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Concept and Encounter: The World around 1600

New permanent exhibition at the Residenzschloss

Residenzschloss, Georgenbau, 1st floor

Works originating from the late Renaissance from Dresden’s Kunstkammer form the focal point of the new permanent exhibition on the first floor of the Georgenbau. The exhibition’s surface area covers approx. 600 square metres and seven halls, whereby one room is used for special exhibitions. The works of art from the Rüstkammer inventory are rounded off by articles on loan from various museums belonging to the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, as well as other institutions and private collections.

The rooms are dedicated to individual topics. A hall forms the starting point, which places Elector August (1526—1586), the founder of the art chamber, at the centre of attention. The collection of numerous tools that had a defining influence on the early Dresden Kunstkammer, are presented under the title “Der Kurfürst als artifex”. The range stretches from garden tools, to goldsmith-, carpenter- and iron forging tools, through to the crowbar.


Other exhibition rooms host intricately decorated art chamber cupboards, two extensively fitted Augsburg high cabinets, two games tables incorporating iridescent mother of pearl, board games made from precious materials and music instruments, in addition to delicate wood turning works of art, and articles from treasury art. The unique collection of combination weapons, which combine a stunning effect with highly specialised weapon forge casting techniques, marks the starting point of the weapons gallery that follows in the adjoining Langer Gang.

  • Ausstellungsansicht Weltsicht und Wissen um 1600 im Residenzschloss, copyright: SKD, Foto: H.C. Krass 
 - Bild öffnet sich in einer Vergrößerungsansicht.
  • Ausstellungsansicht Weltsicht und Wissen um 1600 im Residenzschloss, copyright: SKD, Foto: H.C. Krass  - Bild öffnet sich in einer Vergrößerungsansicht.


The discovery and conquering of unknown parts of the globe is reflected in the Kunstkammer by the receipt of exotic materials, both in their original state and having been subjected to artistic workmanship. In the fifth room of the tour the visitor can discover, among other things, the reputed horn of the legendary unicorn (narwhal tusk), vessels made from rock crystal, ivory, coconut and ostrich eggs. The original baptismal font and precious silver vessels from the Dresden Schlosskapelle are testament to the commitment of Saxon Electors to the Lutheran Reformation.

  • Ausstellungsansicht Weltsicht und Wissen um 1600 im Residenzschloss, copyright: SKD, Foto: H.C. Krass 
 - Bild öffnet sich in einer Vergrößerungsansicht.
  • Ausstellungsansicht Weltsicht und Wissen um 1600 im Residenzschloss, copyright: SKD, Foto: H.C. Krass  - Bild öffnet sich in einer Vergrößerungsansicht.