A temple near Regensburg that’s covered with precious marble inside and out

The Walhalla is a memorial on a mountain that is overlooking the Danube

On a sunny day, while staying in Regensburg, I took a 30 minute drive north-east to the Walhalla memorial. While driving at the banks of the Danube I saw this Greek looking temple, a classicist building on a mountain.

I read this structure, surrounded by columns, is one of most important German national monuments of the 19th century. It was built on behalf of the Bavarian King Ludwig I who reigned 1825-1848.

Against the background of the disgraced triumphal procession of the Napoleonic armies, Ludwig, then Crown Prince (1807) had an idea for a place of remembrance deserving German men and women to be be appreciated.

Walhalla Memorial near Regensburg

Under the influence of the historian Johannes von Müller, the name “Walhalla” was chosen with reference to the eponymous warrior’s paradise of Germanic mythology.

Walhalla Monument. Stepping down some very deep stairs

The Walhalla was built by the preferred architect of Ludwig I., Leo von Klenze (1784-1864), who was one of the most important classicist master builders of the 19th century. In 1830 the foundation was laid, and twelve years later, on October 18, 1842, the Walhalla was officially opened.

Walhalla Memorial Warriors
Depicting Warriors

Klenze delivered the inspiration for his design, the famous Parthenon and the Athenian Acropolis from the 5th century BC. Klenze combined this suggestion with other historical motifs and combined them with the modern achievements of contemporary building technology to form an independent architectural creation.

Inside the Walhalla memorial
The temple is covered with precious marble inside

Inside, along the walls, are the busts and plaques of the “Walhallagenossen” selected by Ludwig I and his advisors, a compilation of rulers, generals, scientists and artists considered exemplary in the nineteenth century.

Walhalla memorial interior busts and figurines

The circulating figures of Martin von Wagners designs portrays an ideal story of the Germans from the first immigrants to the Christianization in the early Middle Ages. Since 1962, the original 96 busts have been supplemented at intervals of five to seven years. The selection is made by the Bavarian Council of Ministers on the recommendation of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences.

View from the Walhalla memorial
View from the Walhalla memorial down to the Danube

The Walhalla has been served by the Bavarian Palace Department since 2016.

Address: Walhallastraße 48, 93093 Donaustauf

Opening hours April-October: 9am to 18pm (last admission: 5.45 pm) and November-March: 10-12 clock and 13am to 16pm

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