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Cröbern 1813

Diorama Building

Back in 2001 Wolfgang Meyer first had the idea to build a diorama of the village of Cröbern during the Battle of the Nations. Yet it took another five years to start planning and actually work on the diorama. Ever since, Wolfgang has been working on this ambitious project in co-operation with other diorama enthusiasts and figure makers. In the beginning, his intention was to build the village road leading up to the parish church only. As time went by, this grew into the project as it is now: The presentation of the entire village and its surroundings, including all civilians and troops present in the afternoon of October 16, 1813.

When finished, the diorama will consist of 32 modules, each built on a plywood board measuring 1.20 m by 1.40 m (ca. 4 feet by 4 2/3 feet). The terrain is built up with styrodure and building filler in accordance with historic maps. Special care is put into reproducing the topography as of 1813, including the terrain’s relief. We try to make the miniature landscape and buildings look as realistic as possible.

All the buildings, including the church, are painstakingly reproduced according to old photographs and historic plans, where feasible. The diorama will ultimately measure 7.20 by 8.40 m (ca. 22 by 26 feet). The modules can be transported in large wooden crates specially commissioned for that purpose. When the diorama will be assembled in its ultimate location, the junctures between the modules will be covered so as to create a homogeneous landscape.

The diorama features:

  • the entire village of Cröbern, including nearly 90 different buildings, among them the parish church, roads, gardens, trees, meadows, fields, pastries and the Gösel rivulet, which is spanned by several intact bridges, a watermill, the flooded riverside meadows, the so-called Moorgrund (a stretch of marshland), as well as timber woods and fish ponds;
  • around 20,000 white metal figures, among them 1,500 cavalrymen, specially sculpted, cast and hand-painted for this project;
  • ca. 200 waggons and cannons with 600 draught horses.

The diorama features the complete Bianchi and Weißenwolff Infantry Divisions, several cuirassier regiments of the Nostiz Division and the Russian Lubny Hussar Regiment. Furthermore, it shows the Prussian field hospital in the Cröbern tavern (Petermann’scher Gasthof), where you can see, through open doors and shutters, military surgeons doing their gruesome work. Wounded combatants are also to be found in every single house of Cröbern.

From the civilian population, the minister, village judge and parish council can be seen by the church. The civilians are being evacuated or seeking refuge in the church building. The troop concentrations shown have been accurately numbered on our source basis. Besides there are many small things going on, as conveyed in the eyewitness accounts.

The unique feature of this diorama is that it does not compromise on scale or numbers. That means that all buildings and landscape features are exactly to scale, with no reduction in length or height. Also, the exact numbers of troops are represented as found in the historical sources, with no reduction of unit sizes.

Click for large picture and detailled information
Click for large picture and detailled information
Click for large picture and detailled information
Click for large picture and detailled information
Click for large picture and detailled information
Click for large picture and detailled information



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