As far back as historical records go, hunters and gatherers had always been attracted to the mild, fertile Elbe valley.
The Germanic tribes which had been settling in the region began to move westwards in the 6th century. They were followed by Slavs from Bohemia, who chose the valley to found the village Drezdany.
At the beginning of the 10th century, the German armies under King Heinrich I conquered the Slavonic lands between the rivers Saale and Elbe. The centre of their power was the castle of Meissen, which was founded in 929.
The German conquerors were followed two centuries later by German settlers, who soon came to dominate the Slavonic population.