The meadows that run past Johannstadt along the banks of the Elbe are deeply treasured today, as they always have been, by the people of Dresden. Since 1875, construction of any kind has been forbidden above the established high point of the river’s bank, a unique luxury in a German city the size of Dresden. Consequently, the meadows and the Elbe’s banks themselves have historically provided a popular place to spend the day, even serving as a seaplane station at one point. On the waterfront bicycle path people jog, walk, bike and skate (which can lead to the occasional conflict!). There are two playgrounds, a soccer field, a beer garden, a hill for sledding and a boathouse along the path. The remains of old fruit trees attest to the gardening plot that once stood too near the Elbe; the flooding of 2002 forced its gardener into early retirement. Parties and secretive barbecues are held here, the meadow is mown regularly, its hay baled, and the ferry garden was for a time home to an audacious beaver who built his home, leaving obvious tracks, directly on its grounds. A new water main connects here the Altstadt and Neustadt’s waste water systems. Then there are the ferries, which serve to connect the people of Johannstadt with those of the Neustadt on the bank’s other side. Upriver stands the Albert Bridge, recently renovated to feature double railings, and downriver the new Waldschlößchen Bridge: a greater point of contention would be hard to find in the history of civic construction.
Text: Quartiersmanagement Nördliche Johannstadt