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Kaiser-Wilhelm-Denkmal

Emperor Wilhelm Monument

Wilhelm I Berlin 1797 - Berlin 1888
King of Prussia, 1861 - 1888, and the first German Emperor, 1871 - 1888
(Wikipedia)
Emil Hundrieser & Raymond Kittl
1897/copy 1993

Koblenz /  Kaiser-Wilhelm-Denkmal   Koblenz /  Kaiser-Wilhelm-Denkmal

Description

Giant (14 meter high) equestrian statue of Emperor Wilhelm I, with next to him a winged female genius offering him a laurel wreath and the imperial crown.

Annotation

In 1945, the statue was badly damaged by an American artillery shell. Soon afterwards it was completely taken down. The French military government planned to replace the old memorial with a monument for peace and understanding among nations, but this concept was never realized.

After the formation of the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic in 1949, the country was divided into a capitalist west and a communist east. In order to express the deep wish for a united Germany, President Theodor Heuss turned the German Corner into a monument to German unity. As a result, the coats of arms of all German Länder (states), including those of former German territories such as Silesia, East Prussia and Pomerania, were installed. Replacing the destroyed equestrian statue, a German flag flew over the plaza.

After the Berlin Wall came down in November 1989, three concrete parts of the actual wall were installed next to the monument. On 3 October 1990, the emblems of the new federal states were added.

With German Reunification in 1990, the German Corner no longer served as a symbol of the aspiration for a united Germany. Thus, a discussion arose regarding a remodelling of the plaza. Critics considered the reinstallation of the equestrian statue of Wilhelm I as out of time and improper, whereas promoters saw the opportunity for tourist benefits. As the owner of the site, any decision to reinstall a statue of Wilhelm I rested with the government of the Rhineland-Palatinate. However, the state government transferred its rights to the city of Koblenz and when Werner and Anneliese Theisen (a couple from Koblenz) announced that they would bear all costs for a reconstruction of the statue, the decision was made to proceed.

The Düsseldorf sculptor, Raymond Kittl, was commissioned to produce a replica of the original sculpture and the remodelled statue was created from durable bronze cast unlike the original which had been made from copper plates. In May 1992, the parts of the statue were brought to Koblenz on board the MS Futura. The assembly work was completed at the port and on 2 September 1993 a mobile lattice boom crane lifted the statue onto the base. The installation took place on Sedan Day, which although no longer officially recognized, was the day on which the German victory in the Battle of Sedan was commemorated. On 25 September 1993, the new statue was inaugurated.

The circumstances were not so good to make photos. Later we hope to make better photos

Koblenz - Kaiser-Wilhelm-Denkmal

Sculptors

Sources & Information

Tags

Location (N 50°21'50" - E 7°36'20")

Item Code: derp248; Photograph: 1 November 2015
Of each statue we made photos from various angles and also detail photos of the various texts.
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© Website and photos: René & Peter van der Krogt