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Author Topic: Murten 1476  (Read 742 times)

Offline SirGromit1879

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Murten 1476
« on: June 26, 2018, 09:39:15 AM »
Hi all,

 I'm planning a 28mm scale version of the fortified town of Murten, trying to nail down a design at the moment and have some questions, would be really grateful if anyone can help.

Does anyone know where I can find detailed information or plans of the town as it would of appeared in 1476?

I can piece together how the main wall and watchtowers would of looked as I don't believe they would have changed too much, and the Diebolds chonicles have been helpful but I am interested in what the original main gate would of looked like as I think it was badly damaged and rebuilt much later.

I was wondering how realistic the Murten panorama is as well, as it depicts the castle almost as it looks today but I understand it was added to extensively in the 1700's except for the large square tower.

Also would the brickwork on the wall and tower have been plastered over?

If anyone could point me in the right direction where I could find out more information that would be brilliant =)

Oh and a question about the battle itself, did the Burgundian seigelines encircle the whole town, as in some of Diebolds work he has it besieged from all sides.

Thank you for looking, Alex

Offline painterman

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Re: Murten 1476
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2018, 11:37:10 AM »
Hi Alex,
Very interested in your venture; it'll be a large set-up at 28mm!

As you say, the town walls largely remain and so getting an accurate outline of Murten is straightforward. I would expect that the town walls were rendered and lime washed to protect them from the weather etc, most medieval walls would have been so. I would also expect to have wooden palisades around some or all of the walls and towers.Many are there today and you can walk around.

I'm not sure on the Panorama; personally I would use it as a reference only if all other sources fail - it was a commercial venture after all and whilst there's lots thats correct in it, somethings certainly aren't. Afraid I have no idea on the post-1476 modifications to the gate or tower.

Re the siege lines; I'm not sure that we know. The Schilling illustrations do not show them and it would be big undertaking to completely encircle the town. My understanding is that medieval besiegers usually constructed large fortified camps to stay in and protect themselves from counter attack, these would be posted around the castle/town to effectively block it off - I'm thinking of Orleans 1428 for example.
From what I read of Marten (from Vaughan's Charles the Bold), there were possibly 4 Burgundian camps:
- The Ducal headquarters on a hill south of the town, at Bois Domingue
- One south/east - at Munchenweiler, which blocked the road to Fribourg - where expected berne/Swiss relief force would have come from (and did for the battle). Near here would be the 'green hedge' - noted in the battle.
- North of the town, on a hillock near Muntelier & Burg (it maybe called Adera Hubel?), where Count of Romont had 2 large bombards with range of the walls which caused damage.
- The Bastard of Burgundy was near Avenches and again within siege range, as tunnels and ditches were dug at night and were within range of the artillery within the town.

Therefore not exactly besieged from all sides - I'm sure that pragmatically the Burgundians had to select land which either gave them the best location to set-up and to fire bombards at the walls - such as the hillocks mentioned and areas big enough and sufficiently practical to construct defensive camps for large numbers of troops and followers etc.

So I envisage these are large camps, protected by wooden palisades and wagons - from which siege activity occurred and raids on the walls and breaches happened.

hope this helps - I have a small handbook from a visit long ago to the town - I'll dig it out and see if it helps further.
Good luck with the project.


Offline Arlequín

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Re: Murten 1476
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2018, 12:48:42 PM »
I think that's an excellent assessment.

Completely encircling a town was wasteful of manpower and spread troops way too thin. I doubt such things had been seen since the Romans. 

Strong points covering roads would be able to interdict supply wagons and concentrated manpower to beat off sallies.

Pickets and Night patrols between points would also typically intercept messengers and other ne'er-do-wells. 

Offline SirGromit1879

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Re: Murten 1476
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2018, 12:51:27 PM »
Hi Simon Thank you very much for your detailed reply, that is tremendously helpful =). The location of the camps you gave me will be invaluable in designing the surrounding countryside.

I'm still debating weather to have it as a permanent base board or have the walls removable so it can be put away, but have all the siege lines and lake permanent. Originally planned to just have enough walls to put at a corner of a wargaming table but it has transformed into making the whole town and lake. I can see a lot of potential for some lake warfare scenarios by including the port/dock area of Murten. I might add a stone quay and tower instead of the wooden one and wooden barricade depicted in the chronicles, but everything else I want to be as accurate as possible.

Don't have much time at the minute and have not done terrain before so will probably just work on say a single tower to get the design right before getting boards built. (and I need to clear out garage so I will have space!)

Rendering the walls should make it a bit easier. I bought clay and started practicing sculpting the brick work then realised it might of been renderd, doh! might be able to still have some bricks showing if I include some battle damage maybe


Offline bluechi

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Re: Murten 1476
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2018, 10:10:54 PM »
Use googel picture "Murten Merian"  ;) .....Merian shows the most cities in central europe. Murten was not rich and the walls and towers changes not much.

Offline SirGromit1879

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Re: Murten 1476
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2018, 12:35:32 PM »
Thank you bluechi. I received a reply from Murten museum whom also suggested Martin Martini who did an engraving in 1600 based on a drawing done in 1480 by Heinrich Bichler, (which has since been lost). Had a quick look at it and it is very detailed, so will be able to compare all 4 depictions and modern day images and hopefully come up with a decently accurate design.

I will try and post the drawings in the next couple of days when I have access to a Pc

Offline SirGromit1879

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Re: Murten 1476
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2018, 09:22:15 PM »
« Last Edit: June 27, 2018, 09:46:26 PM by SirGromit1879 »

Offline bluechi

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Re: Murten 1476
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2018, 08:01:35 PM »
The last one is Merian......