Both Plazas, like many such city squares, were established in 1875 during Germany’s founding period. During this time Johannstadt, within a matter of decades, grew to become one of Dresden’s most populous quarters. Sachsen Plaza with its former hunter’s barracks, monumental buildings and war memorials offered a striking focal point at the head of the recently finished Albert Bridge. Today only the courthouse, hidden behind apartment buildings until 1945, remains. Along with the 1970’s era housing complex across the street, it also marks the plaza’s western border.
Neighboring Güntz Plaza is dominated by Johannstadt’s Town Hall, dedicated in 1914 and designed by Hans Erlwein. Behind its meticulously refurbished façade sits the main branch of the East Saxony Sparkasse, a bank. The street as well as the plaza were named for the lawyer, newspaper publisher and philanthropist Justus Friedrich Güntz (1801-1875), who today lies in the nearby Elijah Cemetery. It is also here that the ground-breaking ceremony for the horse tramway to Blasewitz took place. Both plazas were then as now traffic hubs for the intersecting streets, tramlines and the Albert Bridge.