The Amber Museum in Kaliningrad.
The Amber museum in Kaliningrad is one of Andrey’s moms favourite Museums. She really loves museums and travelling but she is at an advanced age and it is becoming increasingly difficult for her to travel. We decided to take her to the Amber museum which is situated in the central part of town. She has been to the museum so many times but she still finds it fascinating. Andrey’s mom loves amber!
It was my first visit to the Museum. I really had no idea what to expect. I was not even sure what Amber looks like. In South Africa we know almost everything about gold and diamonds – Amber was something completely new to me.
A historical building built in a Gothic Style.
The building was really impressive. The building, built in a Gothic style is a round, two-storey fort. It has two huge wooden doors where you enter into a courtyard. From there you enter the museum through an entrance hall. I could not take photos inside the museum. I believe they have changed the rule and photos can be taken without a flash. You always need to buy brochures and books which are not always practical to carry with you while you are travelling. There is a counter where you hand in your coat,camera and bags.
The museum inside is beautiful. Some of the exhibits had English translations which made it easy for me to follow and understand what the exhibits were about. The Museum has more than 6,000 exhibits so it does take a while to go through them all. We spent almost 3 hours inside the museum
By now you might be curious.
What is amber and why is it so important in Kaliningrad?
In the photo below you can see what Amber looks like. Pretty you might think but why is it so important? Well, Amber is more than a thousand years old. The frst reference to Amber was in 300BC. The Kaliningrad province and areas close to the Baltic sea produces more than 90% of the world’s amber.
Amber is fossilized tree resin (not sap), which has been appreciated for its color and natural beauty since Neolithic times. Amber is used as an ingredient in perfumes, as a healing agent in folk medicine, and as jewelry. There are five classes of amber, defined on the basis of their chemical constituents. Because it originates as a soft, sticky tree resin, amber sometimes contains animal and plant material as inclusions. Amber occurring in coal seams is also called resinite, and the term ambrite is applied to that found specifically within New Zealand coal seams.
A return visit and looking for Amber at the Baltic sea.
On a return visit to Kaliningrad in 2012 we didn’t visit the Amber museum. We did take long walks on the beach with Andrey’s mom looking for amber. Amber does not look very pretty at first until it is polished. Once polished you can buy it in various forms of gifts like jewellery, key rings, frames decorated with amber and other wonderful souvenirs.
Often you will find Amber gifts for sale in places like Lithuania or Belarus. The amber is not from there but all from Kaliningrad. Many people in Kaliningrad believe in the healing powers of Amber. If you carry amber on you it will bring positive energy they believe.
Where: Kaliningrad,Kaliningrad Oblast,Russian Federation
Address: улица Маршала Василевского, 1, Kaliningrad, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia