Rain Dresden

There are many cities where, when it rains, you can struggle for things to do, but Dresden isn’t one of them. In fact, visitors to this German city might actually pray for rain, because it brings one of its most unusual attractions to life. 


What are the Kunsthofpassage Singing Drain Pipes?

The Kunsthofpassage Singing Drain Pipes form a unique installation of drain pipes attached to a blue-painted house in Dresden’s student district. 

The system, which is fully functional, is part of the Neustadt Kunsthoffpassage – Art Courtyards’. This is a group of five buildings each with its own theme. The Singing Drain Pipes form the Courtyard of Music, while other buildings create a Courtyard of Light, a Courtyard of Animals, a Courtyard of Metamorphosis and a Courtyard of Mythical Creatures.

Theatre performance

Who is behind the Kunsthofpassage Singing Drain Pipes?

The house’s residents, Sculptor Annette Paul and designers Christoph Roßner and André Tempel, are responsible for dreaming up this wonderful concept. The inspiration came from Annette’s time in rainy St. Petersburg, where the sound of rainfall reminded her of a theatrical performance.

Women in rain in dresden

What happens when it rains in Dresden?

When rain hits the rooftops of the courtyard, it falls to the ground through pipes fixed against the front façade of the house. Built into this network are funnels, trumpets, waterfalls and platforms of various sizes. As the water cascades through these mini-waterways, it creates its own music. 

The aluminium structure heightens and amplifies the sound and creates a magical experience in the rain. Take an umbrella and you can listen for ages without getting soaked. 

Since its inception in 1999, this curious attraction has drawn crowds from around the world. The five pretty courtyards are all charming and – for those wishing to stick around a little longer – there is plenty else to do.

Tourist dresden

What else is in Dresden’s Art Courtyard?

The Art Courtyards link two of Dresden’s neighbourhoods — Alaunstrasse 70 and Görlitzer Strasse 21 – 25 – and are among the city’s quirkiest attractions. On any day, rain or shine, you’ll be treated to diversity, colour and creativity. There are also plenty of boutiques selling handmade gifts, cafés serving organic food and galleries showcasing off-beat art. 

The stone-paved courtyard was originally established as an artists’ co-working and co-living space, and as a way to breathe new life into some of the city’s tired backstreets. Although a little difficult to find, the attraction is well worth a visit. 

The buildings are also designed to be interactive. Each installation tells its own story and you’re encouraged to interpret it. Feel the sounds of the singing drain pipes, interpret the Courtyard of Mythical Creatures’ detailed facades – and carefully observe the transformation of the Metamorphosis, complete with hanging sheets of paper. Whatever you take from it, there’s no doubt that Dresden’s Art Courtyard is an experience to remember.

Keen to check out other highlights of the city? Don’t miss Dresden’s top attractions.