Dresden is the capital city of the Free State of Saxony and was founded in 1206. Over the years Dresden as a ducal residence city evolved into a centre of political and cultural life. August the Strong bestowed the cultural charm on the Saxon baroque town. In the 19th century the city became the Capital of one of the most influential kingdoms of the German Empire and after World War I it became the state capital of Saxony in 1918. Dresden is on of the most environmentally friendly metropolises in Europe due to its former Unesco World Heritage status. Dresden gained international reputation as a centre for art and culture. Precious art collections and outstanding buildings from different eras can be found here. Amongst the most significant buildings are the Church of our Lady – a symbol for peace – the Semperoper, the Zwinger Palace and the Church of the Holy Cross which is the main protestant church at the Altmarkt. Besides numerous museums, technical and modern buildings, famous bridges and theatres the surrounding area also has to offer many sights, for example Moritzburg Castle, the city of Meißen and the Saxon Switzerland. Not to forget the delicate Saxon cuisine and the famous Dresdner Stollen. Dresden with its airport and its excellent infrastructure is one of the most important crossroads in eastern Germany.