With the Hofkirche (cathedral) to the north-east and Semperoper (opera by architect Gottfried Semper) to the west, the Zwinger is part of Theaterplatz (Theater Square). The Zwinger consists of six pavilions connected by galleries. The two main ones are the Wallpavillon, decorated with baroque sculptures and surmounted by a statue of Hercules, and the Glockenspielpavillon which contains a porcelain chime of Meissen installed between 1924 and 1936. The entry is made by the Kronentor (door of the crown), to the west, surmounted by a bulbous dome adorned with gilding. The site is closed to the north, along the Elbe, by the Sempergalerie, Renaissance style, which houses the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister. It was built in the nineteenth century by the architect Gottfried Semper. At the time of Auguste le Fort there was nothing at this site.
North of the Zwinger is a small building called Italienisches Dörfchen ("Little Italian Village"), with restaurants and cafés. The name comes from an old inn with Italian workers' housing working on Gottfried Semper's opera Semperoper. © Photo of Emmanuel Buchot
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