Doesn't the picture above look like a real city from long ago? Well it is a city...but it's made of paper!
The city is a scale model of Prague, capital of the Czech Republic, and the model is preserved in the Prague Municipal Museum. The builder was Antonin Langweil, who worked on his model for 11 years, from 1826 to 1837, the year he died. Langweil spent several years meticulously recording details of Prague. He walked every street, making sketches and noting the exact location of buildings, park benches, sheds, statues, and trees. He even included barrels he saw on the ground, broken windows, a ladder leaning against a wall, and piles of wood! Then he started to build his model of paper and a little bit of wood, working to a scale of 1:480. He added street lanterns, gutters, and cobblestones. And he faithfully reproduced churches with their stained-glass windows—including missing or broken panes. In places where the plaster had chipped off houses, his model shows the underlying bricks. He also added the Vltava River, which winds its way through Prague.
Today, Langweil’s paper model is not only an interesting museum artifact but also a magnet for art lovers and for historians who want to see how Prague has changed over time. Measuring 18.9 feet by 10.6 feet, it is sealed in a glass display case and illuminated with numerous tiny lights suspended inside the case. Thanks to modern technology, Langweil’s model has now been digitized, allowing visitors to see the Prague of 1837 in the form of an interactive computer model.
The above information and pictures are from Awake!, February 2012 and http://www.langweil.cz/index_en.php. Please visit these sites for detailed information.