Saturday, January 30, 2016

Hall of Liberation (Befreiungshalle)

The Befreiungshalle, "Hall of Liberation" is a memorial commemorating the victorious battles against Napoleon during the wars of liberation in 1813-1815. It was commissioned by King Ludwig I and was modeled off of centralized planned buildings from ancient Rome and Italian Middle Ages.
Construction began in 1842, but it was not complete until 1863, the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Nations.

Befreiungshalle is built on a picturesque hilltop above the Danbue River, we first saw it back in 2014 when we took a day trip to Weltenburg Monastery, but we didn't have time to stop so we decided to save it for another time...2 years later we made it!

I'm a little bitter, because unfortunately, half of the Monument was covered in scaffolding! We saw it from the main road, and I was pretty bummed! But upon arrival we saw that it was just the front half.

This is what is should have looked like...
Image via Wikipedia
This is what we saw...

I plugged in the address and it took us to the top of the hill, it looks like there is a cashier and you have to pay for parking, but we were lucky and there was no one there, free parking!

The views from the monument are absolutely breath taking! 

Next to the parking area is the ticket office, it is the ONLY place where you can purchase tickets, (3.50 Euro - Adults pp) in the actual monument, no one is there. There is only a turn-style ticket reader, so make sure you pick up you tickets!

On the outside of the monument, there are 18 statues, which hold placards for the historic Germanic tribes. The number 18 also symbolizes the date of the Battle of the Nations at Leipzig (18.10.1813), when Napoleon's troops suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of the Coalition.

Since we brought Rylie with us, Drew went inside and snapped pictures. I took the virtual tour online the night before and because he is a big history buff, I figured he would enjoy it more. 
Inside is a domed hall that is supported by 54 columns and pillars, 36 columns in the upper gallery. Around the edge of first floor are tall winged Angels in a circle representing the members of the German Confederation, alternatively holding hands and shields. On the shields are displayed the battles in the liberation of Germany and above the upper gallery are inscriptions for key generals and recaptured strongholds.
To put the size of the hall into perspective: those Angel statues are about 10 feet tall!!

In the center of the hall is a saying, in English it reads;
"May the Germans never forget what made necessary the struggle for freedom and by what means they won"

After researching this quote, it got me thinking about the Nazi's, and after a quick Google search, I found this picture of Hitler and the Hall of Liberation! It still blows my mind!

Image via Google Search
If you're a history lover, or even if you're looking for a quick day trip, I would highly suggest checking this place out. You could even tie in a trip to the Monastery since it is literally next to each other!

GPS Address: Befreiungshalle Stra├če 3, 93309 Kelheim
Hours: 9a-4p
Price: 3.50 Adults, 3 children