The statue of August the Strong shimmers golden across the Elbe. The Golden Horseman stands on the Neustadt market and is one of the landmarks of Dresden.
The Neustädter Markt (Neustädter market) is in the inner New Town of Dresden. It is the intersection of Hauptstraße (Main Road), Augustusbrücke (Augustus Bridge), Köpckestraße and Meißner Straße.
The square probably existed before 1200 and formed the village square of a Slavic settlement. Since the end of the 18th century, the name Markplatz can be found in old documents. Since 1920, it bears the name Neustädter Markt.
Unfortunately, the development of this old square was destroyed several times. Most recently, the bombing of Dresden in the Second World War resulted in the complete destruction of the Neustädter Markt and the adjacent buildings.
In the course of the reconstruction of the inner Neustadt, the square was redesigned together with the main street into a pedestrian zone in the 1970s.
Since the end of March 2021, the square and the street layout with the GDR panel buildings, the green spaces and small architecture have been listed.
On a tour of the square, the two flagpoles immediately catch the eye. Heinrich Epler created the 20-meter-high bronze poles in 1893 in commemoration of a visit by Kaiser Wilhelm I. Very beautiful are the two relief paintings showing Wilhelm I and the Saxon King Albert. The benches and balustrades were made of Swedish granite.
Two sandstone nymph fountains from 1738-42 are also located on the Neustadt market. The artist Johann Benjamin Thomae depicted a nymph and a mythical creature respectively. Today, copies of the fountains stand in the square.
Reconstruction works of the inner New Town transformed this area into a pedestrianized zone. But what makes this square so special? It is home to a particularly impressive equestrian statue of King August the Strong. It is a statue created by Ludwig Wiedemann called “Goldener Reiter” (Golden Horseman).
It is the most famous work of art on the square and is now one of the landmarks of Dresden.
He began working on this piece of art in 1732 and it was inaugurated in 1736. The installation is made of copper and is beat gold-plated. It depicts King August the Strong in Roman armour. Augustus the Strong never saw the statue completed; he died before it was finished.
Fortunately, the statue was dismantled and safely stored during World War II.
It was thanks to that operation that the installation survived the destruction of the war.
The Golden Horseman was erected again for the 750th anniversary of the city of Dresden in 1956.