On a sunny day, while staying in Regensburg, I took an excursion to the Walhalla memorial which is a couple minute drive north-east. The classicist building with its surrounding landscape is dominating on a mountain overlooking the Danube
With this structure in the form of a temple and surrounded by columns, it’s of the 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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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