Europe’s Greatest Treasure, Green Vault Museum in Dresden
So known as The Green Vault museum, located in the castle of Dresden it keeps the largest collections of treasure in Europe. After the restoration process this castle became even more familiar to the wider population that is interested in the lavish artworks exhibited inside this European gem box.
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image source via hallodresden
The history of this museum dates back from the early 18th century. The Saxony ruler, Augustus II the Strong wanted to make Dresden the biggest cultural and art centre in the world. And he invited all of the most talented artists to live in this city. Many baroque rooms in his castle filled with jewels and exceptional art works were built. And wanting to advertise the prominence and wealth of the city he opened these chambers for the public eyes. This was the first public European Museum and today still stands as a jewel box for Europe containing the most exceptional art works.
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These are a vast collection of extravagant ornaments, including crystal balls, golden statures, and even the known Dresden green diamond – which is the largest and the most precious green diamond in the world exhibited here.
Reconstructions of the Green Vault Museum
A bomb attack in 1945 demolished the castle, and the treasure was transferred into a fortress in Dresden at first, and later the Red Army took it in Russia. But in 1958 all of the artistic and lavish decorations were returned back in Dresden, but still most of them weren’t exhibited until the restoration process was fully finished in 2004. It was a long restoration process that cost 45 million Euros.
After the reconstruction, the museum got a new look, but still kept that historic charm. Nowadays, it is divided in two parts, the New Green Vault and the Historic Green Vault. In the New Green Vault the individual pieces are exhibited in minimalistic glass cases all with special lighting and technology in order to point out their extravagance even more. There are some stunning pieces exhibited here like: jewellery inspired by the royal court of Delhi or the drinking vessels engraved with Chinese motifs, and many more. Back then many European rulers drag inspiration for their art pieces by the oriental motifs.
image source via dresden-und-sachsen
the Dresden Green Vault, the Building
On the other hand, the Historic Green Vault shows the fusion of artistic creation the way Augustus envisioned it. The rooms are painted and mirrored green with gold trimmings, and they are all in baroque style. Each chamber is devoted to specific material; there is a room for gems, where all are classified by colour, or a room for amber or ivory only.
These two parts show the two sides of Dresden, the old one known as “Florence of the Elbe” and the current modernistic side, focusing on the contemporary art.