208 : Essling Schloss
As I mentioned in Post 197, I needed three feature buildings for the village of Essling. With the Schloßkapelle completed, I transferred my efforts to the Schloss itself.
From the information I’d managed to unearth, a settlement where Essling now stands was first mentioned around 1250. The centre of the village was probably a farm, which in 1378 was turned into a fortification. In future centuries, this stronghold was turned into the elegant chateau and grounds that formed, in John Gill’s words, “an excellent defensive position” for Napoleon’s troops. The defensive benefits were mainly due to the walled formal garden and the walled dairy to the rear of the chateau. Like the chapel, the Schloss was badly damaged in 1809 and therefore didn’t avoid real fighting.
I could only allow my model a frontage of something like 65mm. Total Battle Miniatures produced a suitable model – their Grand Town Building with Pillared Entrance. I had the model in my collection but, unfortunately, even at only 80mm wide, it was large enough to badly reduce the number of other models I could fit in my village with its 200mm-square footprint.
So I set about designing my own chateau. I based it on the present Essling Schloss: a substantial building with 14 windows on the upper floor of its facade. I reduced these to only five. I thought it was important to make sure and keep a central window above the entrance. In place of the present municipal clock, I designed a shield of stone with the Essling coat of arms carved on. I was keen that the building had a passage leading from the main street to the garden at the rear of the property, and to include a couple of doors in the corridor.