It took Hans Mieth more than twelve hundred hours, the equivalent of 150 working days, to create this faithful reproduction of the church. Numerous detailed solutions bear witness to the ingenuity and creativity of this amateur crib builder from Schuttern.
Reconstructing Schuttern monastery church was something Hans Mieth had always had in mind, but the architectural designs haven’t come down to us. Then, in 1992, an opportunity presented itself. Scaffolding had gone up around the church, so some renovation work could be carried out. Mieth went into action along with his son Jan, who was just nine at the time. The pair of them scaled the scaffolding and daringly scrambled about up there. With measuring tape, plumb bob, and paper and pencil, they measured the monastery church.
Mieth and his wife Beate then went to work in his studio. The body of the church was made of plywood. But it took a lot of ingenuity to faithfully reproduce all the many details of the original. For example, Hans Mieth punched twelve hundred tiny discs out of sheet aluminium and glued them to the plywood roof. For the balustrade, he whittled wooden clothes pegs into shape. The miniature figures on the church tower were bought from a local toy shop.
Then it was time to work on the interior. He photographed and reduced the size of the altarpiece until it was just right. He built the altar, including a Christmas crib, and made tape recordings of the organ and the bells. Finally, Schuttern-based artist Eddy Hangs lent a hand. Both the marbling in the church interior and the painting of the exterior bear his artistic signature.
If you’d like to see another work of art by Eddy Hangs, take a look at the painting of Marie Antoinette, which is also on display in this room.
All depictions: © Historischer Verein Schuttern 603 e.V. / Gemeinde Friesenheim