Battle of the Nations – Leipzig, 1813

The Germans take their military history very seriously. This huge monument was built for the 100th anniversary at huge expense – which isn’t surprising as the structure is massive.

View over the reflecting pool – it doesn’t show, but the tower is 260 metres high and the base is 230 meters wide!
The Crypt – not quite a ‘Tomb of the Unknown Soldier’ – the people on the upper walkway give an idea of the scale of the interior space here!
Leipzig across the Reflecting Pool taken from the main entry level.

As you will remember, Leipzig was where the anti-Napoleon Grand Coalition came together and trounced the Grand Armee, weakened as it was, both in numbers and morale, after the disastrous Russian Campaign. Napoleon was forced to abdicate and sent to St Helena the next year.


This happened to be on the way … the Museum took up a small part of the prisoner’s wing – the main part of the Castle was the German Kommandatur – Offices, Administration and Barracks for the Guards and their commanders … unfortunately it is now a Youth Hostel and, unless you’re staying there, you can’t go inside … and it’s been completely refitted anyway.

The interior of the place was used as a Mental Hospital by the East Germans and there wasn’t much left of the ‘original’ WW2 fittings even in the prisoner’s wing.

The Main Gate (well, the one through which the Prisoners were marched when they arrived in town, the ‘service entrance’ is around the side, off to the right, and up the hill. Remember, this was an Oflag (for officers) so they were ‘gentlemen’ and you wouldn’t have them use the servants entrance!
The sparse furnishings of something represented as a ‘typical’ cell … but, being officers, the occupant(s) often had (or acquired) other possessions which would have filled up the space slightly more. I suspect it would have been unlikely they would have had a room to themselves anyway.
The Inner Courtyard. The space was deemed too small for proper exercise by the Red Cross so the Germans fenced off a part of the Castle’s game park (behind and down the hill from the building here) which is where many of the escape attempts were made.
The outer courtyard showing what would have been the entrance to the Kommandatur – but is now the entrance to the Youth Hostel.
The road up to the service entrance. The rear of the Kommandatur is near right, the lower building and the building behind it were the prison proper.

And that, gentlebeings, is all the photos I have downloaded from both cameras so far … there are more on the memory cards and I will get around to transferring them to my laptop and thence, gradually, to this Blog, over the next little while …

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