Work on the creation of the Amber Room began in 1701 by decree of the King of Prussia, Frederick I. It was supposed to decorate the winter residence of the monarch. At that time, Prussia was the center for the extraction and processing of amber. The project of this unique room was developed by the architect Johann Friedrich Eosander von Goethe, and the work itself was first supervised by the Dane Gottfried Wolffram, and then by the craftsmen from the German city of Danzig Ernst Schlacht and Gottfried Turau. Frederick I's order was completed ten years later.
Two years later, King Frederick I died, and his son Frederick William I ascended the throne. The new ruler strove to establish friendly relations with Russia, even acted as her ally in the Northern War. And in 1716 he presented the Russian Tsar Peter I with a luxurious gift - the very Amber Room, which was made at the behest of Frederick I. The Russian Tsar, being in Prussia, mentioned that he would like to see such a masterpiece in his Russia. Friedrich Wilhelm then announced that he was giving it to Peter.
Peter was delighted, in a letter to his wife Catherine he said: "The king gave me a hefty present." However, Peter himself did not remain in debt to Friedrich Wilhelm, he sent him 55 of the best grenadiers of the Russian army and a goblet made of ivory.
In 1717, the Amber Room, carefully packed in boxes, was delivered to St. Petersburg. Initially, it was placed in the Winter Palace, but, several decades later, Peter's daughter Elizabeth ordered to transfer it to the Catherine Palace in Tsarskoye Selo. The architect B. Shot worked on it, adding new details to the interior, thanks to which the Amber Room has significantly increased in size.
In order to maintain the Amber Room in proper conditions, amber craftsmen were discharged from Prussia. They had to monitor the safety of the amber and, if necessary, make minor repairs. Moreover, the Catherine Palace was not the best place for the Amber Room, temperature drops led to the destruction of the panel, therefore, periodic restoration was required.
The amber room delighted everyone who saw it. For example, the French poet Théophile Gaultier, who visited our country in the middle of the 19th century, wrote that he was "captured and blinded by the wealth and warmth of tones."
The Amber Room disappeared during the Great Patriotic War. The ideologist of fascism Joseph Goebbels ordered to compile a list of cultural values that once belonged to Germany, but then ended up in other countries. Naturally, such a masterpiece as the Amber Room could not but be in the field of vision of the Nazis.
In the Soviet Union, at the beginning of the war, a huge amount of work was done to preserve historical values. Everything that could be timely removed from the regions of possible occupation was sent to the east of the country. But it was impossible to evacuate the Amber Room due to the fragility of the stands. They tried to disguise it by pasting amber with wallpaper. But, the invaders knew perfectly well where this masterpiece is, therefore, it was not possible to save it.
After the capture of Tsarskoye Selo, the Germans began to dismantle the Amber Room. She was taken out of the Soviet Union and sent to Konigsberg, which is recorded in the inventory book of the Royal Castle. The space allocated for the Amber Room turned out to be cramped, therefore, part of the panel was kept separately.
In 1944, the castle was badly damaged after the bombing of Konigsberg by British aircraft. A fire broke out in the building. The director of the Museum of Art, Alfred Rode, sent a letter to Berlin in which he said that, despite the destruction of the Konigsberg Castle, the Amber Room was preserved, with the exception of some elements. This was the last documentary evidence about her, then the traces of the Amber Room are lost.
The search for her began immediately after Konigsberg was taken by Soviet troops. A significant part of the museum values exported from the USSR was discovered, but the location of the Amber Room remained a mystery. The interrogation of the director of the museum, Alfred Rode, also did not yield any results; he stubbornly referred to the shell shock received during the bombing and memory loss.
Despite the fact that almost 75 years have passed since the end of World War II, the mystery of the disappearance of the Amber Room has remained unsolved. What versions were not put forward during the search. For example, according to some sources, the Amber Room is still kept in the basements of Konigsberg. According to other sources, they managed to take it to one of the European countries or even overseas - to the USA or South America. There are fears that it could disappear due to non-compliance with storage conditions.
In the Soviet Union in 1981, work began on the reconstruction of the Amber Room. Since the original could not be found, it was decided to recreate the room. It took more than 20 years, the work was completed in full in 2003, when St. Petersburg celebrated its 300th anniversary.