Dresden’s Green Vault

If you are planning a trip this summer that includes Dresden, Germany, be sure to visit the Green Vault (Gruenes Gewoelbe). It houses the largest collection of Europe’s most precious art objects. The Green Vault occupies two floors of the Dresden castle with over 21,500 square feet on each level. The original Green Vault is located on the first floor and houses more than 3,000 works of art in gold, silver, precious stones, ivory, ebony and amber. The baroque rooms themselves are famous and a feast for the eyes. The Green Vault took its name from the column bases and capitals (column tops) that were once painted malachite green.

The second floor houses the New Green Vault with a collection of well over 1,000 pieces. The New Green Vault is constructed in a modern style, which keeps the focus on the objects on display. It contains many pieces of baroque jewelry and unique works that were created by the royal goldsmith, Johann Melchior Dinglinger.

Golden Coffee Service - the pieces were made by court goldsmith Johann Melchior Dinglinger around 1700

Golden Coffee Service – the pieces were made by court goldsmith Johann Melchior Dinglinger around 1700

The history of the Green Vault dates back to 1547, when elector Moritz of Saxony added a west wing to his castle. Originally, the rooms were used as private chambers for important documents and jewelry. But between 1723 and 1729, Augustus the Strong turned the once private chambers into a public museum.

When the Second World War loomed, the art treasures were removed and taken to the Koenigstein Fortress. On February 13, 1945, near the end of World War II, the city of Dresden was bombed, and the historic Green Vault was severely damaged. Three of the eight rooms were totally destroyed. The art objects were confiscated by the Red Army and transported to the Soviet Union.

Following World War II, the Green Vault was completely reconstructed. In 1958 the Soviet Union returned the treasures to Dresden, and in 2004 the New Green Vault was opened on the second floor of the rebuilt Dresden castle. In 2006 the historic Green Vault was reopened, as it had existed in 1733, the time of its founder’s death. Click “like” if you enjoyed this article.

 

For a sneak peek at the first 20+ pages of my memoir, Walled-In: A West Berlin Girl’s Journey to Freedom, click “Download a free excerpt” on the home page of http://www.walled-in-berlin.com. Walled-In is a story of growing up in Berlin during the Cold War.

 

 

 

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