The Amber Museum in Kaliningrad is the only museum in our country. No country can boast a museum to show exhibitions of minerals only. This is primarily due to that the amber is one of major landmark of the former Königsberg.
Let us describe the building a little. The museum is located in the downtown, in the Tower of Don. It was built in the mid XIX century and was used to be a fortification. Its diameter is 34 meters and height is 12 meters. During the World War II, it was the last tower of strength for city defense during the assault on Königsberg and the Victory Banner was hoisted to it to symbolized full capture of the city. The tower was further restored, and since 1979 it is used as the Amber Museum.
The museum exposition takes the area of over 1000 square meters. 28 halls with over 14000 exhibitions are divided for sections:
- amber origin and properties;
- historical and architectural data on amber;
- amber in art of XVII—XVIII century;
- amber manufacture;
- Kaliningrad Amber Factory;
- amber in up-to-date works by painters.
The museum holds a great amount of natural amber fragments varying in weight, color, transparency, as well as other items. The museum collection can also boast with a single piece of amber, the largest in Russia, weighing 4280 grams.
The Amber Museum also houses exhibits to be about 50 million years old. It is about amber samples with inclusions of plant and insect fragments that were captured into the resin. Such samples are known as inclusions. You can view them in detail in the museum. It is appropriate to note that similar looking souvenirs to be sold at jewelry stores as pieces of amber with «neatly frozen» insects inside are mostly fake items made of epoxy. By visiting the Amber Museum, you will see and comprehend how real inclusions look and value.
The cultural and historical section of the museum exhibits the jewelry and household items made of amber used B.C. Of particular value are the unique works by European craftsmen of the XVII century donated by the Armory Chamber of the Moscow Kremlin in 1978. The works are added by modern replicates of amber items as well as fragments of the legendary Amber Room reproduced.
Apart from natural fragments of the «solar stone» and inclusions, the exposition includes a large number of amber ornaments and souvenirs: figurines, boxes, baskets, trees, ships, watches, chess and much more. These items are attractive in their beauty and accuracy and it’s no wonder that they are of great value to collectors. Even small inclusions with insects inside are of great value leaving aside a ship of about 40-50 cm in length, containing a variety of fine details.
Among expositions there are photographs from the Amber Factory to show the process of amber extraction and processing. When visiting the Amber Museum, you gain excellent impressions and photos you take. Moreover, you are allowed to purchase any item of natural amber to be sold on the first floor of the museum.
The museum is glorious not only for its exhibits, but the picturesque exterior design. Before or after the visit, go around the museum and enjoy the tower and beauty of the surroundings. Also, a small scenic garden is found within the «circle» of the tower apart from the museum building.
The museum receives more than 180 thousand visitors a year. If you are about to arrive to Kaliningrad, the Amber Museum should be on the list of sights to see for sure in this beautiful city.