Saxony may be the birthplace of porcelain in Europe, but its cities along the Elbe River are also gems. Tourists can travel by boat, stopping off in Meissen and Dresden for exhibitions about the glassware.
Dresden is famous the world over
While the Chinese were already masters in the material long before the eighteenth century, in the Elbe Region, the elector of Saxony, Augustus the Strong, sponsored efforts to discover the secret of porcelain production, which was finally accomplished in 1710.
One of the many porcelain gems on show in Meissen
This year sees Meissen - a city of 30,000 people on the Elbe River located 25 kilometers (16 miles) northwest of Dresden - celebrating three centuries of porcelain production with a series of special exhibitions. The shows focus on the creative input of other countries and cultures in the local porcelain industry.
The mighty Albrechtsburg - the Late Gothic castle - dominates Meissen's skyline, and was home to Europe's first porcelain factory, which produced fine china for some 150 years.
A porcelain eagle, in the Meissen show, commissioned by the US embassy
For visitors who wish to explore the rest of the region, a trip on one of the world's oldest fleets of paddle-steamers may be just the ticket. One route travels along the Elbe River to provide a magnificent view of Dresden's historic center. The city of Dresden is also playing host to an exhibition titled "Triumph of the Blue Swords," with over 800 porcelain items from across the globe on display.
Editor: Louisa Schaefer