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Dresden is the capital city of the Free State of Saxony in Germany. It is situated in a valley on the River Elbe, near the Czech border. Dresden has a long history as the capital and royal residence for the Electors and Kings of Saxony, who for centuries furnished the city with cultural and artistic splendor. The city was known as the Jewel Box, because of its baroque and rococo city center.

During the 19th century the city became a major center of economy, including motor car production, food processing, banking and the manufacture of medical equipment. In the early 20th century Dresden was particularly well known for its camera works and its cigarette factories. Between 1918 and 1934 Dresden was capital of the first Free State of Saxony. Dresden was a center of European modern art until 1933.