The main motivation of this contribution is to introduce a computational laboratory to analyse defects and fractures at the sub--micro scale. To this end, we have attempted to present a continuum--atomistic multiscale algorithm for the analysis of crystalline deformation, i.e. we have combined the above--mentioned Cauchy--Born rule within a finite element approximation (FEM) on the continuum region with a molecular dynamics (MD) resolution on the atomistic domain. The aim is twofold: on the one hand the stability, i.e. validity of the Cauchy--Born rule and its transition to non--affine deformation at the micron--scale is studied with the help of molecular dynamics approach to capture fine--scales features; on the other hand a horizontal FEM/MD, i.e. continuum atomistic coupling, is envisaged in order to study representative cases of crystalline defects. To cope with the latter we have introduced a horizontal coupling method for continuum--atomistic analysis.