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Saxony (Sachsen)

The state of Saxony (Sachsen) lies in the eastern part of Germany. It is bordered by the German states of Brandenburg, Saxony-Anhalt (Sachsen-Anhalt), Thuringia (Thüringen), and Bavaria (Bayern), as well as the Czech Republic and Poland. Established in 1990 after the German Reunification, it is one of Germany's newest states.

Saxony is a popular tourist destination for those looking for sports and recreation. It is characterized by flat lands, river valleys, forests, hilly countrysides, as well as the Ore mountain range (Erzgebirge), which creates a natural border between Saxony and the Czech Republic.

Between the cities of Chemnitz and Leipzig is a region known as Saxony's castle and heathland region. Here along a 100-km stretch of river are 140 magnificent castles, some dating back to the beginning of the 14th century.

Culinary Specialties of Saxony

Cooking in the German state of Saxony (Sachsen) is a melting pot of the cooking traditions of the numerous regions that make up the state:  Ore Mountain region (Erzgebirge), Lusatia (Lausitz), Saxon Switzerland (Sächsische Schweiz), Elbauen, Vogtland, etc.  Meals are hearty with a variety of sauces, creative, trendy, and diverse.

The cooking here is also influenced by its history. In the flourishing cities of Dresden and Leipzig, recipes have been influenced by access to luxurious and extravagant ingredients. Likewise, in the Ore Mountain region (Erzgebirge), historically a very poor region, residents had to make due with basic, inexpensive ingredients, such as potatoes, quark, and flax seed. As a result, a great variety of foods and dishes are considered Saxon.

A very important tradition in Saxony is coffee and cake. It was in Leipzig that the first coffee bar in Germany was opened. The Saxons were the first in Germany to add cake to their coffee drinking - a tradition that has spread throughout Germany and has become part of its culture. Also found in Saxony is a great variety of cakes, pastries, and baked goods.

Saxony has a huge beer tradition. The most well known beers of the region are "Radeberger" and "Wernesgrüner." Many beers from the state are exported to countries around the world.

Popular foods and dishes in Saxony are listed below.

Noodles & Other Side Dishes
Griene Gliese (Potato Dumplings)

Buttermilchgetzen (Buttermilk Potato Pancakes)

Cakes, Breads, Pastries
Dresdner Stollen
Quarkkeulchen (Sweet Quark & Potato Dumplings)

Leipziger Gose (Beer)

Dresdner Stollen


Largest Cities

The five largest cities (in terms of population) of the state of Saxony are listed below.

Leipzig is located in Northwestern Saxony. It is Saxony's largest city, with a population of 506,000 (as of November 2006).

Leipzig is an important Trade Show city, a role that dates back to 1190AD. It also plays an important part in Germany's book printing and trade industry.

Leipzig is home to one of Germany's oldest university, as well as Germany's oldest music college.

Dresden is Saxony's capital city, as well as its second largest city. Its population, as of November 2006, is 504,000.

Dresden is the political and cultural center of Saxony.

With a population of 245,000 (as of December 2006), Chemnitz is Saxony's third largest city.

Chemnitz is named after the Chemnitz River, which flows through the city. Between 1953 and 1990, the city was known as "Karl Marx City."

Zwickau is Saxony's fourth largest city, with a population of 97,000 (as of September 2006).

With a population of 68,000 (as of June 2006), Plauen is Saxony's fifth largest city.

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