Amber room

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Reconstructed amber room

The Amber Room , a room made by Andreas Schlüter on behalf of the first Prussian King Friedrich I , with wall paneling and furniture made of amber elements , was originally installed in the Berlin City Palace . In 1716 it was given away by the Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm I to the Russian Tsar Peter the Great . But it was not until 1743 that the Amber Room was permanently built in the Winter Palace under the reign of Tsarina Elisabeth . The same regent had a room set up for the amber panels in the Catherine Palace in Tsarskoye Selo near Saint Petersburg in 1755 , in which the amber room remained for almost two centuries. After the wall paneling and the interior were stolen as spoils of war by the German occupiers in 1941 and exhibited in Königsberg Castle from 1942 , they have been lost since the castle was evacuated in 1945, also due to the war.

A faithful replica of the Amber Room has been located in the Catherine Palace since 2003.


The amber room was originally intended for the Charlottenburg Palace . It was designed by the architect and sculptor Andreas Schlueter . It was a complete wall paneling made of amber , which was later also referred to as the "eighth wonder of the world". The Danish amber turner Gottfried Wolffram had been in the service of Frederick I in Königsberg since 1701 , based on a recommendation from Frederick IV of Denmark . In 1706 the execution was entrusted to the Danzig amber masters Ernst Schacht and Gottfried Turau, as Wolffram's prices were felt to be too high. 1712 work will be mentioned, but then only after the death of Frederick I. partially in a cabinet at the White Hall of the Berlin City Palace was built.

The Russian Tsar Peter the Great admired the room during his visit to the Prussian residence of the “Soldier King”, who, unlike his predecessor, had little interest in such architectural art, but was looking for “ Tall Guys ” for his bodyguard. So there was an exchange of gifts with Tsar Peter to seal an alliance against Sweden, and the room was exchanged for soldiers with guards. The valuable gift to the Russian monarch was already making headlines in German magazines at that time. B. in the Journal Remarquable Curiosa . The regents who followed Peter I ( Catherine I , Peter II , Anna and the child emperor Ivan VI ) did not take care of the Amber Room. Only the daughter Peter I and Catherine I, Tsarina Elisabeth, had the room redesigned with the significant participation of the Italian restorer and plasterer master Alexander Martelli and installed in Saint Petersburg first in the Winter Palace and later in the Catherine Palace in Tsarskoye Selo . The Italian architect Bartolomeo Francesco Rastrelli , who is in the service of the Russian court, brought the room to its final size by adding mirror pilasters and gilded carvings.

Picture gallery

Fate in World War II

In September 1941, the Katharinenpalast was confiscated by the Wehrmacht as living quarters. The Soviet administration had not succeeded in removing the blackboards; they were makeshiftly secured against splinters with cardboard. From October 14, 1941, the amber room was dismantled within 36 hours, packed in 28 boxes and transported to Königsberg, where the Prussia collection is located, on behalf of the task force Reichsleiter Rosenberg under the supervision of Rittmeister Ernstotto zu Solms-Laubach and Captain Georg Poensgen found. On November 13, 1941, the Königsberger Allgemeine Zeitung reported in detail on an exhibition of parts of the Amber Room in the Königsberg Castle . An article appeared in the magazine Pantheon , the photographic material of which revealed that a Florentine mosaic was missing.

When Königsberg came within the range of the Allied bomber fleets, the Amber Room was again stored in 28 boxes in March 1944. In August, British bombers wreaked havoc in the city during their air raids on Königsberg . Since then his track has been lost.

The whereabouts of the Amber Room

The Amber Room has been lost since 1945. Since then, there have been a multitude of allegations, assumptions and speculations about his whereabouts. Several hundred places have been named where it should be hidden. Numerous domestic and foreign researchers searched in vain for the Amber Room. What is certain is that it was last seen in Königsberg.

The castle of Königsberg, in which the Amber Room was located, was badly damaged in 1945 and the ruins were demolished in 1968 on the orders of Leonid Brezhnev in order to build the house of the Soviets . Due to structural problems, this high-rise was not completed; up to now one could neither decide on completion nor on demolition.

Inventory parts found

During the Second World War, certain pieces of furniture in the Amber Room were stolen under unexplained circumstances. This is suggested by the fact that a chest of drawers and a stone mosaic, which were allegedly stolen in 1941 before arriving in Königsberg, were found in Germany in the late 1990s. The mosaic appeared in northern Germany in 1997 and was offered on the “gray art market” for 2.5 million US dollars. However, before it could be sold, the property was confiscated by the police in Bremen . Some time after this spectacular find, the owner of the dresser got in touch in Berlin based on press reports. These two parts of the Amber Room were returned to Russia by the federal government.

The reconstruction

In the Catherine Palace , work began on the reconstruction of the Amber Room from 1976 , which was mainly based on black and white photos of the original as well as the only existing color photo. After an interruption due to financing problems, the work was completed thanks to a donation from the German Ruhrgas AG of 3.5 million dollars. As part of the 300th anniversary of the city of Saint Petersburg , the reconstructed Amber Room was presented to the public in a ceremony on May 31, 2003 by the then Federal Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and the Russian President Vladimir Putin . Today the Amber Room in the Catherine Palace can be visited.


  • Peter Bruhn : The Amber Room in Tsarskoe Selo near Saint Petersburg. Bibliography with over 3,800 references from the years 1790 to 2003. From the gift of the Amber Room by the King of Prussia to the Tsar, through the unexplained disappearance of the Amber Room in World War II, to the completion of the reconstruction of the Amber Room in 2003. = Bibliography Amber Room . 2nd much increased and enlarged edition. Bock & Kübler, Berlin 2004, ISBN 3-86155-109-8 ( references to current Russia topics 5).
  • Paul Enke: Amber Room Report. Robbery, kidnapping and search for a world-famous work of art. Verlag Die Wirtschaft, Berlin (GDR) 1986, ISBN 3-349-00108-4 .
  • Herbert Gold: The Amber Room. Secret transport to the Pinzgau. From Berlin to St. Petersburg, from the Catherine Palace to Königsberg. The investigation and evidence that it was transported to a castle in Pinzgau. Self-published, Niedernsill 2004, ISBN 3-200-00114-3 .
  • Андрей Горляк / Andrej Gorljak: Магия Янтарной комнаты / Magija Jantarnoj komnaty. Содружество А. Богатых и Э. Р. Акитской / Sodrushjestwo A. Bogatyh i ER Akitskoj, Москва / Moskva 2002, ISBN 5-93721-107-3 .
  • Henry Hatt: Ignored Hitler's Secret Objects. Traces of art robbery in mines. A book about the processing of the events in Thuringia's slate mines during the Second World War. Hattenhauer, Ludwigsstadt 1995, ISBN 3-930988-00-3 .
  • Yuri Ivanov: From Kaliningrad to Koenigsberg. In search of lost treasure . Rautenberg, Leer 1991, ISBN 3-7921-0477-6 .
  • Manfred John, Gabi Liebegall: Hidden secrets. On the trail of the Amber Room in Saxony. Tauchaer Verlag, Taucha 2008, ISBN 978-3-89772-140-1 .
  • Guido Knopp : The Amber Room. On the trail of the myth. The book for the big series on ZDF. Hoffmann & Campe, Hamburg 2003, ISBN 3-455-09396-5 .
  • Margarete Kühn : Charlottenburg Palace. German Association for Art History, Berlin 1955, p. 48f. ( Monuments of German Art ).
  • Goerd Peschken: Amber Cabinet and Red Chamber. In: Waldemar Strempler (Ed.): Aspects of art and architecture in Berlin around 1700. Published by the general director of the Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg. Edited by Guido Hinterkeuser and Jörg Meiner. Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg, Potsdam 2002, pp. 48–57.
  • Maurice Philip Remy : The Myth of the Amber Room. List, Munich 2003, ISBN 3-471-78579-5 .
  • IP Sautow u. a .: The Amber Room. Three centuries of history. Aurora-Kunstverlag, Saint Petersburg 2003, ISBN 5-7300-0744-2 .
  • Wolfgang Schneider : The new trace of the Amber Room. Diary of a manhunt. Kiepenheuer, Leipzig 1994, ISBN 3-378-00580-7 .
  • Heinz Schön : The secret of the amber room. The end of the legends about the Tsar's treasure that has disappeared in Königsberg . Paul Pietsch Verlag, Stuttgart 2002, ISBN 3-613-50401-4
  • Martin Stade : From the Amber Room in Thuringia. Reports on the activities of the SD 1942–1945. 2nd Edition. Rhino-Verlag, Ilmenau 2008, ISBN 978-3-939399-99-5 ( Escher paperback ).
  • Günter Wermusch : The Amber Room Saga. Traces, hypotheses, puzzles. Links-Verlag, Berlin 1991, ISBN 3-86153-019-8 .
  • Tsarskoye Selo - Amber Room - Catherine Palace. Ivan Fyodorov Art Publishing House , Saint Petersburg 2004, ISBN 5-93051-023-7 .
  • Gert Dieter Schmidt, on the trail of hidden treasures. The endless search for the amber room , Heinrich-Jung-Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, Zella-Mehlis 2014, ISBN 978-3-943552-08-9 .
  • Erich Wiedemann : Operation Pushkin . In: Der Spiegel 48/2000, pages 76-98, and 49/2000, pages 82-108.

Web links

Wiktionary: Amber room  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Amber Room  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

References and footnotes

  1. a b Wiesław Gierłowski: Amber Room - the founders and the creators. In: Amber - Views - Opinions. Warsaw, Danzig 2000, pp. 147–155.
  2. Tobario: Remarquable Curiosa , XXVII. Delivery 1717, p. 451
  3. The most famous trophy of the Nazis became the Grail . Die Welt, October 16, 2016, accessed February 10, 2020
  4. Wolfgang Beyer: You can't fake that . In: Der Spiegel . No. 21 , 1997 ( online - May 19, 1997 ).
  5. Wolfgang Beyer: Tears of our ancestors . In: Der Spiegel . No. 22 , 1997 ( online - May 26, 1997 ).
  6. ^ Rebirth of a Miracle , Focus, March 24, 2003
  7. ^ Restored Amber Room , Deutsche Welle, May 19, 2003
  8. returned in friendship , those days of 28 May 2003
  9. ^ "A Gesture of Good Will" , Die Welt, May 18, 2003