Niederwalddenkmal, Unesco Site, Rüdesheim am Rhein, Germany
Since the 13th century, the Niederwald has been a cultural landscape with a high historical continuity. The monument of the Germania was erected in the English park of the Jagdschlosses Niederwald (built 1763-66), which was built in 1787. Visible from afar, it forms a prominent point of reference at the entrance to the World Cultural Heritage Upper Middle Rhine Valley, to which it belongs since 2002.
The Niederwald monument at Rüdesheim was erected as a memorial to the Franco-German war and the subsequent German Empire. It was based on a proposal of the writer Ferdinand Heyl in the “Rheinische Kurier”, which was accepted by Kaiser Wilhelm I and Reichskanzler Otto von Bismarck thanks, especially since the monument was erected largely with donations from the population. The competition was won by the Dresden sculptor Johannes Schilling, the architect Karl Weißbach provided the design. The figure was cast in Munich by Ferdinand von Miller. On the occasion of the foundation on September 16, 1877, as well as during the inauguration on 28 September 1883, Kaiser Wilhelm I was personally present. Since then, the figure of Germania, which is more than 12 meters high, rises as a “Watch on the Rhine”, covered with oak and crowned with the imperial crown in the raised hand, on the stone base, some 26 m high.
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