Today I will take you on a new trip. It will be a trip in time. Grab my hand, and let’s go. We will go first to the year 1701 to the Charlottenburg Palace, to the home of Friedrich I, the first King of Prussia, there we will see one of the 8th wonders of the world: The Amber room.
The Amber Room is a beauty. The name says it is a room with ceilings and walls covered in amber and gold and semi-precious stones. This beauty was designed by German baroque sculptor Andreas Schlüter, and it was constructed by the Danish amber craftsman Gottfried Wolfram. After we admire it, we will go to another place. There we shall go to the home of Peter the Great, king of Prussia. The Amber Room was moved to Prussia as a gift from Friedrich I to Peter the Great to cement the alliance against Sweden.
Now we will watch how the Amber room was moved to Russia in 18 large boxes and installed in Winter House in Saint Petersburg as part of the European art collection. We will meet Czarina Elizabeth, we will watch her order that the Amber room will be moved to Catherine Palace in Pushkin, named Tsarskoye Selo, or “Czar’s Village.”. There will also be the Italian designer Bartolomeo Francesco Rastrelli. He will redesign the room, making it larger using some additional amber brought from Germany for that. We can admire an entire room of beauty, 180 square meters of amber and semi-precious stones and gold.
Now we will go to the time of the second war. This time we will watch from the shadow. The Amber Room, with its beauty, attracted many eyes. One who was attracted was Hitler. He considered the Amber room a German treasury.
In 1941 on 22 June, we watched the Barbarossa operation. Three million Germans were sent into the Soviet Union. While we watch the invasion, we will see how many art treasuries were looted. The Nazis believed that all the art treasury was meant for Germans.
We will go to Pushkin, at the Catherine Palace here, we will watch how the curators will try to disassemble and hide the amber, but won’t succeed as the amber started to crumble, as you can see they decided to just hide it behind some wallpaper. We will watch from shadow how Germans are looking for the room and how they succeed in finding it under the wallpaper. We will stay with them for 36 hours until they dissemble the room and pack it into 27 boxes. They are pretty fast.
Then we will go with them to Königsberg, Germany, where the boxes with amber are shipped. There we will take our time until the boxes are open and the room is slowly reassembled. It will take some time. Then we will spend a long time here while Alfred Rohde will study the Room. We will have this privilege with him to admire and explore this 8th wonder of the world. Now we can see that something is happening as Alfred starts to dissemble the room again, trying to hide it. It is almost the end of the war, he has been able to disassemble the room, but unfortunately, we can’t watch him anymore as the city is under attack. We can see that the museum is ruined by the bomb attacks. Unfortunately, we lost the amber room from our site, and we are not the only ones that lost it. It seems the treasury got lost under the fire of the city. Maybe someone had the time to hide it as we didn’t feel amber’s smell in the fire. Such a large quantity would have brought a lot of burnt amber.
Tomorrow we will continue our trip in time. This time we will try to see if we can find the amber.
I hope you enjoyed the trip with me.