The exhibition presents the life's work of Gerhard Bätz and Manfred Kiedorf. Inspired by the splendid court culture of the Baroque and Rococo periods, the fantasy oaks of the castles of the praised island were created over the course of more than 50 years. Bätz stands for the Kingdom of Pelaria, Kiedorf for the Kingdom of Dyonia.
In 2006, the Thuringian State Museum Heidecksburg in Rudolstadt succeeded in purchasing this complete work of art and has been presenting it in the restored rooms of the former princely court kitchen since 2007. In 2018, the exhibition was expanded once again.
The exhibition, which was set up together with the artists, bears witness to the impressive knowledge of the two creators on court ceremonial, architecture and costume studies of the 18th century. The castles of the vaunted island thus form an ideal complement to the banqueting halls and living rooms of the real residential palace of the Princes of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt.
The following miniature buildings are on display:
- the castles Perenz, Pyrenz and Eulenlust
- the Prince's Palace Musenhofen and the Hunting Lodge Dyona
- a mausoleum
- the monastery Heilig Schläuchen
- the temple of light
- a pillar of shame (»Bas-Säule«)
- a small ruin
- the dyonian Court of Audit
- the great castle ruin Grauenstein
- the Court Church of Perenz Castle
- the castle kitchen of Perenz
Hundreds of characters inhabit the worlds of the castles. Separate individual scenarios show the pompous and sometimes vicious life at court.
A side room shows examples from the extensive correspondence of both artists. About 2,500 of these letters have survived and are now preserved in the museum archive. In addition to various notebooks and sketchbooks, one can also marvel at the first protagonists from the Halma Stone Age. The exhibition is complemented by the movie report »Von der Lust am Prunken« (Of the Lust for Splendour) produced by Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk, which provides background information on the creation of the miniature worlds.
Bätz and Kiedorf excel as masters of minimisation, both small-minded, perfect in their use of papier-mâché, plaster, cardboard, wood.
Die Welt, 28. January 2009
Rococo en miniature in Rudolstadt is a gigantic throw of genius in miniature.
A sensitive counter-world to the often coarse reality comes to life (...).
Main Echo, Easter 22./ 23./ 24. March 2008
In filigree, but above all in complexity, the 'Castles of the Praised Island' are far superior to August the Strong's showpiece.
Mitteldeutsche Zeitung, 16. June 2007
Bavaria's fairytale king Ludwig II - if he were still among us living - he would be green with envy (...)
Freies Wort, 2. May 2007
They are magnificent and wonderfully proportioned buildings from the spirit of the Rococo, which have no historical models whatsoever, but instead a sparkling fictional life.
(...) true marvels of micro-architecture (...)
FAZ, 3. August 2003
Artistic architecture on a scale of 1:50, magnificent interiors, chambers, kitchens, halls, chambers and precious furniture - at times you don't need to go to Sanssouci or Dresden to be able to walk through fantastic castles, at least visually.
(...) the details convince every critic, including all the people involved at court: Dukes, ministers, military officers, court jesters, poets, musicians and philosophers.
Gerhard Bätz's and Manfred Kiedorf's little world is sure to make not only children's eyes sparkle. It will also delight model makers and historians.
Thüringer Landeszeitung, 27. November 2002
A lavish baroque dream castle in miniature (...)
Here the toy scale of a castle has been driven to absolute perfection (...)
This is no longer a toy, but a real work of art (...)
Süddeutsche Zeitung, 22. August 2000