The Mathematical-Physical Salon, which since its foundation in 1728 has been housed in the Zwinger in Dresden, is a special museum for clocks and scientific instruments dating from the 16th to the 19th century. The origin of the collection dates back to the Dresden Kunstkammer (Art Chamber) founded in 1560, which by 1587, in addition to 9,000 other objects, was already home to nearly 1,000 mathematical and technical instruments.
In the 16th century, Elector Augustus acquired, mainly from the region of southern Germany, tools and scientific instruments that were at the forefront of technology at that time. By appointing highly-qualified craftsmen to work in Dresden, Augustus succeeded in establishing instrument-making in Saxony, a fact to which numerous works of the highest craftsmanship attest.
In three exhibition rooms, the Mathematical-Physical Salon provides a survey of the development of early precision instruments and clocks, with selected examples illustrating what they were used for and how they worked. Of outstanding importance, besides the collection of historical clocks, are the terrestrial and celestial globes, the optical, astronomical and geodesic instruments, the devices for calculating and drawing, and those for determining length, mass, temperature and air pressure.
Amongst the collection's most significant pieces are an Arabian celestial globe from 1279, a Blaise Pascal adding-machine from around 1650, and a planetarium clock made in the 1560s as a commission for the Dresden Court, showing the positions of the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn according to the time of day.
Zwinger mit Semperbau
Combined Ticket: 10,00 / 7,50 EUR/ -16 year-olds free (Zwinger with Old Masters Picture Gallery, Porcelain Collection, Royal Cabinet of Mathematical and Physical Instruments)
Porcelain Collection or Royal Cabinet: 6,00/ 4,50 EUR
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