At the Monument to the Battle of the Nations

Location Leipzig, Saxony, Germany. Designer Bruno Schmitz Material Granite-faced concrete. Length 80 metres (260 ft) Width 70 metres (230 ft) Height 91 metres (299 ft). Beginning date 1898-10-18. Opening date 1913-10-18. Dedicated to Battle of Leipzig. Coordinates 51°18′44″N 12°24′47″E

The Battle of the Nations was fought during 16-19 October, 1813  and the commemoration of such an important battle in Leipzig kept me busy during this weekend.  Yesterday, the Reenactment of the Battle was fantastic and today I went to the GIGANTIC monument that celebrates the victory of the allied nations against Napoleon.

What is the importance of this building?

  • Architecturally; the structure is amazing.  It is 91 meters tall and its base is 124 metres (407 ft) large and 124 metres (407 ft) wide.
  • Aesthetically; the sculptures of the four legendary historic qualities ascribed to the German people: bravery, faith, sacrifice and fertility are simply exquisite if understood in the context in which they were made.1 It was bravery for defending what is yours; faith (courage) to fight against the vicissitudes; sacrifice (fighting until the last moment in order to protect Life); and fertility (to overcome the mass murder caused by this war). IThe statues of the monument were sculpted by Christian Behrens and his apprentice Franz Metzner with a fantastic technique.
  • Historically; it commemorates the establishment of a German community that united different nations into a common goal.1

For further images; I invite you to check this Flickr album with the snapshots I took.

1Koshar, Rudy. (2000) From monuments to traces: artifacts of German memory, 1870-1990. University of California Press. p.44

Reenacting The Battle of the Nations 16-19 October, 1813

Today I had the pleasure of attending (living) the reenactment of The Battle of the Nations (also known as The Battle of Leipzig) that took place half mile south of Leipzig on 16-19 October, 1813.  The battle was fought by the coalition armies of Russia, Prussia, Austria and Sweden against the French army of Napoleon. Napoleon’s army also contained Polish and Italian troops as well as Germans from the Confederation of the Rhine. The battle involved over 600,000 soldiers, making it the largest battle in Europe prior to World War I.1

This allied victory over Napoleon at Leipzig marked the first significant cooperation among European nations against a common foe. “Napoleon limped back toward Paris. Behind him he left 60,000 dead, wounded, or captured French soldiers. The Allies had lost a similar number, but they could find replacements far more quickly and easily than Napoleon. Other countries, including the Netherlands and Bavaria–which Napoleon had added to his confederation by conquest–now abandoned him and joined the Allies. On December 21, the Allies invaded France and, following their victory at Paris on March 30, 1814, forced Napoleon into exile on Elba.”2

Indeed, it was the cooperation of all the region’s powers that Leipzig led to the fall of Paris and the abdication of Napoleon. The decisiveness of this battle had a global impact that redefined the course of history.

I invite you to see all the pictures I took of this fantastic battle:

Check dozens of more pictures in my Flickr album

1 Battle of Leipzig. Wikipedia.

2 Vía http://www.historyplace.com