Newly obtained high resolution optical images of the prototypical luminous radio galaxy Cygnus A (3C 405) indicate an inhomogeneous distribution of obscuring dust and - in combination with previous data — three types of radiation (stellar and blue featureless continuum as well as luminous line emission) in its central regions. The galaxy should not be classified as a colliding pair of galaxies, neither as a dust-lane galaxy. The alleged double nucleus finds its origin in heavy obscuration coupled to excess line emission in the central regions of an otherwise normal giant elliptical galaxy. A strongly reddened nuclear component, corresponding with the Cygnus A radio core, is found to emit faint but concentrated narrow line emission. All data appear consistent with identification of Cygnus A as a radio-loud quasar having its radio axis oriented at about 35° from the sky plane. The presumed dust torus obscuring the quasar continuum is inferred to be smaller than 800 parsecs. A more elaborate description of this work is found in Vestergaard and Barthel (1993) which also contains plates of the images mentioned.