Portal des Festspielhaus Hellerau mit einer Lichtinstallation von Claudia Wissmann, 2006, Foto: © Matthias Creutziger Hellerau garden city was built from 1909 on the northern outskirts of Dresden. The basic idea of this estate, which was modelled on English garden cities, was to create a reformist countermodel to urbanization and industrialization by fusing urban and rural life, housing and work, culture and education, in one and the same place. Handicrafts and art figured prominently in Hellerau from the outset. The furniture manufactured at the Deutsche Werkstätte (German Workshops) in Hellerau, for instance, was a milestone in the history of design. The Festspielhaus (festival hall) built by Heinrich Tessenow exerted a Europe-wide influence in the years before World War I. The house of publisher/translator Jakob Hegner became a hub of the German literary scene. The whole historical area is now a listed monument protected by a preservation order.

Das Festspielhaus Hellerau; Foto: Katja ZehrfeldIn recent years Hellerau has evolved into an attractive cultural centre in Dresden. The Festspielhaus now holds the Europäisches Zentrum der Künste (European Arts Centre), which presents innovative performances of contemporary music as well as dance projects and media art. The buildings of the Kulturstiftung des Freistaates Sachsen (Cultural Foundation of Saxony) are situated right on the grounds of the Festspielhaus. And there are good transport links to the centre of Dresden (about 20 minutes away by tram).

Translators are housed in an approximately 50-sq-m flat on the first floor of a summer house that was built in 1910 and completely renovated in 1996. The flat has a bedroom, a living room with balcony, a kitchen and bathroom. Use of the garden may be shared as well. It has an Internet connexion, and there is a photocopying machine in the foundation office that can also be used by translators. Dresden is a university town with a great many public libraries. The Saxon Regional and University Library, holding roughly 8.6 million items, is one of the biggest research libraries in Germany.

    Literature in Germany

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