Schliessen
Schliessen

Bronze emperor between the Rhine and Moselle

As soon as the “Deutsches Eck” (German Corner) headland comes into view, KD passengers quickly start snapping away with their cameras and phones. After all, there are scores of subjects worth photographing around the Koblenz landmark. Between the cable car, Ehrenbreitstein fortress and “Deutschherrenhaus”, one sight in particular stands out: the Kaiser Wilhelm Monument. At the point where the Rhine meets the Moselle, Wilhelm the First watches over the Rhine Valley from a lofty height of around 37 metres.

Wilhelm Friedrich Ludwig, to give him his full name, spent several years in Koblenz during his lifetime: as Prussian military governor of the Rhine Province, he lived in the city of two rivers from 1850 to 1858. In 1861 he succeeded his late brother Friedrich Wilhelm IV and was crowned Prussian king, making him an important player in an exciting era of German history. His reign saw the Second Schleswig War (1864), the Austro-Prussian War (1866) and the Franco-Prussian War (1870/71). Prussia was victorious in all three wars of unification, leading to the founding of the German Empire and the appointment of Wilhelm as emperor in 1871.

The 14-metre bronze statue

A decision to build a monument to him was made shortly after he died in 1888. A port of refuge in the mouth of the Moselle was filled in to enable its construction. The monument was then erected on the headland created and was inaugurated in 1897. The result is an imposing equestrian statue depicting the emperor sitting on a horse in his general’s uniform

The 14-metre bronze statue, which stood on a 23-metre-high central block with a pillared hall and colonnade was, however, destroyed in the Second World War. It was not until 1993 that a reconstruction of the monument weighing around 63 tonnes was placed on the plinth. Since then, the bronze emperor has once again been watching the goings-on at Deutsches Eck, which, incidentally, was named after a branch of the Teutonic Order founded in 1216 at the mouth of the Moselle. Some two million visitors come here every year to take a snapshot and be enchanted by the view of the Middle Rhine Valley

DEUTSCHES ECK

  • HOW DO YOU GET THERE?
    The KD jetty in Koblenz is just a few minutes’ walk from Deutsches Eck. You can use, for example, the KD combination ticket and combine a boat cruise, a cable car ride to Ehrenbreitstein Fortress and a visit to Deutsches Eck. You can find an excursion tip starting on page 46 of this issue!
     
  • WHAT IS THERE TO SEE?
    Alongside the Kaiser Wilhelm Monument, a spectacular view of the Rhine and Moselle awaits you.
     
  • WHERE SHOULD YOU STOP FOR A BITE TO EAT?
    In the old town facing the banks of the Moselle you will find a wide range of restaurants
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