Saturday, August 04, 2018

Visit to the Dresden Castle Museum (Dresdner Residenzschloss) on a rainy day

The city of Dresden has a number of museums and one of the famous ones is the Dresden Castle Museum or the Dresdner Residenzschloss (Dresdner Schloss). It is one of the oldest buildings in the city going back to the 16th century. It started construction in 1533 and was completed in 1899. That's a loooong wait to finish! 3+ centuries!

The building is designed in Neo-Renaissance and Baroque style and is an impressive building that one will notice in the city. It is now a Musem and we visited it.

The entrance of the castle museum and the inner court open lobby.

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Picture of moi in front of the castle museum (by the Zwinger) taken a day before we visited. It wasn't raining but a bit cloudy with from time to time a glimpse of blue skies. 

Now I am personally not the museum type. But I go to certain museums if I want to see a specific collection that interests me or if the architecture of the building is grand. So there are exceptions of course and surely the Dresden Castle falls on this category.

The castle now is a Museum complex and tickets are sold in combination with certain rooms (such as the Historic Vault which you need to pay extra) and specific (temporary visiting) exhibitions. The following are the rooms in the castle:

1) Historic Green Vault and the New Green Vault
2) Numismatic Cabinet
3) The Collection of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs
4) Dresden Armory
5) Turkish Chamber

Visiting the castle museum was actually the best idea we had for the afternoon because it was raining the whole day. Bubbles, the girlfriend I was with during the trip and I, love to sightsee beautiful architecture and we enjoy just walking around and taking in the city (medieval) atmosphere, however, you cannot do this when its raining cats and dogs. That's when museums come to the rescue and I am glad that the Dresden Castle is one museum worth checking out.

We basically spent our afternoon here, which was after a hearty lunch of Crispy Pork Knuckle at the Altmarkt Keller Dresdner Bierhaus.

During the bombings of World War II, Dresden was one of the cities that suffered and this castle was one of the main casualties. It was reduced to a roofless shell and a heap of ruins, however, many of the collections manage to survive and were moved to safety. Restoration of the castle began very late, sometime in the 1960s, albeit slowly and was finally completed in 2013. That's like 50+ years!

I was able to take pictures of the interesting objects I saw. Come and follow me through my pictures below. The descriptions I have in each object were the inscriptions in the museum.

Left: Drinking vessel in the shape of Daphne, Nuremberg, 1579-1586. Design by Wenzel Jamnitzer. Execution by Abraham Jamnitzer

Right: Large ivory frigate supported by Neptune, Dresden dated 1620. Signed by Jacob Zeller.

Rose water ewer and basin by Daniel Kellerthaler, Dresden 1629.

Left: Set of miner's accoutrements belongings to Elector Johann Georg II of Saxony by Samuel Klemm, Freiburg (Saxony), 1675-1677.

Right: Decorative ewer in the form of a ship presumably by Georg Christoph Dinglinger, Dresden, shortly before 1715.

The throne of the Gran Mogul Aureng-Seb, Dresden, 1701-1708. Design by Johann Melchior Dinglinger. Goldsmith's work by J.M. Dinglinger and his workshop enamel by Georg Friedrich Dinglinger.

August the Strong bought this masterpiece of baroque jewellery in 1709 for the enormous sum of 60,000 thalers. It shows Aureng-Zeb (r.1658-1707), the legendary ruler of the Indian subcontinent, and the princes of his empire coming to him bearing precious gifts. The Grand Mogul embodies the dream of absolute power and immeasurable riches which, for August the Strong, was under serious threat at least for a time due to the setbacks in the Nordic Wars.

Left: Rock crystal pitcher, so-called dragon pitcher carving by Dionysio Miseronia, Prague, 1653-1656. Mount is Augsburg or in the manner of Samuel Klemm from Freiburg (Saxony), c. 1660.

Right: The golden coffee set by Johan Melchior Dinglinger, Dresden, 16097-1701. The enamel by Georg Friedrich Dinglinger and the ivory sculptures by Paul Heermann. This decorative service highlights the luxury of hot beverages fashionable in aristocratic circles, although it was probably nerver used. Dinglinger masterfully combines the most diverse artistic forms to produce an avantgarde work of art which can be regarded as one of the first manifestations of the fashion for things Chinese.

Left: Fragments of a decorative fireplace, Dresden 1782. Design by Johan Eleazar Zeissig, jewellery work by Johann Christian Neuber, porcelain parts by M.V. Acier, G. Juchtzer, J.C. Schonheit. The fireplace was intended as a gift for the Grand Duke of Russia, the later Tsar Paul I. As he did not, however, come to Dresden, the precious object was placed in the Green Vault in 1786. The fire surround which waaaas decorated with precious stones from Saxony and Meissen porcelain was destroyed by fire in February 1945. In 2004 it was reconstructed in its original size and includes all the parts which survived the war.

Right: Hat Brim or Agraffe with the Green Diamond from the Cut Diamond Set by Franz Michael Diespach, Dresden/Prague 1768/69. The green diamond is 41 carat with cut diamonds, gold, silver. The "Dresden Green Diamond" is the most valuable diamond of the entire jewel treasure in the Green Vault which it entered in 1742 as part of the cut diamond set. King August III of Poland acquired it at the Leipzig fair. Like most other famous diamonds in the world, this unique, colossal, green diamond - the only one of its type ever found - is also shrouded in mystery. No one knows how it came from India to Dresden or how much it cost. Presumably, the price was approximately 400,000 thalers, an exorbitant sum in those days. In 1768, August's grandson, Frederick August III, commissioned the Dresden court jeweler Diespach to alter it radically; the framed diamond was incorporated into an extremely valuable agraffe.

The Dresden armory.

Left: Ceremonial sword made from the rostrum of a sawfish, with the Electoral Saxon coat of arms on the blade, Germany, 2nd half of the 16th century.

Right: Baptismal font from the Dresden Palace Chapel with four reliefs: the Flood (Noah's Ark), the Passage of the Israelites through the Red Sea, the Baptism of Christ and the Blessing of the Children by Hans Walther II, Dresden 1558, with later additions. The font is made of Saxon sandstone, red and white limestone, alabaster, agate, jasper and serpentine. From 1737 onwards, the font was in the Sophienkirche where it suffered sever damage in 1945.

The Turkish Chamber.

Parade Armour for man and horse crafted for King Erik XIV of Sweden by Eliseus Libaerts, Antwerp, 1563-1565.

Dresden Armory - as you can see, the men, er military men before wore fluffy cullotes and skirts with gold lace, leg stockings and heeled shoes. We have gone a long way, people.

Tool cabinet, Augsburg, c. 1617-1625. This lavishly equipped cabinet was first recorded in Dresden in 1636, when Theodosius Hasel, the keeper of the Kunstkammer, drew up an inventory of its contents (see showcase). The sophisticated nature of the cabinet consists not only in the numerous objects within it but also in the ability of its relatively plain exterior to be converted into an opulent exhibition table.

Table cabinet with inlays of Pietra Paesina (ruin marble), Augsburg, c. 1628. This cabinet in the form of a table is decorated with inlays of Pietra Paesina, whose structure resembles the silhouettes of landscapes. Inside it is a virginal, a sewing kit, board and card games, toiletry and writing appliances, a set of apothecary utensils, as well as scientific instruments and exotic objects and an ingeniously designed folding chair (not on display).

This is a beautiful bridge connection passageway in the Dresden Castle complex of the museum. I am not sure which building connects the bridge. The bridge is in black colour and is just stunning.

The rain never stopped! So glad we were able to check the Dresden Castle.

Travel Period: April 2017
Destination: Dresden (Saxony), Germany

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Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

All pictures were taken by a point and shoot pocket camera or a smartphone.

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