German Village - Expo Chicago 1893

German Village at the Exhibition Expo Chicago 1893

The German Village, which adjoins the Javanese settlement on the west, occupies the largest space of any in the Plaisance. The buildings are constructed most substantially of German material, by German workmen and in German fashion. The village is a true representation of German life in all its aspects, social, domestic and industrial, as well as an illustration of the development of the nation. It is divided into three distinct parts. The most prominent structure is the mediaeval castle. of the sixteenth century, surrounded by a moat fifteen feet wide and crossed by two drawbridges. T h e spacious halls in the east half of this castle are filled to their utmost capacity with an exceedingly interesting ethnographic museum, comprising, among other features, the celebrated collection of arms, coats of mail, implements of the war and the chase, the property of Town Councillor Zschille, of Grossenhain, Saxony. This collection alone has a value of $1,000,000. ; here are other interesting collections, and representations of all sorts of German homes.

Bernhard Mannfeld, one of the leading representatives of the art of etching, exhibits here hundreds of his own works in the various stages of development. In the main hall of the castle an apotheosis of the German empire is shown in the form of a group of the most famous heroes of the German nation down to William I., and this group is surrounded by a procession of German peasants from all sections of the empire in their respective national costumes doing homage. The ethnographic collection is so extensive that another building was required for it, and the Hessian town hall had to be given up to it also. In the shadow of the castle, to the east of this, is spread out the village proper, consisting of German typical farm houses from all sections of the empire, with a Fair in progress in the streets. Articles of German industry, many of the m produced on the grounds, arc sold to the visitors by natives in their national costumes. Passing from the village in front of the castle, and to the west side, one reaches the grand concert garden where two German military bands, in the most picturesque uniforms of the German army, give two concerts every day. This garden, which is covered by splendid oak trees and surrounded by covered pavilions, accommodates eight thousand people at one time.

©The World's Columbian Exposition 1893