The capital of the Free State of Saxony is situated in the heart of the idyllic Elbe Valley. The city of Dresden, which is famous mainly for its baroque Old Town with the Semper Opera House, the Zwinger and the reconstructed Frauenkirche ("Church of Our Lady"), attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists every year. But not only the world famous sights make the city attractive for visitors of every age but also its variety of cultural and art events. For the young and the young at heart, the trendy New Town district with its almost indefinite number of pubs, bars and music events is the place to be at night.

In 2004, the sprint events of the World Cup finals were held in the "Grosser Garten" city park and at the slope of the Elbe castles. The north of Dresden is covered by the "Dresdner Heide" - a forest which is in parts strongly formed by decades of military use and which was the competition area of the middle distance events during the World Cup finals in 2004.

Saxon Switzerland

Following the upper Elbe Valley from Dresden - the Gate to Saxon Switzerland - passing Pillnitz Castle and Königstein Fortress, one reaches the Elbe Sandstone Mountains in less than an hour. The landmarks of this mountain range are the steep sandstone rocks overlooking the Elbe, which made the national park a mecca for sporty climbers and hikers. But also those who are looking for peace and rest will find their ideal place in one of the spas of Saxon Switzerland.

Already for the World Cup finals in 2004, the steep slopes and rock labyrinths all around the village of Cunnersdorf were used as competition area for the long distance and relay events. Thus it is a worthy place for the supreme discipline of the JEC 2009 to find the successors to the then winners Simone Niggli-Luder and Holger Hott Johansen. As for the relay races, only three perfect races in physically highly demanding terrain will allow teams to follow in the footsteps of the Swedish men and women who won the team events in 2004.