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Rüstkammer (Armoury)

The eyes of the visitors focus on the sumptuous armour for horse and rider that was made between 1563 and 1564 by the Antwerp goldsmith Eliseus Libaerts. Many remember it as the “golden suit of armour” or as the “Hercules armour”. This suit of armour, which is without a doubt an artistic magnum opus, is now on view in the 2013 opened Riesensaal (Giant's Hall) at the Royal Palace. With Weltsicht und Wissen um 1600 (Concept and Encounter: The World around 1600) the next part of another larger exhibition area at the Dresden Residenzschloss will be opened in March 2016.

Moving on to the Türckische Cammer in the Residenzschloss the visitor will be overwhelmed by the eight life-sized, hand-carved wooden horses, one of the definite highlights of the new permanent exhibition. Weighing 150 kg, each of these magnificently decorated Arabian horses is unique. Right at the beginning of the tour through the exhibition the visitor is greeted by a large display case showing five of these magnificently decorated horses. As varied as the two exhibitions of this important museum are, they both have one thing in common: the fact that the visitor is overwhelmed by the large number of magnificent weapons and hardly knows where to look first.

Originating from weapons owned by Saxon Dukes and Electors, the Dresden Armoury has one of the most valuable collections of weapons and armoury in the world. It unites the masterpieces of armourers, artists and artisans from all corners of Europe and the Orient and includes around 10,000 ceremonial weapons – armour, helmets, shields, swords, rapiers and daggers, sabres and maces, pistols and rifles. The exhibition also includes riding equipment, ceremonial clothes and works of art works as well as portraits which are largely from the 16th to 18th century and come from the collection of the Wettin Elector. The Turkish fashion that was popular at the Electoral Saxon court is reflected by the exquisite collection of oriental and oriental-style weapons, clothes and riding equipment as well as in the magnificent Turkish tents.

These resplendent items can be viewed in the Türckischen Cammer in the Residenzschloss. Visitors are often surprised by these items because they would never expect to see them in an armoury exhibition.