Categories: Sightseeing, Cultural and History
Außenansicht der Walhalla
[ source: Wikipedia]
The next time you are in Regensburg (Regensburg vacation rentals | Regensburg travel guide), take the time to travel a ways out of the city to visit a historical site unlike few others. Walhalla, which means "hall of the dead," is a hall of fame dedicated to prominent German rulers, politicians, artists, scientists, and other notables. The building is located east of Regensburg, on a bank above the Danube River. The individuals honored in Walhalla cover 2,000 years of history and are featured as either busts (130) or as plaques (65).
The idea of Walhalla was conceived by Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig and was executed after he became king of Bavaria. Ludwig wanted to create a site that would remind all Germans, regardless of regional identity, of their common heritage. The only commonality linking all of the people honored in Walhalla was language; they all spoke Germanic languages of various kinds. Walhalla is considered the most important work commissioned by Ludwig I, and interestingly, he conceived of it as an "open" monument, to which additional honorees would be added over time.
To provide physical expression to his idea, Ludwig I commissioned the architect Leo von Klenze to design Walhalla. The design and construction period lasted from 1830 to 1842, and Klenze took direct inspiration from the Parthenon in Athens, Greece. The neoclassical structure has two pedimental friezes, like its Greek predecessor, but instead of scenes from Greek mythology, Walhalla bears scenes from two seminal events in German history: 1) a depiction of the 1815 creation of the German Confederation; and 2) scenes from the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest.
Inside Walhalla at Regensburg, the visitor will find row upon row of plaques and busts dedicated to German notables. At the time of construction, the decision was made to install plaques for those individuals for whom there were no known depictions (either sculptural or pictorial) that could serve as models for the busts. The list of honorees at Walhalla includes, among others, the following: Arminius, Hidegard von Bingen (Bingen vacation rentals | Bingen travel guide), Charlemagne, Albrecht Duerer, Ludwig von Beethoven, Anthony van Dyck, Franz Joseph Haydn, Nikolaus Copernicus, Immanuel Kant, Johannes Kepler, Peter Paul Rubens, Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf, Martin Luther, J.S. Bach, Albert Einstein, and Sophie Scholl.
[ source: wikipedia.org ]
About this Article
This travel guide has been written by Rachel Hildebrandt.
Starting with her first trip to Germany at the age of 16, Rachel has traveled, worked, and studied in Germany extensively. Although her first encounter with German culture was in Lower Saxony, since that time the focus of her subsequent work as a freelance historian and translator has shifted eastward. Building on her graduate studies in Dresden, Rachel has worked for a variety of German foundations as a historian and translator, and is currently pursuing research pertaining to the Sorbs in Lusatia (eastern Saxony).
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