in the city in summer © Sven Döring

Terrace at Lingnerschloss

When I have visitors, I like to take them over the famous Blue Wonder bridge to Körnerplatz, a square on the right bank of the river. If you continue along Schillerstrasse, you reach Schloss Albrechtsberg, Lingnerschloss and Schloss Eckberg. Millions of daisies bloom in the grounds of these three palaces. From the terrace of the Lingnerschloss, you have a wonderful view over the whole city, and if the weather is good, you can even see as far as Saxon Switzerland.


On the other side of the Elbe, there is a small woodland park, right next to the university hospital. I especially like it in the spring, when the first leaves start to come out. Our family used to live in a beautiful old villa in the Goetheallee, one of the most beautiful streets in Dresden. From there, we only had to take the first right turn and we were already in Waldpark. I often cycled in the park with my grandchildren, and when it snowed, we would go sledging.

Pillnitz Park

From Kleinzschachwitz, you can take a ferry across to Pillnitz. The view from the boat is unbeatable. When you get off, you are immediately in Pillnitz Park. The trees there are incredibly old and big, a fairy-tale setting. It reminds me of Hansel and Gretel every time. The 250-year-old camellia, which blossoms with countless pink flowers in the spring, makes every visit worthwhile.

View of Pillnitz Park with the castle in the background © Antje Heinze

Am Anger in Kötzschenbroda (Radebeul)

A little further down the river is Kötzschenbroda, where there is an idyllic narrow street called Am Anger. On the left and the right are neat little shops behind colourful facades, cafes and restaurants with very inviting flower-decked courtyards. They have the most convivial wine festival in the whole region and the prettiest Christmas market. Several years ago, I helped a friend to look for premises here because she wanted to start a business. The smallest of the shops was empty at that time. Today, she sells fashion and accessories there.

The historical town center of Altkötzschenbroda © Ina Dorn

Semperoper, Schauspielhaus

I enjoy going to the Semperoper and to our main theatre, the Schauspielhaus. I love concerts and ballet performances. What’s more, I always find the architecture impressive. I often set off early so I can take a short detour through the grounds of the Zwinger. There is a small café on Theaterplatz called Schinkelwache where I meet up with friends before or after a performance. We drink hot chocolate and talk about the performance, because that is after all the most important part of the evening.

View from the Hofkirche. From left to right: the Sempergalerie, the Semperoper and the Marienbrücke © Frank Exß

Monika Hildebrand has appeared on the stage of almost all the theatres in Dresden and has starred in many cinema and TV productions. Born in Dresden in 1941. Hildebrand studied acting at the Filmhochschule in Potsdam-Babelsberg. In May, she can be seen in a production at the Boulevardtheater Dresden. In a short film for the Dresden Marketing GmbH (DMG) she reads a self-written love letter to her home town.

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