History of The Amber Room
Commissioned in 1701 by King Frederick for his City Palace in Berlin. It would take eight years for master craftsman Gottfried Wolfram, French jeweler Tusso and architect Andreas Schluter to complete. King Frederick died in 1713, and his son, King Frederick Wilhelm I, had a visitor, Tsar Peter the Great, who so admired the room that King Frederich gifted the complete room to him.
The craftsmanship is a work of art and the original Amber Room was lit with 565 candles mesmerizing all who saw it.
The Amber Room was carefully moved to Catherine Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia. First used by Czarina Elizabeth, Empress of Russia, from 1741 until she died in 1762. Catherine the Great used the room as a gathering place for her guests.
After the Amber Room was stolen by the Nazis and supposedly hidden, it is fortunate that a detailed Amber Room was recreated for all to see.
How The Amber Room Was Made
The Amber Room is regarded as one of spectacular works of art ever made, consisting of 100,000 cuts and translucent fossilized amber resin. Amber is found on the Samland coast near Konigsberg, Prussia. Harvested from ancient pines that covered Europe millions of years ago. The amber was heated then coated in an infusion of honey and linseed. Each wood panel consisted of precise fitted mosaic pieces along with hand-carved images of flowers, royal emblems, geometric patterns, landscapes, human figurines, all adorned with precious stones, mirrors, and gold leaf. Amber is found mostly in the Baltic area and is precious.
Timeline Of The Amber Room
- 1701 Commission by King Frederick for his Palace in Berlin
- 1716 A visit from Peter the Great when King Frederick gifted the room to him
- 1941 WW II was ablaze in Europe, and the Nazis were pillaging thousands of pieces of and artifacts of value, including the Amber Room that had been in Russia for more than two hundred years. The Nazis dismantled the Amber Room in thirty-six hours and delivered it to Konigsberg Castle in East Prussia. The castle is where Hitler hid his stolen artifacts. Hitler had launched Operation Barbarossa, stealing 600,000 pieces of valuables.
- 1944 Castle Konigsberg was severely bombed by the Royal Air Force, leaving the castle in the rubble. The rubble was searched later, with no traces of the Amber Room ever found. This would be considered one of the world's greatest losses.
- 1945 The steamer, Karlsruhe, was 218 feet long and thirty-three feet wide. Aboard with 360 crates of stolen artifacts were 1083 passengers. Shortly after leaving the port, the ship was sunk off the coast of Poland. Only 113 passengers survived, having been picked up by another ship.
- 1979 A replica of the Amber Room was built in Catherine Palace for over eleven million dollars. Funding was provided by the German gas company Ruhrgas in hopes of cementing relationships between them. The replica would take twenty-four years to complete.
- 2003 The grand reopening of the Amber Room was attended by Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.
- 2020 Polish divers believe they have found the sunken ship full of unopened crates beneath down 260 feet. The Russian government has said they would demand the return of the Amber Room should it ever be found.
The Amber Room Curse
Legend says a curse follows some involved with the Amber Room, but then they might have been simply coincidental. First, Curator Alfred Rohde and his wife died while the KGB was investigating the Amber Room. Second, General Gusev, a Russian intelligence officer, died in a car crash after talking with a journalist about the room. Later a former German soldier, and historian, Georg Stein, was murdered in a Bavarian forest. So perhaps there was a curse associated with the Amber Room.
fran rooks (author) from Toledo, Ohio on August 27, 2021:
Rosina, your visit and comments are truly appreciated. Thanks for stopping by.
Rosina S Khan on August 26, 2021:
This is an interesting piece of history about the magnificent amber room. Although the Nazis stole it, I am happy it has been recreated so that visitors can pay visits and find out what the eighth wonder of the world looked like. Thanks for sharing a great article, Fran.
Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on August 26, 2021:
Amazing account. Great treasure if some hunter finds it.
Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on August 26, 2021:
This is such an interesting article, Fran. What a magnificient room! It has an interesting history.
I do not really blieve in coincidences or in curses. LOL.