Dresden (etymologically from Old Sorbian Drež?any, meaning people of the riverside forest) is the capital city of the German Federal Free State of Saxony. It is situated in a valley on the River Elbe. The Dresden conurbation is part of the Saxon Triangle metropolitan area.
Dresden has a long history as the capital and royal residence for the Kings of Saxony, who for centuries furnished the city with cultural and artistic splendor. The controversial bombing of Dresden in World War II, plus 40 years in the Soviet bloc state of East Germany, changed the face of the city dramatically.
Since German reunification in 1990, Dresden has emerged as a cultural, political, and economic centre in the eastern part of Germany.