Dresden, June 24, 1909

Our first walk takes us right through the Zwinger as it is so near to the hotel. The Museum forms the N.E. wing of this building, which was erected in 1711. It consists of 7 pavilions connected by a gallery of one story and enclosing an oblong court 128 yards long by 117 yards wide. In the center of this court is a bronze monument of Frederick Augustine I. It is very pleasant walking through this beautiful court.

Dresden. Zwingerteich. [pond by the Zwinger palace museum]

This morning we went to the Palace. On the ground floor is the “Green Vault” (Grunes Gewolbe), which contains one of the most valuable existing collections of curiosities, jewels, trinkets and small works of art. The German goldsmith’s work of the 16th and 17th century, the enamels of Limoges and the arts of ivory carving and crystal cutting are particularly well represented.

The Fall of the Angels in 142 figures carved out of a single mass of ivory about 1 foot high. Goblets and other vessels made of ostrich eggs and shells. Beautiful vessels in chalcedony agate, lapis-lazuli, oriental jasper and onyx. A very curious [text missing] representing the Tower of Babel (perpetum). The largest known enamel upon copper, a Mary Magdalen by Dingliner.

Jewels, including the Saxon Crown Jewels and ornaments, green diamond 48 1/2 carats weight set in a hat clasp, a shoulder-knot with a brilliant 59 carats weight, a bow with 662 diamonds. The Court of Grand Mogul Aurungzebe of Delhi with 1232 moveable figures, also by Dinglinger, and many other valuable and pretty ornaments.

We next ascended a few flights of stairs to view the rooms occupied by the King in winter. The Ball Room, the Throne Room, and all the other rooms are embellished with beautiful frescoes by Bendeman (1845), the walls are hung with hand work tapestry, and the furniture is very rich and tasty.

After having seen all this, we concluded to see the Silver Room which contains the King’s plate and table linen. In many closets and glass cases are the silver dishes, spoons, etc., which are Table sets. We saw napkins which have been in use since 1735 and good damask table cloths worth $250.00 each. Sorry we could not take a set or two with us, but it is all well guarded.

From here we went to the Museum Johanneum, a collection of weapons, armour, domestic chattels, costumes, and other objects of historical and artistic value, such as inlaid ebony cabinets made in 1615, artistic clocks, a Turkish Tent of the Grand Visier Kara Mustapha captured at the raise of the siege of Vienna in 1683 by the German and Polish armies.

On the second floor is a collection of Porcelain with about 20,000 specimens of Chinese, Japanese, Indian, French, Dresden and Italian workmanship. It is the finest collection of the kind in existence. Among them the “Dragoon Vases,” monumental vases of cobalt blue said to have been given by Fred Wilhelm I of Prussia to Augustine the Strong in 1717 in exchange for a Regiment of Dragoons.

The collection of Dresden china is very interesting. The chemist Bottger, who lived from 1682 to 1719, discovered the secret of making porcelain in 1709, at first producing only red stone ware, but soon afterwards also white porcelain.

The manufacture was removed from Dresden to Meissen in 1710. There are some beautiful figures and groups made of china, and one of them gave rise to a dispute between Emily and myself as I thought the thin veil hung over a woman’s head was lace while she declared it to be china. She was right, and the guard explained how it is produced.

We had about enough of sight seeing and, after a good dinner, we took a nap and hired a cab to drive us across the Augustus Bridge into New Dresden where we saw some fine buildings, a pleasant drive along the slopes of the vineclad hills on the Elbe, passing numerous villas and the popular restaurant “Waldschlosschen” and the Albrechtsberg with a handsome modern chateau the property of Court Hohenan.

Dresden. Augustus Bridge.
Ständehaus, Georgentor (the original city exit from Dresden to the Elbe bridge), Catholic Court Church, Castle Tower, St. Sophia’s Church, Picture Gallery, Royal Opera House.

Here we saw the crown prince of Saxony and his younger brother accompanied by the Kings adjudant [Ed. note: text missing?] brought us to Loschwitz, a suburb of Dresden, where we passed the house of Theodore Koiner where Schiller wrote his Don Carlos. Crossing the Elbe, we came to Blasewitz and through the Grosse Garten (which I described in a former letter) to the restaurant, Drei Raben, where we finished the day with a good supper.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.