This year celebrates 850 years of wine producing in Saxony.

Dresden, the capital of Saxony, was known as the Florence of the north in the 18th century when it was a centre of artistic activity producing many of the city’s iconic buildings, including the Zwinger, the Frauenkirche and the Hofkirche. The city was notoriously flattened by the Allied fire-bombing in February1945, but its buildings have been lovingly and carefully resurrected, making it a picturesque and inspiring destination.

2011 is a great year to visit, with Saxony celebrating 850 years of wine-growing, which was first recorded in 1161, throughout the year. Highpoints include the tasting of new wine from the two wine-growing areas of Saxony and Saale-Unstrut on the 15th of April 2011, a cross-regional wine-and-hike day at the beginning of May and the annual ‘wine-growing estates’ open days’ on the 27th and 28th of August.

You can find inexpensive direct flights to Dresden from London Heathrow. Visit lastminute.com where you’ll find Lufthansa and Air Berlin flights from around €120, depending on departure dates.

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