History of use

Where is the real Amber Room?

The Amber Room, located in the Tsarskoye Selo Catherine Palace, is considered the eighth wonder of the world, and this is true: the whole room is decorated with amber panels, precious stones and gold. It looks very impressive, so the room has been a must-visit place not only for the Tsarskoye Selo Nature Reserve, but also for St. Petersburg for many years. This miracle has a rather exciting history, worthy of the plot of an adventure novel – it is no less interesting than the attraction itself. We’ll tell you more about the creation of the Amber Room and its “adventures,” legends and secrets, as well as how to get to Tsarskoye Selo and on an excursion to the palace. Register and receive a 5% discount on any excursion By submitting the form, I agree to the Terms of Use of the site and consent to the processing of my personal data in accordance with the Personal Data Processing Policy

History of the Amber Room

What visitors see today is not the original, but a restored copy; the original was lost during the Great Patriotic War. But first things first.

Making the Amber Room

The amber panels are the work of Prussian craftsmen of the eighteenth century. By this time, their ability to process natural material had reached perfection, and all of Europe was talking about it: the electors willingly gave gifts of amber to representatives of other countries. The interior of “gold,” as the stone was called in those days, became an example of the highest craftsmanship. The finished Amber Cabinet was originally supposed to be a decoration for the palace of Queen Sophia-Charlotte of Prussia, but she died before the work was completed. It was decided to place the created beauty in the Oranienburg Palace, but after the death of King Frederick the First, his son Friedrich Wilhelm, who did not particularly like luxury, came to power. The amber decoration found a corner in the Berlin Castle, but not for long – in 1716 the young king presented the room to Peter the Great as a sign of a friendly alliance of countries.

Moving to Russia

The room “came” to Russia in 1717, but the emperor never got around to installing it. It was only during the reign of Peter’s daughter Elizabeth that the panels decorated the office in the Winter Palace, her official residence. In this room the Empress held receptions for important visitors. The cladding was carried out by the famous architect Rastrelli, who discovered a lack of some details. The resourceful master replaced them with mirrored pilasters in gilded frames – this is how the room acquired its own “zest”.

Tsarist times

In 1755, Empress Elizabeth gave the order to move the masterpiece to the Tsarskoye Selo Catherine Palace, but the chambers here were larger, and again the room was supplemented with original details: painted panels imitating amber mosaics, mosaic paintings made of jasper and agate, gilded carvings and other decorative elements. Until the revolution, the Amber Room was the pearl of the royal summer residence in Tsarskoe Selo, it was proudly shown to distinguished guests by Anna Ioannovna, Elizabeth the First, Catherine the Second and other royalty.

Mysterious disappearance

During the Great Patriotic War, German troops invading the USSR began mass looting and removal of cultural and historical valuables, and this fate did not spare the Amber Room. Museum workers, wanting to preserve a particularly valuable exhibit, protected the precious panels and panels from explosion and robbery as best they could: they pasted paper on top, covered it with cotton wool and gauze. But the Germans still managed to discover the valuables. The Nazis dismantled the found panels in 36 hours and took them to Königsberg (Kaliningrad), where they decorated the hall in the captured Royal Castle Museum with them, where they remained until the Nazis retreated. Some were exhibited as an exhibition, and some were stored separately, since there was less space here than in the hall of the Catherine Palace. In 1945, the Germans left the city, and the Amber Room disappeared with them, the search for which continues today. Scientists believe that it is securely hidden in the secret caches of the German troops.

Restoring a masterpiece

Restoration work began only in the 80s of the 20th century and lasted almost a quarter of a century. Thanks to the painstaking work of a whole team of craftsmen, today we can see the equivalent of luxurious royal chambers. First, the artists carefully studied historical data, old photographs, drawings and documents, scientific methods, honed stone processing techniques, and then brought the art to life. The magnificent result of their work can be seen today by guests of the palace.

Currently,

The restored Amber Room opened in 2003, in the anniversary year of the 300th anniversary of St. Petersburg.

Interesting facts about the Amber Room

  • In addition to the “Amber Cabinet,” as the room was called during the time of Peter the Great, the Prussian king presented the emperor with personal items: a mirror and a box. Today they are kept in the Hermitage.
  • From 1833 to 1933, the room was restored 4 times: the humid St. Petersburg climate had a bad effect on the capricious material.
  • The Amber Room is a unique masterpiece of art from the 18th century, which has no analogues in the world: no one undertakes to decorate rooms with amber because of its increased fragility and complex work.
  • The area of ​​the “amber” room is almost 100 square meters, the height is 7,8 meters.
  • To restore the interior, 6 tons of Kaliningrad amber were needed.
  • During the time of Catherine, 450 kilograms of natural material were spent on adding new details to the room.
  • Natural pieces of stone are usually not very large, but in the room there is one of the rare specimens weighing a kilogram, bought from a collector in the capital.
  • Restoration work was carried out by two states – Russia and Germany. The first country allocated eight million dollars from the budget, the second – about four.
  • There is a reasonable version that the removal of the Amber Room from Russia, like many other valuables, was planned long before the start of the war. German art historians even had a list, in which the famous interior topped the first line of treasures of Tsarskoe Selo.
  • According to one theory, the Amber Room was destroyed during the assault by Soviet troops on the Königsberg Royal Castle: a fire started there, in which the valuables were burned.
  • More fantastic versions of the disappearance insist that the work of art was taken to Europe or even America, or is still stored in European dungeons.

Opening hours, tickets and excursions to the Amber Room

The Catherine Palace is open every day except Tuesday. Opening hours: from ten in the morning to six in the evening, the ticket office closes at 16:45, entrance to the palace is until 17:00.

You can only get to the Amber Room with a guided tour. A visit to the attraction is included in group and combined excursions around Tsarskoe Selo and the Catherine Palace, during which you will see the main interesting places of the reserve, learn the history of the legendary interior, the palace and historical figures associated with it.

Depending on the program and the number of participants, excursions last 5-6 hours; there are also day tours that introduce you in detail to this amazing place. Group excursions are conducted by bus, individual excursions and for mini-groups by car.

Round-trip transfer, excursion services from the best guides and tickets to the Amber Room are included in the price of the tour, the price of an individual excursion is from 3790 rubles per person, a group excursion is from 2200 rubles.

Where is the Amber Room and how to get to it

GMZ Tsarskoye Selo is located 25 kilometers from the Northern capital, in the city of Pushkin. The palace is located at Sadovaya, 7.

You can get to the reserve in the following ways:

By train. Electric trains regularly run from the Vitebsky railway station and from the Kupchino railway station to the place; the desired station is Tsarskoye Selo. The walk from the station to the place will take half an hour, but if you want to reduce the time, take buses No. 385, 236, 382, ​​273, 381, 370, 380, 371, 378, 373, 376.

By bus or minibus. The required routes run from the Kupchino metro station – No. 342, 186, “Zvezdnaya” – No. 342, 186 and “Moskovskaya” – No. 299, 252 and 187.

By car. A self-guided trip will take approximately an hour, depending on traffic jams. Not far from the GMZ, at Oranzhereynaya, 1, there is paid parking for guests, the cost of parking is 100 rubles/hour, there is also free parking for visitors to the Alexander Garden.

Routes with a visit to the Amber Room

We offer the optimal route around Tsarskoe Selo, including visits to the key attractions of the complex:

  1. Pushkin museum
  2. Alexander Palace
  3. Alexandrovsky Park
  4. Chinese village
  5. Catherine Palace and Amber Room
  6. cameron gallery
  7. Catherine Park
  8. Pavilion “Grotto”
  9. Pavilion “Hermitage”
  10. Admiralty

The Amber Room disappeared at the end of the Great Patriotic War. 78 years have passed since then, but news about incredible finds associated with the room still continues to appear in the media, and new theories about its location are put forward.

From this article you will learn the history of the creation and disappearance of the Amber Room, how Kaliningrad is connected with it, and where you can see an exact copy of this masterpiece.

What is the Amber Room and who created it?

The Amber Room was first called the Amber Cabinet. This is a room in which the walls are decorated with panels, decorations and panels made of amber – one of the most famous interiors.

Having ascended the throne, King Frederick I of Prussia decided to rebuild the palace in Litzenburg for his wife and create the Amber Cabinet inside the building.

The author of the interior was the architect Johann Friedrich Nilsson Eosander von Goethe. The creation of mosaic panels began in 1701. Four years later the queen died. Work was stopped, Litzenburg Palace was never decorated with a unique interior.

Some of the finished panels were seen by Peter I during his trip to Berlin. The Emperor was delighted with their beauty and wanted to see this masterpiece in Russia.

The son of Frederick I and the next king of Prussia, Frederick William I, presented the Amber Cabinet to Peter I in honor of the conclusion of the alliance between Russia and Prussia. The panels were placed in boxes and carefully transported to St. Petersburg.

What was the Amber Room for?

Under Peter I, the Amber Cabinet remained in boxes. They remembered him when Elizaveta Petrovna ascended the throne.

First, the panels were installed in the Winter Palace. Then the architect Rastrelli transformed them, and the interior was moved to the Catherine Palace, located in Tsarskoe Selo.

Thus began a new two-century history of the Amber Cabinet.

The Amber Room became the venue for official receptions and the main decoration of the Catherine Palace. It was proudly shown to distinguished guests.

The hall continued to delight visitors after the revolution, when the palace became a museum.

The story of the disappearance of the Amber Room

A major restoration of the Amber Room was planned for 1941. But the plans were disrupted by the Great Patriotic War. The museum valuables of the Catherine Palace were evacuated to the rear, but among these things there was no Amber Room. Due to its fragility, they did not dare to dismantle and transport it, but simply preserved it. The mosaic panels were covered with paper, lined with cotton wool and gauze and covered with wooden shields.

In September 1941, the troops of Nazi Germany captured the Catherine Palace, took away the remaining valuables, including the room, and sent the panel to Königsberg for display in the Royal Castle Museum.

From April 1942 to August 1944, amber panels decorated one of the museum halls of the Royal Castle. The room was smaller in size than in Tsarskoe Selo, so only part of the panel was installed, and the “extra” parts were stored in the basements.

On the night of August 30, 1944, as a result of a raid by the Royal Air Force, a fire broke out in the castle, during which six basement panels melted, but the remaining parts were not damaged. They were packed and stored in the Order Hall of the castle, which was not damaged during the shelling of Koenigsberg. There they were kept until the end of the war.

During the assault on Königsberg by the Red Army in April 1945, the Amber Room disappeared without a trace. Until now, the further history of the interior remains unknown. This is an unsolved mystery of the XNUMXth century. According to one version, the room did not leave Kaliningrad all this time. There is information that the trace of the “eighth wonder of the world” is lost in Königsberg. This means that the panels can still be located on the territory of the Kaliningrad region.

Has the Amber Room been found now?

The real Amber Room has not yet been found. The mystery of the lost masterpiece has always attracted researchers. Hundreds of people searched for her, but the mystery of her disappearance remained unsolved. There are many theories about the location of the room. Here are the main ones:

Legend 1. The Amber Room burned down in the Royal Castle during a British air raid.

Legend 2. Mosaic panels are hidden in an unknown storage facility in Königsberg-Kaliningrad or its environs.

Legend 3. The masterpiece was taken from Königsberg, but the panels died during transportation. For example, they sank along with the ship carrying them.

Legend 4. The panels, under the guise of German museum trophies, were transported to Germany and given in payment of the Soviet Union’s debt to the United States for supplies under Lend-Lease.

Every year there are more and more versions, some of them continue to include Kaliningrad, the search for the “eighth wonder of the world” continues. New discoveries appear, documents are declassified. The enthusiasm of historians does not dry out; they continue to search and find new facts.

Recreating the Amber Room

At the end of the 70s in the USSR, it was decided to restore the Amber Room in the Catherine Palace. For this purpose, they created the Tsarskoye Selo Amber Workshop, headed by the experienced restorer A. A. Zhuravlev.

We spent several years on detailed development of the project, recreating solar stone processing technologies and preparing a working group. The interior was restored using surviving photographs and paintings.

The work lasted 23 years, 10,5 million dollars and 6 tons of amber were spent, mined at the Kaliningrad deposit in the village of Yantarny.

In 2000, two original objects that once decorated the interior were discovered in Germany – a stacked chest of drawers and a Florentine mosaic “Touch and Smell”. The chest of drawers, made by Berlin craftsmen, occupied one of the central places in the interior of the Amber Cabinet. And the mosaic is one of four made by order of Empress Catherine II. Both items were transferred to the Tsarskoye Selo Museum.

Work on creating a copy of the Amber Room was completed in 2003 on the 300th anniversary of St. Petersburg.

Today the Amber Room is the pride of the Tsarskoe Selo museum-reserve. There is no doubt about the accuracy of the copy; all dimensions are calculated to the nearest millimeter, and the decorations are made as they are shown in historical photographs. This means that today we can visit the same Amber Room as it was under Elizaveta Petrovna.

In Kaliningrad you can try on the role of a researcher. Study the materials of local historians, visit places where a masterpiece could presumably be hidden. What if the secret is revealed to you?

It is almost impossible to create a room made of amber at home, but in the Happy City “Russian Europe” apartments this will not be necessary. Each apartment is an individual project of the developer, made according to European standards of housing ergonomics. They differ from apartments in other new buildings in aesthetics, comfort, functionality and safety.

Go to the main page of the Russian Europe project website to see the layouts, book an apartment and learn more about the new residential quarter of Kaliningrad.

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