1708

Discovery of European porcelain

Discover the MEISSEN® porcelain manufactory with its unique craftsmanship and the crossed blue swords. The first European porcelain has been produced here in Meissen since 1710, thanks to Augustus ‘the Strong’ - the Elector of Saxony was an avid collector of porcelain. This costly habit saw the state finances near bankruptcy, since porcelain had to be imported from Asia. The secret of its production had not yet been found in Europe.

When young alchemist Johann Friedrich Böttger boasted that he knew how to make gold, Augustus was quick to secure his services for Saxony by arresting Böttger. Assisted by scientist Tschirnhaus, it took two years, a failed attempt at escape, and the realization that gold could not, in fact, be created, to discover instead the secret of the Asian ‘white gold’. Experimenting with different local types of clay and ever higher kiln temperatures, Tschirnhaus and Böttger first made their breakthrough in 1707 with a dark red stoneware, then in 1708 with the successful production of the first true porcelain ever to be made in Europe.

By 1710, the production was advanced enough to open a factory, first housed in the disused Albrechtsburg castle, until the 1860s when the MEISSEN® porcelain manufactory was moved to the modern production facilities you can still visit today.

MEISSEN®

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