Dresden is one of the great Baroque cities of Europe and a terrific destination for a day trip from Berlin. The reconstructed Frauenkirche, the Church of Our Lady, has become a symbol of peace that resonates across Europe; the museums are world-class. All the sights are located in the small but gorgeously restored historic town center. We will provide the context necessary to appreciate the city's art and architecture and give you time to explore a museum of your choosing. But Dresden isn't just palaces and churches: we won't shy away from a discussion of Dresden's utter destruction in the Second World War and the moral implications of the fire-bombing, nor will we ignore the Communist period and the city's troubling politics today. Come along on a story featuring a cast of characters that, along with Kurt Vonnegut Jr . and Vladimir Putin, include a king who is reputed to have sired 318 children, a con artist who dabbled in alchemy and discovered the secret of the "white gold."