Völkerschlachtdenkmal

On an overcast August Saturday there was a well-populated parking lot and several buses of visitors, almost all German. Older people (it’s funny to include myself in this category these days) were well-represented, but there were all ages, including plenty of families with young children. I felt that here one has some impression of Germany’s soul. The monument was build on the hundredth anniversary in 1913, on the threshold of European civilization’s collapse into horror. The immense structure commemorates participation in the War for Freedom, when along with other nations Germany threw off the French invader, but none of the figures would suggest the 19th Century; instead one feels that here tribute is paid to the ancients, to the age of Charlemagne rather than Bonaparte.

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