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Meissen may well be a small town but, thanks to its porcelain, is as well known as the state capital Dresden and Leipzig, the trade-fair city. The Free State is one of the most dynamic economic regions in East Germany, in particular in IT; precision watch-making and car-making are typical of this new gearing, symbolized by the restored Frauenkirche in Dresden’s Baroque center. As in the past, Saxony’s culture is highly influential in the world of music, represented by the Semper opera house in Dresden and the 800-year old Thomaner Choir in Leipzig, where Johann Sebastian Bach was once a cantor. Is he the greatest Saxon ever? Bach at least has a serious rival – in the person of Richard Wagner.

Capital: Dresden
Population: 4,071,971
Surface area: 18,420 km2