Walhalla Memorial, Germany
Walhalla Memorial, Germany The Neoclassical Walhalla Memorial, reminiscent of the Parthenon and reaching for the grandeur of the mythological Norse Valhalla after which it was named, is located high above the Danube River, east of…
26 Feb 20 · 2 mins read
Walhalla Memorial, Germany
The Neoclassical Walhalla Memorial, reminiscent of the Parthenon and reaching for the grandeur of the mythological Norse Valhalla after which it was named, is located high above the Danube River, east of Regensburg, Bavaria. The white stone temple was conceived in 1807 by King Ludwig I—at the time still the crown prince of Bavaria—as a hall of fame to honour and draw inspiration from German-speaking scientists, artists, politicians, and other historic figures. The memorial displays some 65 plaques and 130 busts covering 2,000 years of Germanic and German history.
Until 1871, there was no “Germany”. Instead, Europe’s German-speaking territories were divided into several hundred kingdoms, principalities, duchies, bishoprics, fiefdoms and independent cities and towns. In the 9th century, what is now modern-day Germany was ruled by Charlemagne’s Holy Roman Empire, later subsumed by Napoleon’s French Empire in 1806. In 1807, the young Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria, in the wake of this defeat, wished to erect a monument to remind German-speaking peoples of their common history and victories—a 19th-century “German pantheon” of sorts. After Ludwig was crowned king of Bavaria, construction began in 1830 and 1842 under the supervision of the architect Leo von Klenze.
As the modern German state would not exist for a few decades more when the monument was opened in 1842, the hall of fame included ancient Germanic peoples (including Anglo-Saxons), and famous personalities from the Holy Roman Empire.
The first addition to the collection after its opening was a bust of Martin Luther; the Catholic Ludwig was hesitant to include him but he was later persuaded by his sculptors. Several more will be added over the next century. Since 1945, after the war, private individuals or institutions can propose names to be added, the suggestions reviewed by the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. Additions include Otto von Bismarck, Richard Wagner, Ludwig van Beethoven, Albert Einstein, Johannes Brahms, and Sophie Scholl, a Munich student and activist who was executed by the Nazis. The 65th plaque, dedicated to the German resistance against Nazi Germany, was added in 2003.
Busts of the artist Käthe Kollwitz and the physicist and Nobel Prize winner Max Planck are also scheduled to be included.
Take a walk inside Walhalla and enjoy the view of the Danube from one of the treasured national monuments of Germany.
Articles about Germany published by Odyssey Traveller
- Questions about Germany
- A History of Berlin for Tourists
- The Oberammergau Passion Play
- The Bauhaus Movement
- Destination: Germany
- Ten books to read about Berlin
- Ten of the best art galleries in Europe
- Must See Sights in Berlin
For all the articles Odyssey Traveller has published for mature aged and senior travellers, click through on this link.
External articles to assist you on your visit to Germany
- Walhalla – Donaustauf (near Regensburg)
- The Walhalla: Hall of Heroes (BBC)
- 13 Things to know before visiting Germany
- The Telegraph: Thirty reasons why we love Germany
- A Rhine Romance: Following the Mighty River
- Lonely Planet: 48 Hours in Hamburg
Richard Wagner Ring Cycle, Leipzig | Small Group Tours Germany
The small group tour will see the opera performed in the city of Richard Wagner’s birth, Leipzig. Our tour starts in Dresden and we also visit Bayrouth and Munich. We will not only experience his music in these 4 operas, but also be shown the influences of culture and family on the extraordinary composer’s life.
From A$9,995 AUDView Tour
Contemporary Germany & Oberammergau Passion Play 2030
Enjoy the authentic experience of the Oberammergau passion play on this small group escorted tour. One of the best small group tour companies Europe, the destinations and itineraries provide small group journeys for like minded people. For solo travelers a minimal single supplement applies.
From A$19,995 AUDView Tour
22 daysAug, Apr
Contemporary Germany small group tour
Join us on this this comprehensive small group journey in Germany that begins in Heidelberg and ventures south to the romantic Black Forest to Munich. Spend 21 nights in Germany, featuring Berlin, Munich, the Black Forest, Bavaria, the Alps, and the Rhine.
From A$16,495 AUDView Tour