The new Riesensaal is a superb setting for a range of magnificent objects selected from the holdings of the Armoury (Rüstkammer) of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, recognised as one of the most important collections of ceremonial weapons, armour and costume in the world. More than 350 objects are displayed, including tournament and ceremonial weaponry and accoutrements. With a specific focus on Saxon court life, the exhibits show how various tournament events were carried out, and illustrate the sporting pursuits of the time and the splendour enjoyed by the Saxon electors.
At 57 metres long and 13 metres wide, the monumental scale of the Riesensaal allows the Rüstkammer not only to exhibit a selection of its finest armour and weapons, dating from the late 15th to the 17th century, but also to present these in ways which show how they were actually used. Originally intended as training for armed conflict, from the end of the 15th century onwards tournaments played a significant role in court ceremonial and festivities.
Using unique weapons, tournament swords, lances and armour, scenes from three separate tournaments are recreated, each featuring a different major event—jousting with sharp lances, tilting and a foot tourney. A selection of paintings, commissioned by Christian I (1560–1591) to celebrate tournaments held by his father, Elector August of Saxony (1526–1586), give an authentic depiction of the course of these events. Originally displayed in the Langer Gang (Long Corridor), the arcaded walkway linking the Johanneum and the Residenzschloss, they provide today’s visitors with vivid impressions of these lavish occasions.
Royal Palace (New Green Vault, Armoury at the New Giant's Hall, Turkish Chamber, Collection of Prints, Drawings and Photographs, Hausmannsturm and current special exhibitions): 10,00/ 7,50 EUR/ 0-16y free | Historic Green Vault: 12,00 EUR, incl. Audioguide/ 0-16y free | Combined ticket (Royal Palace and Historic Green Vault): 19,50 EUR
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