In December I posted quite a few texts related to my last visit to Germany. To be precise I wrote about its local Christmas markets located in Dresden, Meissen and Bautzen. Each of these places had an amazing atmosphere, which was additionally enriched by cheerful festive vibes. Being in the vicinity of the earlier mentioned cities, it’s always a good idea to check their local attractions and places, which you simply can’t miss there. For sure, visiting a historic site, such as famous Zwinger Palace is a must. It’s situated near the fairytale Dresden’s markets, which made a really huge impression on me.
Another highlight of my tour was Meissen situated on the banks of Elbe River, a city which is probably not as impressive as Dresden, since it cannot offer such a great number of market stalls, but a place which one should certainly visit there is the Porcelain Manufactory. It’s worth remembering that this region of Germany has a rich history of porcelain manufacturing, and it’s over 300 years long. During this whole period delicate, elaborately decorated dishes, figurines, paintings and even clocks were created by the most skilled artists and sculptors in the world. All of their works surprise with their sophistication and attention to detail, which in consequence should prepare us for quite a spectacular shock, namely the prices of these original products coming from the hands of local craftsmen.
The history of porcelain in Meissen dates back to the 18th century, when Augustus the Strong, who was not only the Elector of Saxony, but also the King of Poland, wanted his court alchemists to find a formula to produce priceless at that time gold. Unfortunately, they weren’t really successful, however, as it usually happens the most meaningful inventions and accomplishments of our civilization have come about as a result of human mistakes. In this way, the earlier mentioned alchemists created something, which didn’t really resemble traditional gold, to be exact, they found out the material, which could be later used to manufacture porcelain. This outstanding discovery, was later on recognized as ‘white gold’, whose ingredients were well-guarded. Ball clay occurred to be useful when it comes to the porcelain production. This material is mined in one of the mines located in Meissen.
While visiting the porcelain museum we can literally travel back in time, and thanks to rich collections of different exhibits displayed in this particular place, we can also get to know how the design trends have changed over the past 300 years. What’s more, it’s the only museum in which so many exhibits presenting the historical porcelain have been collected in one place. Besides admiring showcases and stands with cups, saucers, clocks and different pieces of crockery, the visitors can also take in workshops, in which craftsmen, working in this particular factory, present their artistic skills live to the audience. It’s worth remembering, that not everyone desires to be filmed, and during my visit there was a little incident at one of the stands, during which one of the women left her work station and didn’t finish the figurine she was preparing in front of the visitors. Of course, the whole description of the earlier mentioned actions taken by the artists during preparing a given piece is automatically played in Polish out of the audio guides available in the museum.
After seeing all of the exhibitions prepared by the museum, it’s good to visit its shop offering the highest quality products, which will for sure be a little bit costly. However, can one really make a valuation of a gift for a dear person? I could afford to buy a little magnet, which leaves me hopeful that one day I’ll have a chance to visit that place once again.
Coming to the end of our exciting tour, which can turn out to be a real travel back in time, one should also visit the cafeteria located inside the museum and try some of delicious cakes in the company of aromatic teas or coffees. And you? Would you like to sip hot beverages out of elaborately decorated cups and mugs?
See you around!