Meissen in the German region of Saxony has become synonymous with the production of fine porcelain. Porcelain was first invented in China in the first century AD; it was such as valuable export that many Europeans sought to discover how to make it. Eventually, in eighteenth century Saxony Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus and Johann Friedrich Böttger worked out how it could be done. For a long time Meissen had a monopoly on porcelain production in Europe; the region became famous for it. The expensive, rare Meissen porcelain was a luxury that could only be afforded by the European upper classes such as the Rostovs in Russia.