Dresden’s Royal Palace was once the hub of power for the Saxon princes and kings. First mentioned in the 14th century as a castle complex, the four-wing palace structure was developed in the 15th century. After it was destroyed by fire in 1701, the palace was reconstructed under Augustus the Strong. After air attacks during the last few months of the Second World War, the palace – with its approximately 500 halls and rooms – once again burned down to its foundations. Most of the valuable interior furnishings were lost.
In 1985, reconstruction began on the palace to create a museum complex for the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (Dresden State Art Collections). The first museum to move into the Royal Palace was the Kupferstich-Kabinett (Collection of Prints, Drawings and Photographs); it has been displaying its treasures there since April 2004. The New Green Vault was opened in September 2004. Since September 2006, the Historic Green Vault can once again be admired in its original rooms. Today, the exterior of the Royal Palace is decorated in Neorenaissance style, while the large courtyard of the palace displays Renaissance-style sgraffito paintings. The Hausmann Tower overlooks the whole ensemble, offering a wonderful view of the Old Town.
Starting in 2010, after five years of construction, the English Stairway in the Dresden Royal Palace is once again accessible. The Baroque stairway was reconstructed at a cost of four million euros, following its original historic pattern. In the future, it will serve as the main entrance for the museums of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen. The Türckische Cammer (Turkish Chamber) was also opened in March 2010, containing countless small treasures that were not open to the public for more than seventy years. The renovation of the Palace is completed since 2013.