A WWII ship was found at the bottom of the Baltic Sea that divers believe may contain the legendary Amber Room.
The wreck of the German cruiser Karlsruhe was discovered off the Polish coast by divers who explored the area in search of the ship sunk in April 1945.
Tomasz Stachura from the Baltictech diving group, which investigates Baltic wrecks, said: “After months of searching, we finally came across the Karlsruhe steamship wreck.
A WWII ship was found at the bottom of the Baltic Sea that divers believe may contain the legendary Amber Room
The Amber Room (pictured in Russia in 1917), filled with amber, gold, and precious jewels, was looted by the Nazis in 1941 and its contents mysteriously disappeared in 1945
“We have been looking for this ship for over a year.
The shipwreck was found on the bottom of the Baltic Sea several dozen kilometers north of Ustka.
& # 39; It rests at a depth of 88 meters. It's practically intact. In its holds we discovered military vehicles, china and many boxes with previously unknown contents. & # 39;
He added that the discovery could provide groundbreaking information about the disappearance of the legendary Amber Chamber.
The amber chamber was seen for the last time in Königsberg.
The wreck of the German cruiser Karlsruhe was discovered off the Polish coast by divers who explored the area in search of the ship sunk in April 1945
The ship brought 1,083 refugees and 360 tons of cargo and has been 290 feet underwater for decades
Divers have discovered military vehicles, china and many boxes with previously unknown contents
The shipwreck was found on the bottom of the Baltic Sea several dozen kilometers north of Ustka
"From there, the Karlsruhe left with a large freight on her last voyage."
For three centuries the Amber Room, sometimes referred to as the eighth wonder of the world, stood in the Imperial Catherine Palace near St. Petersburg.
It was dismantled by German forces during the occupation of the USSR and covered more than 590 square feet and contained more than 6 tons of amber.
In 1941 the Amber Room was stored in what was then the East Prussian town of Königsberg (now Kaliningrad) and then disappeared.
Divers found the shipwreck at a depth of 88 meters and say most of it is practically intact
The explorers say that the ship was in Koenigsberg at the time the Amber Room was last seen
Karlsruhe took part in Operation Hannibal, a German naval operation in which German troops and civilians were evacuated by sea
The ship is not to be confused with the Karlsruhe, which was recently discovered off the coast of Norway and sunk in 1940
Tomasz Zwara from Baltictech added: "The history and the available documents show that the Karlsruhe left the port in a great hurry and with a large cargo."
Now divers believe that the 196-foot-long Karlsruhe, with which the Germans were evacuated from what was then East Prussia towards the end of the war, could be involved in the disappearance.
The ship is not to be confused with the Karlsruhe, which was recently discovered off the coast of Norway and was sunk in 1940.
Stachura from Baltictech told Polish media: “The German steamer Karlsruhe, which was another unit after Gustloff, Goyi and Steuben that took part in Operation Hannibal, set out from Pilawa on April 12, 1945 and was the last ship that Królewiec had previously left The Russians took it.
The remains of the Amber Room after it was confiscated by the Nazis, who packed the amber tablets in 27 boxes and shipped them to Germany, where they disappeared and have not been seen since
She brought 1,083 refugees and 360 tons of cargo. She set out on her final journey under a strong escort.
Sunk on April 13, 1945 in the morning. Only 113 people were saved.
"We don't want to be excited, but if the Germans were to bring the Amber Chamber across the Baltic Sea, the Karlsruhe steamer would be their last chance …"
Tomasz Zwara from Baltictech added: "The history and the documents available show that the Karlsruhe left the port in a great hurry and with a large cargo (…). All of this together stimulates the imagination."
The story of the missing Amber Room that was looted by the Nazis
The amber room was originally a gift to Peter the Great (picture)
The amber room should originally have been an amber cabinet, a gift from Friedrich-Wilhelm I of Prussia to Peter the Great, who admired the work during a visit to his castle in 1716.
Instead of a closet, however, it was decided to use the panels as wall coverings and surround them with gilded carvings, mirrors and even more amber panels.
The room was made of panels with six tons of amber resin, took 10 years to complete and is worth around £ 250 million for today's money.
The 16 foot puzzle-style puzzle pieces were made up of more than 100,000 perfectly matched pieces of amber.
In 1755 it was moved to the Catherine Palace in Tsarkoe Selo, 17 miles south of the Imperial Russian capital St. Petersburg.
In 1941 the approaching Nazi army surrounded the city, which was then known under the Soviet name of Leningrad. Tsarkoe Selo was one of the outlying areas occupied by the Germans.
Russians tried to hide the walls behind wallpaper.
But the Nazis knew what was behind the everyday blanket and set about dismantling the room – a process that took 36 hours.
Believing that the Prussian gift rightly belonged to them, they packed the amber tablets in 27 boxes and sent them to Germany.
However, the contents of the room disappeared in 1945 and were no longer seen.
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