Meissen's skyline is dominated by Albrechtsburg, a late Gothic castle, and Meissen Cathedral dating to 1260. Towering above the Elbe River in eastern Germany, the majestic structures stand as sentinels over the city; each offers a preview of the historic grandeur to be discovered there.
Established by early Slavic settlers, the city of 30,000 is located on both sides of the river about 16 miles northwest of Dresden. The city market square is at the heart of the historic area. Restaurants and businesses, housed in colorful Renaissance-era buildings, line the square.
Located at the foot of castle hill, the square also showcases Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady) dating to 1205. Its 187-foot tower looms over the square and features the first-ever porcelain carillon installed in 1929 to celebrate the city's 1,000-year-jubilee. Narrow streets lead away from the square. This is a perfect area to stroll and enjoy medieval architecture and streetscapes.
You'll visit Meissen on most Elbe River cruises. If the water levels are too low (which does happen frequently on Elbe sailings), the line will take you there by bus.