The German Adventure (Part 3 – Deutches Eck)
I think I’m beginning to forget my holidays and would definitely like to travel some more, yet it’s not possible to leave the house without making lots of arrangements, so I will have to simply enjoy the memories from our German Adventure… Shall we move to Part 3? This is going to be exciting, as I’m planning to show you the city of Koblenz!
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I didn’t know this at the time I was walking on the German soil, but Koblenz was one of the military posts established by Drusus about 8 BC! The town celebrated its 2000th anniversary in 1992.
Some lines found on the official city website:
Its abundance of cultural monuments and historic buildings, its cosy lanes and narrow alleyways, the relaxed and happy atmosphere of its squares and river promenades make Koblenz a friendly town where its guests feel right at home. … Koblenz is a meeting point for visitors from all over the world and an excellent starting point for trips into the fascinating landscape along the Rhine and the Moselle.
The name Koblenz originates from Latin (ad) confluentes, confluence or “(at the) merging of rivers” as it’s actually situated on the banks of the Moselle and the Rhein. The place, where the two rivers meet each other, is called Deutsches Eck and if you ever end up in Koblenz, don’t leave without seeing it.
A little bit of history:
In 1897, nine years after the death of the German Emperor William I, the former emperor was honoured with a giant equestrian statue bearing an inscription quoting a German poem: “Nimmer wird das Reich zerstöret, wenn ihr einig seid und treu“ (never will the empire be destroyed, so long as you are united and loyal).
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.
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.
Today, a big national flag and the flags of the 16 Länder are flying at the German Corner as a reminder of German unity.
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Information for this post found on Wikipedia.