Dresden is the capital city of the Free State of Saxony in Germany. It is situated in a valley on the River Elbe, near the Czech border. The Dresden conurbation is part of the Saxon Triangle metropolitan area. Dresden has a long history as the capital and royal residence for the Electors and Kings of Saxony, who for centuries furnished the city with cultural and artistic splendour. The city was known as the Jewel Box, because of its baroque and rococo city centre. Eleven square kilometres of the city centre was completely destroyed by the controversial Allied aerial bombing towards the end of World War II. The impact of the bombing and 40 years of urban development during the East German socialist era have considerably changed the face of the city.