Niederwalddenkmal

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Niederwalddenkmal
Niederwalddenkmal ohne Personen.jpg
Niederwalddenkmal in 2015
Niederwalddenkmal is located in Germany
Niederwalddenkmal
Location in Germany
Niederwalddenkmal is located in Hesse
Niederwalddenkmal
Niederwalddenkmal (Hesse)
Coordinates49°58′51″N 7°53′59″E / 49.98083°N 7.89972°E / 49.98083; 7.89972Coordinates: 49°58′51″N 7°53′59″E / 49.98083°N 7.89972°E / 49.98083; 7.89972
LocationRüdesheim am Rhein
DesignerJohannes Schilling, Karl Weißbach
Height38 metres (125 ft)
Beginning date1871
Completion date1883
Dedicated toFounding of the German Empire 1871
Websiteniederwalddenkmal.de/

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.

History[edit]

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.[1]

Description[edit]

Structure[edit]

The central figure is the 10.5 metres (34 ft) tall Germania figure. Her right hand holds the recovered crown, and her left holds the Imperial Sword.

"Wacht am Rhein" lyrics, under the Kaiser Relief.

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."

Inscription[edit]

Niederwalddenkmal c. 1900

The monument's main inscription is engraved on the pedestal of the Germania statue:

ZUM ANDENKEN
AN DIE EINMUETHIGE
SIEGREICHE ERHEBUNG
DES DEUTSCHEN VOLKES
UND AN DIE
WIEDERAUFRICHTUNG
DES DEUTSCHEN REICHES
1870–1871

In memory
of the unanimous
victorious uprising
of the German People
and of the
reinstitution
of the German Empire
1870–1871

Location[edit]

The Niederwald [de] 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.[2][3]

Access[edit]

The Niederwalddenkmal can be reached by gondola lift (formerly a rack railway), from Rüdesheim to Niederwald, by car, by chairlift from Assmannshausen, or by trails on foot.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Die Geschichte des Niederwalddenkmals, niederwalddenkmal.de (in German)
  2. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Niederwald" . Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  3. ^ Rines, George Edwin, ed. (1920). "Niederwald" . Encyclopedia Americana.

External links[edit]