GHDI logo
German History in Documents and Images
return to system

Disastrous Flooding in Dresden (1890)
The waterway otherwise known as Friedrichstraße in Dresden is pictured in this photograph taken during the catastrophic flooding of the Elbe River in 1890. Because of the city’s Baroque riches and the river that wound through its central core, Dresden was known as “Florence on the Elbe.” But when such flooding occurs – it has continued in the twenty-first century – Dresden is perhaps better named “Venice on the Elbe.” Germans have been struggling for centuries, with mixed success, to straighten rivers, drain swamps, build artificial harbors, and “tame” the natural environment.