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Where is the original Amber Room located?

Over the long 75 years in history that the Amber Room has been listed as “missing,” thousands of people have sought to uncover its secret. There were those who considered the search for the “amber ghost” their life’s work, and there were even those who laid down their lives on the altar of the search. “Death under unclear circumstances” is the most common “diagnosis” of those who come closest to the solution. The fate of the most famous researcher, Georg Stein, was tragic. In 1987 he was found dead. The police said it was suicide. But Stein’s friends claimed that just before his death, the researcher said that he had finally come close to solving the mystery of the Amber Room – so what would have forced him to take his own life one step away from success? The method of suicide was also puzzling: it turned out that Stein first inflicted several wounds on himself (traces of them were found on his body), and then ripped open his stomach. Traces of the “eighth wonder of the world,” as the Amber Room was called, are lost in Königsberg (now Kaliningrad) in the spring of 1945. But how did it actually get to East Prussia and why did the Germans call the Russian miracle their national treasure?

History of the Amber Room

The Amber Room – this is the name given to the collection of decorative wall panels trimmed with amber – was created in the 10th century in Germany for King Frederick I, then it was presented to Peter I. The Amber Room became the main decoration of the palace of the Russian emperors under Elizabeth Petrovna. The Empress instructed Bartolomeo Rastrelli to place the gift from the Prussian king in the Winter Palace. This was not easy: the hall that was originally intended for the “room” was much smaller than the one where Elizabeth decided to place the panel. So, the architect had to complement the interior with new mosaic panels and mirrors. Ten years later, by 1755, Elizabeth had another idea: to move the Amber Room from the Winter Palace to a specially created state hall of the Catherine Palace in Tsarskoye Selo, which was done with the help of “76 guardsmen, strong men and neat men.” Over time, things made from the “sun stone” (as the Slavs called amber) began to accumulate in the Amber Room – hourglasses, snuffboxes, salt shakers, goblets, caskets, checkers, chess, ink utensils. In 1941, the Germans, having occupied Leningrad and its suburbs, captured the Amber Room and transported it to the Royal Castle in Konigsberg. In 1945, during the capture of Königsberg by the Red Army, she disappeared without a trace. Excavations of the ruins of the castle foundation to search for the Amber Room are still ongoing.

Four versions of the fate of the Amber Room

Researcher Georg Stein, summing up the results of many years of searching, formulated four main versions of the possible location of the Amber Room. Version one, “Königsberg”: Bernsteinzimmer remained in Königsberg or its environs.
Version two, “Sea”: The Amber Room sank along with the ship on which they tried to take it out of East Prussia.
Version three, “About the mines”: Bernsteinzimmer was safely transported (by sea or land) to Germany and hidden in the mines of Saxony.
Version four, “Overseas”: Arriving at one of the ports of Germany, the Amber Room was intercepted by the Americans and set off on an overseas voyage.

The Amber Room today

Despite the tragic fate of the original, connoisseurs of the great creation can still see it today. Since 2003, the Amber Room, as in previous times, appears in all its splendor to visitors of the restored Catherine’s palace in Pushkin: three walls 8 m high, the finishing of which took ten tons of the rarest natural material. To make this possible, it was necessary to revive both the interior itself and the “amber school” bit by bit. After all, practically nothing has been preserved from previous knowledge. It took modern craftsmen more than twenty years to complete the restoration work. About half of this time was spent only on preparation: the creation of a machine for processing amber, the search for suitable compositions of glue and dyes, the “invention” of technology used in the 1917th century and lost later. And today one can admire the unique palace hall doubly: both as a cultural heritage and as an example of the professionalism of modern restoration artists. They restored the appearance of the room’s decoration almost intuitively, using only a few black and white photographs from 1918-1997. and the memories of eyewitnesses. However, a fragment of a Florentine mosaic from the original room discovered in Germany in XNUMX confirmed that the craftsmen managed to recreate the previous appearance with amazing accuracy. Thanks to their talent, the Amber Room received a “second life.” From time to time, individual fragments of the amber room surface on the black market, but their fate remains unclear. Do you have any questions? Manager Alina
Knows the answer! 😉 For almost three centuries, the Amber Room has been a unique symbol of Russian-German relations. It was originally created in Prussia, then was donated to Russia, then stolen by the Nazis during the Great Patriotic War, and revived by Russian craftsmen. The history of the creation of the Amber Room The author of the original design of the Amber Room is considered to be Andreas Schlüter, who since 1699 served as the chief architect of the Prussian royal court. During the process of rebuilding the Grand Royal Palace in Berlin, he decided to use amber for interior decoration, which had never been used for this purpose before. The implementation of the original plan was facilitated by the royal collection of amber, which included three richly ornamented amber frames with mirrors. To work with amber, Schlüter invited the Dane Wolfram, the court master of the Danish king, but he only managed to complete the plan halfway, since Schlüter was removed from business and the Swede von Goethe, whose relationship with amber did not work out, was appointed court architect of the Prussian king. Wolfram was also given his resignation. Soon, Friedrich Wilhelm was struck by a new idea – to create an amber cabinet in Charlottenburg Castle, but even there the matter was not completed due to the death of the king. His successor, Friedrich Wilhelm I, found the amber cabinet unnecessary. All the parts were collected and taken to the Berlin workshop. Perhaps the amber creation would have been consigned to oblivion if rumors about the unusual cabinet had not reached Peter I. The Russian reformer Tsar at all costs wanted to get an amber cabinet for the Kunstkamera. Amber room in Russia In 1716, Frederick William I presented Amber as a diplomatic gift. room to Peter I. And not only the amber cabinet, but in addition to it also the yacht “Liburnika”. The reciprocal gift to the Prussian king was 55 Russian grenadiers and a cup of his own making. The amber cabinet was transported to St. Petersburg in boxes on eighteen carts through Konigsberg, Memel and Riga. In the new Russian capital, Governor Alexander Danilovich Menshikov accepted the valuable cargo. History has not preserved documents about how and why many details were missing in the boxes unpacked by Menshikov according to the instructions attached to the cargo, but the fact remains that during Peter’s lifetime the amber cabinet was never installed. The amber panels lay unclaimed for quite a long time in the human chambers of Peter’s Summer Palace, until his daughter Elizabeth, who ascended to the Russian throne, remembered them. She decided to use the amber cabinet to decorate one of the chambers of the Winter Palace – her official residence. Its construction was undertaken by chief architect Bartholomew Rastrelli, who made up for the lack of amber details with mirror pilasters and painted panels “like amber” and placed the Amber Room in the Catherine Palace of Tsarskoe Selo. The room was located on an area of ​​100 square meters, and 40 square meters of amber were placed among the mirrors. The interior was decorated with marble Florentine mosaics. Unexpectedly, in 1745, some of the missing decorative details were found – the Prussian king presented Elizabeth Petrovna with the fourth frame of the amber cabinet, made according to the design of the Reich architect. The room assembled in this way began to serve as a place for official receptions from 1746. But nine years later, the Empress ordered the Amber Room to be moved to the Great Palace of Tsarskoye Selo, which was carried out. The Amber Room acquired its final appearance only in 1770, when, according to the will of Catherine II, some changes were made to the decoration of the room. The restoration of the cabinet was subsequently carried out five times. They intended to take the room seriously in 1941. During the Great Patriotic War, the Amber Room was not taken to the rear along with other most valuable exhibits due to the fragility of the parts. It was preserved by covering it with paper, gauze and cotton wool. But it was still not possible to save. The occupiers took her to Konigsberg. The stolen amber panels and doors were mounted in one of the halls of the Königsberg Castle and became the best decoration of the museum that worked there. During the retreat of the German troops, the room was dismantled and no later than April 6, 1945, taken to an unknown direction. Recovery Amber room At the end of the 1970s, the Council of Ministers of the RSFSR ordered the restoration of the Amber Room. In 1983, work began on the restoration of the Amber Room in Russia; by November 1996, it was approximately 40% completed. 40 specialists were employed in these works; Alexander Zhuravlev supervised the work. During this time, the federal budget was able to transfer a total of slightly more than $7 million to the museum, and the money arrived very irregularly. On September 6, 1999, in Tsarskoye Selo, an agreement was signed between the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation and the German concern Ruhrgas on the allocation of $3,5 million for the restoration of the Amber Room. On April 29, 2000, in the Catherine Court of Tsarskoe Selo, German Minister of Cultural Affairs Michael Naumann handed over the acting. President of the Russian Federation V.V. To Putin, a fragment of the original Amber Room. Two fragments of the room, discovered in Germany, returned to Russia – the Florentine mosaic “Smell and Touch,” one of four made in 1787 by order of Catherine, and an amber chest of drawers, made in 1711 by Berlin artisans and which occupied one of the central places in the furniture Amber room. In 1997, German authorities confiscated this mosaic from a certain notary, to whom it was given for temporary storage by a German officer who participated in the removal of the Amber Room from Tsarskoe Selo. The notary tried to sell it, but he was put on trial, and the ownership of the mosaic was recognized as his daughter. She renounced her claims to the amber panel, transferring all rights to it to the city of Bremen, which transferred it to the Tsarskoe Selo museum-reserve. As a result, the restorers ended up with two identical paintings. One of them was restored from Ural stone, the other, authentic, returned from Germany. When comparing two mosaics – the found original and the copy made by restorers – only minor discrepancies were revealed. Masters from the Tsarskoye Selo amber workshop were able to practically recreate the school of Florentine mosaic artists of the XNUMXth century. In February 2002, the next stage of reconstruction of the Amber Room was completed in Tsarskoe Selo: two large amber panels were installed on the southern wall of the main hall in the Catherine Palace. A painting of colored stones, “Touch and Smell,” made using the Florentine mosaic technique, was mounted in the central amber frame. By May 13, 2003, work on the restoration of the Amber Room in the Catherine Palace was completed and accepted from Tsarskoe Selo restorers by the Russian-German expert council with an “excellent” rating. The masters who restored the Amber Room are Alexander Krylov, Alexander Zhuravlev, Boris Igdalov. The keeper of the room was the restoration artist Alexander Krylov. Official opening The Amber Room took place on May 31, 2003, on the final day of the main celebrations in honor of the 300th anniversary of St. Petersburg. On this day, Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and all participants of the European Summit, which gathered in the anniversary St. Petersburg, arrived at the Catherine Palace. On June 3, 2003, everyone came to the Catherine Palace. The height of the Amber Room is 7 meters, floor area – 100 sq. meters, cladding three walls amber – 86 sq. meters. The restoration of the Amber Room lasted 23 years and the following was spent on it: – 11 million dollars, including 35 million from the Russian budget and 7,85 million from the funds of the German company RuhrgasAG; – 6 tons of amber, including waste, which amounted to 80% – to restore the Amber Room, stone was used from the Kaliningrad deposit, which contains 95% of the world’s amber reserves; – the largest nugget used in the work weighed one kilogram. It was bought from a Moscow collector for a thousand dollars. The material was prepared based on information from open sources

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