Project Austerlitz

This year we commemorate the jubilee anniversary of one of the most renowned events of European history, the battle of Austerlitz which took place on December 2nd 1805 on fields between Austerlitz and Brno (now in Czechia). The battle was fought between the army of the French Emperor Napoleon I. and the armies of the Russian Tsar Alexander I. and the Austrian Emperor Francis I. In the morning of December 2nd some 75.000 French soldiers were facing almost 90.000 of their Allied counterparts. It is then generally well known that the battle brought the victory to Napoleon who succeeded to break through the Allied centre and the put the Allied army to flight. The number of victims of this encounter was enormous especially on the Allied side. The French recorded some 1.500 dead and 7.000 wounded, Russians and Austrians some 15.000 dead and wounded, more than 30.000 were taken prisoners.

By organizing the annual November and December commemorations Project Austerlitz 2005 follows its long-term plan (launched in 1998) to organize the jubilee bicentennial of the battle. Today all the participants and partners of the Project take a share in its execution. To name a few mainly the Southern Moravian Region (general partner), Central European Napoleonic Society (main partner for re-enacments and military history), Mohyla miru – Austerlitz (association of 20 communities of the Austerlitz battlefield), the Scientific Council of the Project Austerlitz 2005 and other partners and sponsors. The production back-ground including financing of the Project provides and coordinates Davay Communications s. r. o. Tourism services for the organized groups from abroad delivers exclusively the Euroagentur Prague. The ticket sale for the auditorium (excluding tribunes) will be launched in September 2005. All the important information will be regularly available on the internet presentation of the Project Austerlitz 2005 at www.austerlitz2005.com.

The scope of this year’s commemorative events makes them one of the largest events of the Napoleonic period in the world ever. The main battle reconstruction on the fields under the Santon Hill in Tvarozna (ca. 15 km east of Brno) will be attended by ca. 4.000 Napoleonic re-enactors from around the world, including some 100 horsemen, representing the historical armies of France, Russia and Austria. Next to the traditionally strongest Czech presence (ca. 20%), represented will be also Slovakia, Austria, Germany, Great Britain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxemburg, Poland, Russia, Belorussia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, Moldavia, Spain, Malta, Norway, Sweden, USA, Canada and Australia. It is expected that the battle reconstruction on Saturday December 3rd at 1 PM will be viewed by some 30.000 home and foreign spectators. In the immediate future a contract regarding the live TV broadcast into satellite networks will be signed. After the re-enactments spectators will watch the multimedia show Symphony Austerlitz 1805 for the Central European Percussion Ensemble DAMA DAMA, a battery of cannons, group of fusiliers and fires by authors Dan Dlouhy and Ivan Martinek. In the evening at 19:30 the National Theatre in Brno will stage the festive performance of the opera War and Peace by Sergei Prokofiev (libretto by S. Mendelsonova) after the famous novel of the same name by L. N. Tolstoi directed by Mykhola Tretiak. During the Saturday night the communities accross the Austerlitz battlefield will see different festive marches, fireworks and other supporting events. The Comemmorative events will culminate on Sunday December 4th 2005 at 12:00 with the piety act at the Peace Monument on Pratzen Heights.

Naturally, the event of such a scale requires thorough preparations, coordinated planning on a high level, strong organizational background and extensive financial resources. Currently the registrations of uni-formed participants are closed and the preparations of their accommodation and catering continue. In the final stage of preparation are the battle reconstruction and the supporting program, too. The organiza-tional team expects to provide the accommodation capacities for ca. 4.000 persons in the communities all around the Austerlitz battlefield and other localities, too. During the weekend of December 2nd – 4th 2005 the participants of the event will be provided some 16.000 portions of meals and thousands of litres of beverages. For the battle reconstruction there will be more than 1.500 kg of black powder for muskets and cannons, 200 kg of explosives for the pyrotechnic effects as well as large amount of other material for decorations etc. The battlefield perimeter will be delimitated by three tribunes for ca. 5.000 spectators and kilometres of mobile fences. The auditorium would be able to contain some 25.000 spectators. The event’s budget of € 500.000 matches its exigency, too. The overall budget of all the Project Austerlitz 2005 events in this year reaches almost € 840.000. In 1998-2004 the Project Austerlitz 2005 was invested more than € 860.000. Grants and subsidies amounted to € 50.000, the rest was collected from private resources thus from sponsors and own resources of the production company Davay Communications s. r. o.