In the early 19th Century, Augustus the Strong of Saxony ordered his subjects to develop a method of manufacturing gold. After much experimenting, scholars created the first European hard porcelain, which came to be known as “white gold.” The porcelain factory in Meissen was established at Albrechtsburg Castle in June 1710, before being moved to a new production site at Meissen-Triebischtal between 1863 and 1865. On 23rd January 2010, the city of Meissen celebrated 300 years to the day since Augustus the Strong signed the company’s founding charter.
The factory’s Porcelain Museum, demonstration workshops and exhibition hall give visitors a chance to experience 300 years of porcelain manufacturing with a number of spectacular exhibits and guided tours in several languages. There are also concerts in the exhibition hall, home to the world’s first organ with porcelain pipes.
The foremost venue for celebrations is the Porzellansammlung (Porcelain Collection) in the Zwinger museum complex in Dresden. It is the largest porcelain museum in the world with over 20000 pieces including around 8000 made by Meissen. Around 2000 porcelain pieces, including plates, cups, figurines, and the famous Dragoon Vases are on permanent display. A Meissen-porcelain Glockenspiel (a percussion instrument arranged in the fashion of the keyboard of a piano) plays in the gate tower outside the museum.