The Amber Room is one of the most well-known creations of the baroque period. It is a reconstructed chamber that is filled with lavish beauty. It was stolen by the Nazis during the Second World War and the whereabouts of the treasures were kept a secret for many years. However, recently the Amber Room was discovered and everyone was blown away by the secrets kept hidden within it…
20. The Amber Room
The Amber Room was once considered the Eighth Wonder of the World and this makes perfect sense if you take its worth into consideration. According to Warfare History Network, “It was a Baroque chamber made completely of amber and decorated with large mirrors and amber carvings of cupids and family crests, nymphs, and monograms.” It has been estimated to be worth over $500 million however its whereabouts were unknown for quite some time…
19. Dazzling Creation
“When the work was finished, in 1770, the room was dazzling,” wrote Grigorii Kozlov and Konstantin Akinsha, two Russian art historians specializing in the location of looted European masterpieces. “It was illuminated by 565 candles whose light was reflected in the warm gold surface of the amber and sparkled in the mirrors, gilt, and mosaics.”
18. Stolen Property
During World War II, the Amber Room was stolen by the Nazis and completely disappeared. No one could locate the treasure ever since. However, it seems that a group of historians are pretty confident that they have figured out the mystery of what happened to the Amber Room…
17. Stealing Artwork
In fact, it wasn’t very uncommon for the Nazi soldiers to confiscate art throughout their reign in the war. Hitler, who had actually failed as an artist, considered himself an art aficionado. He actually ordered for troops to steal art in various cities throughout Europe.
16. Art Collector
Hitler’s intention behind stealing all of the art was so he could display it all at an art museum in Linz, Austria. His soldiers managed to confiscate various books, paintings, art, ceramics, gold, silver, and many many more art pieces. However, nothing was more valuable than the Amber Room…
When the Amber Room was first constructed, it was made to be a residence of King Frederick of Prussia. At the time, Prussia was a huge Germanic empire and held a lot of territory in Europe. The room was originally designed by Andreas Schlüter, a sculptor from Germany and pieced together by Gottfried Wolfram, an amber craftsman from Denmark.
14. A Great Gift
Although the Amber Room was supposed to be placed in Charlottenburg Palace, that’s not what ended up happening. It was instead gifted to Peter the Great, the Tsar of Russia and made its way to Berlin City Palace. He fell in love with the room when he saw it on a trip to the Prussian capital. Frederick William I, the son of King Frederick, gifted it to the Tsar in order to create an alliance between Russo-Prussian forces.
Once the Amber Room was brought to Russia, it underwent some renovations. It was then added to an art collection in the Winter House in Saint Petersburg. Then, in 1755, Empress Elisabeth, the Tsar’s daughter, moved it to the Imperial family home in Pushkin. While at the Pushkin, the Amber Room served as a wonderful place for meditation and social gatherings.
12. Two Centuries Later
No one anticipated that just two centuries later, Germany would invade the Soviet Union and ultimately steal the Amber Room. Curators in Pushkin worked hard to move the Amber Room so that it could not be discovered, however, their plans did not go as planned. However, the room was in no condition as curators believe that doing so would destroy the amber. Instead they chose to cover all of the walls with wallpaper.
11. Stolen Away
However, the wallpaper didn’t fool any of the Nazi soldiers who quickly recognized where the Amber Room was. Germany’s Army Group North dismantled the room in a mere 36 hours and had it quickly shipped over to Königsberg, East Prussia on October 14, 1941. Just one month later, local papers announced the grand opening of the room.
However, as the war drew closer to an end the city was bombarded by the Royal Air Force. Finally in January 1945, Hitler decided that the best move would be to have the Amber Room moved to another city. Soon enough, in April the Red Army made their way into the city and began to attack it!
No one is quite sure what happened to the Amber Room after the city was attacked. However, three treasure hunters – Peter Lohr, 71, a georadar specialist, Günter Eckardt, 67, a scientist and Leonhard Blume, 73, a homeopath have been on the lookout for it. They believe that they have finally discovered the long-lost Amber Room inside a network of tunnels beneath East Germany!
Through the use of ground-penetrating radar, the trio have been able to come across a subterranean complex beneath Prince’s Cave near the town of Hartenstein. “We discovered a very big, deep and long tunnel system,” Blume told Britain’s The Times newspaper. “And we detected something that we think could be a booby trap.”
7. Possibly Transported
“The hideout is underground… above the railway line, where in April 1945 a train from Königsberg was stopped,” radar expert Lohr told the U.K’s Daily Express. This means that the Amber Room may have been transported in this manner. Markings around let the trio to believe that this could be more likely than not.
“We want to go on but it’s all very complicated and we need a sponsor,” Blume told British newspaper The Independent. There have been many attempts to discover the Amber Room in these tunnel systems and none so far have been successful. Some of the attempts were even done by the Soviet secret police. Many people that the room just doesn’t exist anymore…
5. Conventional Theory
The theory that most people believe for now is that the room just doesn’t exist anymore. Investigative British journalists Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark have claimed that the room was never moved from Königsberg Castle. They have stated that the room was probably just destroyed along with the city.
There are various reports that also back up the British investigative journalists findings. A report by the lead Soviet investigator, Alexander Brusov, stated, “The Amber Room was destroyed between April 9 and 11, 1945.” These dates also happen to coincide with the Battle of Königsberg.
3. Another Theory
Another pretty popular theory surrounding the Amber Room is based on several eyewitness reports. The reports state that the Germans were able to safely transport the Amber Room onto a ship that sailed into Poland. However, the ship was attacked by a Soviet submarine meaning that the Amber Room would have sunk to the bottom of the sea.
2. Never Destroyed
Still, there are many theories out there that state that the Amber Room was never actually destroyed. According to Express, “Fourteen years ago a documentary aired in Germany concentrating on the actions of Albert Popp, a brigadier with the Nazi flying corps before the Second World War. Based on archive material and interviews with bit players in the drama of the fall of Königsberg, the programme alleged the Amber Room was moved by Popp, on the orders of his uncle, to old mine workings and subterranean storerooms in Nordhausen.”
1. Unsolved Mystery
It seems that for now the mystery of the Amber Room may never be solved. However, there is a replica that you can always check out in Tsarskoye Selo, Russia. It may not be the original but you can always get a feel for what the real Amber Room might have felt like!