PANOPTICUM (also known as Wunderkammer, Kunst kammer, Cabinet of Curiosities, Cabinet of Oddities) is the name given to luxurious collections of exceptional taste. These collections of rich people were full of strange, extremely rare, mystical, occult, exotic objects, natural or human anomalies. In these collections, unusual, original everyday or artistic works created by man are common.
The von der Ropp family were known throughout Europe as a conservative, art-collecting and trading family. So not only were paintings and sculptures bought, but also the strangest of artefacts were brought to their residence. The von der Ropp’s personal doctor compiled a very exclusive collection of abnormalities, which can be seen in the Cabinet of Curiosities.
You can visit the Cabinet of Curiosities and see the interestingly strange artifacts with your own eyes by purchasing tickets to the daily festival held in the manor at that time or the Historical Adventure Park program.
Collecting precious, expensive objects was a long time tradition among the wealthy, so early panopticums or cabinets of curiosities functioned as symbols of social status. Collecting broadened knowledge of the world and was considered as an essential part of a well-to-do’s education.
In the manors, cabinets of curiosities or panopticums also appeared as a solution to enliven luxury but dimly lit aristocratic parties. These were mostly original items bought during long trips to distant lands. Each item provided an opportunity to tell a story (usually a fictional one) about an adventure that happened during the trip. Also it presented owner of collections more colorfully, through exclusive items that were like tangible signs of intelligence, erudition, wealth and taste.