Friday, May 11, 2012

Langweil's model of Prague

(Video link) Antonín Langweil began as a painter of miniature portraits. Then, starting in 1826, he began his big project: a detailed model of the city of Prague. 

He measured each building and then drew the elevations on stiff paper. 

Then the paper could be folded and attached together. This is a good way to make reference maquettes, too.

Langweil's Prague is scaled at 1:480, and includes not only an accurate portrait of each building, but also tiny details such as signs and sundials.

The model is a valuable document for historians of the city because it shows how things looked before 20th century modernization efforts.


Anonymous said...

Thank you.

We were in Prague last summer and it is a beautiful city - so nice to be reminded and to see it again.

Laura G. Young said...

Fascinating. Really gives the phrase, "done to scale" a new meaning.

The model looks as though it's been varnished somehow, which gives a lovely sheen to the river and rooftops. I wonder if that's original, or part of the conservation process?

Pierre Fontaine said...

Paper models are a passion of mine so I'm so happy to see this article and Youtube link. I can't imagine recreating a whole city. I find doing a single building a challenge!


Pierre Fontaine said...

In case anyone is interested, I helped a bit with some of the models available at this website. The New England village that I'm linking to is really nicely done. The owner of the website is Chip Fyn and he is just an amazing person. He's done a lot to keep the hobby of paper modeling alive.

Here's the New England village model: