The Fürstenzug [Procession of Princes] is a huge mural on Meissen porcelain tiles, 101 metres long, depicting 35 of the most significant noblemen in the history of Saxony in a procession on horseback. It was created originally by Wilhelm Walter between about 1872 and 1876, to mark the 800th anniversary of the Wettin dynasty, using the technique of sgraffito, where the top surface (of plaster in this case) is scratched away to reveal a different colour underneath. But within 25 years the mural had been affected by damp from the river Elbe, and the design was transferred in 1907 to some 24,000 porcelain tiles produced by the nearby Meissen factory.

The mural is on the rear wall of the Johanneum, the former stables, on Augustusstrasse. It's difficult to photograph such a long thing in a narrow street, but in any case a white van is parked exactly where I don't want it to be, apparently servicing a trinket stall. It's still there as I come past late in the afternoon. I took some photos square-on at the 12mm end of the Nikon 12-24mm lens.

Leading the procession is Konrad the Great (1127-1156), who is followed by his successors in chronologic order. Each has his name in a strip at the bottom of the mural. Best known is Augustus the Strong (1670-1733), whose horse (someone said) is about to trample on a flower, noting his conversion to the Catholic faith to allow him to become King of Poland – the horse destroying the flower of Protestant reform. The tiles suffered little damage in WWII, and less than 200 needed to be replaced.

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