The Real Reason We Can't Find The Amber Room

Called the "Eighth Wonder of the World," the Amber Room was once a prized Russian possession (via Smithsonian Magazine). According to the BBC, the opulent space consisted of several panels made with 6 tons of amber, gold-leaf walls, mosaics, and mirrors. Created in 1701 for the first king of Prussia, the Amber Room would be gifted to Peter the Great in 1716 to cement an "alliance against Sweden." After being shipped to Russia in 18 boxes, it was installed in St. Petersburg before being relocated to the Catherine Palace (seen above) in Pushkin.

Subsequently, several architects added to the room to create a "Baroque marvel" that was "180 square feet" and worth over $140 million. According to History, it would remain in Russia until June 1941. When the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union, they proceeded to loot thousands of "treasures," including the Amber Room. Although the Russians had tried to hide the room under wallpaper, it was no use. The Amber Room was packed up by the Nazis and shipped to Königsberg, Germany (now Kaliningrad, a Russian enclave).

The Amber room was most likely destroyed

According to Smithsonian Magazine, the Amber Room was "reinstalled" and "studied" in a museum in Königsberg. By 1943, it was clear the Nazis were going to lose the war, and thus, the Amber Room was taken apart and put away. Regrettably, it has not been seen since and its fate remains unknown. Several theories as to its whereabouts exist, including that it was ultimately destroyed when Königsberg and the museum it was formerly housed in were bombed by the allies.

Others believed the Amber Room was aboard the "Wilhelm Gustloff," a German ship that was sunk in 1945 (via History ). Several investigations of the wreckage have failed to find anything. Königsberg's underground tunnels were also searched but to no avail. In 1997, a piece of the Amber Room was found when the son of a former German soldier attempted to sell it. The soldier had taken the piece when the room was being dismantled. No other information is known.

Per the BBC, with little hope to find the original, construction of an Amber Room replica began in 1979. It took more than two decades to complete and is now located at the Catherine Palace. With little to go on, most historians believe that the Amber Room was indeed destroyed when Königsberg was bombed. If the Amber Room is ever found, it would most likely have deteriorated beyond repair as amber is "complex" and "fragile."