New Palais Castle Museum
In 1729, Prince Günther I of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen (1678 - 1740) commissioned the construction of a palace as a subsequent dowager's residence for his wife Elisabeth Albertine, née Princess of Anhalt-Bernburg (1693 - 1774). Completed in 1734, the palace served as a home for the royal art collections while the prince and princess were still alive. Special mention must be made here of Prince Günther I's extensive porcelain collection, consisting of some 1000 Chinese and Japanese porcelain items, exhibited today on a total of 763 shelves in the Castle Museum.
There is a permanent exhibition showing the work of the young Johann Sebastian Bach as an organist (1703 - 1707). Visitors can learn much about Bach's time in Arnstadt, with the help of contemporary multimedia technology. The exhibition also presents references to musical, social and town history and creates for visitors a vivid and detailed picture of the composer and his time in Arnstadt.
But the great visitor attraction is considered to be the internationally unique "Mon Plaisir" collection of dolls famous way beyond the boundaries of Thuringia. Princess Auguste Dorothea of Schwarzburg-Arnstadt (1666 - 1751), a passionate collector, arranged this fascinating collection in the form of a miniature town. In 82 scenes, 391 dolls surrounded by some 2670 separate items of equipment reflect the life at court at the time and that of peasants, craftsmen and clergymen in the town.