The 18th- and 19th-century cultural landscape of Dresden Elbe Valley extends some 18 km along the river from Übigau Palace and Ostragehege fields in the north-west to the Pillnitz Palace and the Elbe River Island in the south-east. It features low meadows, and is crowned by the Pillnitz Palace and the centre of Dresden with its numerous monuments and parks from the 16th to 20th centuries. The landscape also features 19th- and 20th-century suburban villas and gardens and valuable natural features. Some terraced slopes along the river are still used for viticulture and some old villages have retained their historic structure and elements from the industrial revolution, notably the 147-m Blue Wonder steel bridge (1891–93), the single-rail suspension cable railway (1898–1901), and the funicular (1894–95). The passenger steamships (the oldest from 1879) and shipyard (c. 1900) are still in use.
Justification for Inscription
Criterion (ii): The Dresden Elbe Valley has been the crossroads in Europe, in culture, science and technology. Its art collections, architecture, gardens, and landscape features have been an important reference for Central European developments in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Criterion (iii): The Dresden Elbe Valley contains exceptional testimonies of court architecture and festivities, as well as renowned examples of middle-class architecture and industrial heritage representing European urban development into the modern industrial era.
Criterion (iv): The Dresden Elbe Valley is an outstanding cultural landscape, an ensemble that integrates the celebrated baroque setting and suburban garden city into an artistic whole within the river valley.
Criterion (v): The Dresden Elbe Valley is an outstanding example of land use, representing an exceptional development of a major Central-European city. The value of this cultural landscape has long been recognized, but it is now under new pressures for change.