The Niederwalddenkmal is a monument located in the Niederwald, near Rüdesheim am Rhein in Hesse, Germany. It overlooks the valley of the Rhine and was built in the 1870/80s to commemorate the Unification of Germany.
The monument was constructed to commemorate the founding of the German Empire in 1871 after the end of the Franco-Prussian War. The first stone was laid on 16 September 1871, by Kaiser Wilhelm I (William I). The sculptor was Johannes Schilling, and the architect was Karl Weißbach. The total cost of the work is estimated at one million gold marks. The monument was inaugurated on 28 September 1883. The 38 metres (125 ft) tall monument represents the union of all Germans.
The central figure is the 10.5 metres (34 ft) tall Germania figure, holding the recovered crown of the emperor in the right hand and in the left the Imperial Sword.
Beneath Germania is a large relief that shows emperor William I riding a horse with nobility, the army commanders and soldiers. The relief has the lyrics of "Die Wacht am Rhein" (Watch on the Rhine) engraved.
On the left side of the monument is the "peace statue". The "war statue" is located on the right.
The monument's main inscription is engraved on the pedestal of the Germania statue:
The Niederwald is a broad hill on the right bank of the Rhine, between that river and its contributory Wisper, opposite Bingen am Rhein. The hill forms the southwestern apex of the Taunus range. Its summit is covered by dense forest of oak and beech. Its southern and western sides, which descend sharply to Rüdesheim am Rhein and Assmannshausen on the Rhine, are covered with vineyards. The monument is located at the edge of the forest, on the crest of the hill above Rüdesheim.
The Niederwalddenkmal can be reached by gondola lift (formerly a rack railway), from Rüdesheim to Niederwald, by car or chairlift from Assmannshausen or by trails on foot.
- Media related to Niederwalddenkmal at Wikimedia Commons
- Official website (in German)