Niederwalddenkmal in 2015
|Location||Rüdesheim am Rhein|
|Designer||Johannes Schilling, Karl Weißbach|
|Height||38 metres (125 ft)|
|Dedicated to||Founding of the German Empire 1871|
The Niederwalddenkmal is a monument located in the Niederwald, near Rüdesheim am Rhein in Hesse, Germany. Built between 1871 and 1883 to commemorate the Unification of Germany, the monument is located within the Rhine Gorge, a larger UNESCO World Heritage Site. The monument overlooks the Rhine Valley and the town of Bingen on the far side.
The monument was constructed to commemorate the founding of the German Empire in 1871 after the end of the Franco-Prussian War. The first stone was laid on 16 September 1871 by Kaiser Wilhelm I. The sculptor was Johannes Schilling, and the architect was Karl Weißbach. The total cost of the work is estimated at one million gold marks. The monument was inaugurated on 28 September 1883. The 38 metres (125 ft) tall monument represents the union of all Germans.
Beneath Germania is a large relief depicting Kaiser Wilhelm I riding a horse with the nobility, army commanders, and soldiers. The relief has the lyrics to "Die Wacht am Rhein" (Watch on the Rhine) engraved.
The right side of the monument is considered the "peace statue", while the left is considered the "war statue."
The monument's main inscription is engraved on the pedestal of the Germania statue:
AN DIE EINMUETHIGE
DES DEUTSCHEN VOLKES
UND AN DIE
DES DEUTSCHEN REICHES
of the unanimous
of the German People
and of the
of the German Empire
The Niederwald is a broad hill on the right bank of the Rhine located next to the tributary Wisper, opposite Bingen am Rhein. The hill forms the southwestern apex of the Taunus range. Its summit is covered by a dense forest of oak and beech. Its southern and western sides, which descend sharply to Rüdesheim am Rhein and Assmannshausen, are covered with vineyards. The monument is located at the edge of the forest, on the crest of the hill above Rüdesheim.
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- Official website (in German)