The Free State of Saxony – German: Freistaat Sachsen is a state of Germany, located in the southeastern part of present-day Germany. It is the tenth-largest German state in area (18,413 km²) and the sixth most populous (4.3 million), of Germany’s sixteen states. Located in the historical heart of German-speaking Europe, the history of the state of Saxony spans more than a millennium. It has been a medieval duchy, an electorate of the Holy Roman Empire, a kingdom and, since 1918, a republic. The area of the modern state of Saxony should not be confused with Old Saxony, the area inhabited by Saxons. Old Saxony corresponds approximately to the modern German states of Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and the Westphalian part ofNorth Rhine-Westphalia.
Except for Dresden and perhaps Leipzig, Saxony is not known as a primary destination for foreign tourists. Areas along the border with the Czech Republic, such as the Lusatian Mountains, Ore Mountains, Saxon Switzerland, and Vogtland, attract significant visitors, largely Germans. Saxony has well preserved historic towns such as Meissen, Freiberg, Pirna, Bautzen, and Görlitz.
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