Brunswick’s Dioramas

Animals in their habitats


The two beavers (Castor fiber) are shown in an landscape resembling the wetlands of the Elbe River. In the background are the beaver dam and the beaver lodge.

The expression “diorama” derives from Greek and means “peep box”. The foreground is equipped with natural plants and an animal species. Whenever possible, the backgrounds of our dioramas were painted with landscapes resembling places of the Brunswick area.

In our dioramas we display animal species that used to and still do exist in Northern Germany. The red deer, badger and common raven can still be found all over Germany. Moose, wisent and wolf have now become extinct in Lower Saxony (although the wolf has since returned). The last lynx of the Harz (a German mountain chain) was shot 1818 in Seesen (near Brunswick) and is now displayed in one of our dioramas. Many of our dioramas were built in the early 1950s and are therefore nearly 70 years old.

Surprisingly, man-made landscapes can also be attractive habitats for wild animals. One of the dioramas displays a segment of the shallow waters that can be found at the Brunswick “Rieselfelder”. Until recently, this area in the city’s west was used for the defecation of sewage. During the migration periods in spring and fall, numerous waders and water birds gather here.

The exhibition also depicts animals that didn’t originally exist in Germany. Muskrats, raccoons and raccoon dogs were brought to Germany for breeding and fur farming. Some individuals that escaped or were purposely set free spread and bred everywhere they could find a suitable habitat.