Dresden Armory (Rüstkammer) in Zwinger Palace
There's no exact date of the foundation of Dresden's Armoury (Rüstkammer). Starting 1425 the most valuable decorative weapons and costumes had been collected and kept in different castles of Saxony. By the end of the century splendid weapons and jousting and tilting equipment were accumulated in Wittenberg, Torgau and Dresden residences as part of the Saxon tresures. During the reign of Elector Maurice of Saxony(1541-15S3) an administrator was appointed to manage the impressive collection. The Elector ordered to equip a few rooms in a newly built Dresden castle -- the Armory, the hunting chamber, etc.
The next Elector Augustus (1553-1586 gg.) expanded the exposition steadily with valuable weapons. During this period the most outstanding works of the Renaissance art had been added: rapiers, swords, armor, helmets and shields.
The funds for the acquisition of the expensive items came from the profit recoverable in silver mines and also from the monastic property confiscated in the course of the Reformation.
Under Electors Christian I and Christian II the most famous armourers, such as Anton Peffenhauser of Augsburg and Ottmar Wetter of Munich, Italian, Spanish and French masters, whose names are unknown, worked for the Dresden court.
Augustus the Strong of Saxony (1694-1733) was focused more on collecting gems, coins, porcelains and paintings.
Today the Dresden Armory, located in the Zwinger Palace in Dresden, is one of the world's largest collections of ceremonial weapons, armors and historical textiles. However, visitors can see only a very modest part of the collection. 90% of the most valuable exhibits should be kept in special storage.
Currently the museum contains about 10 000 items. Firearm is the most extensive exposition. It consists of 1,400 handguns and 1,600 rifles. Almost all known gun masters of the 16-18th centuries are represented here by their excellent works. Melee weapons - swords, sabers, daggers - are another part of the exposition, there's about 2,200 exhibits in the museum.
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