Friday, September 25, 2009

Leipzig - Germany

This week i've only received 3 cards :o This one is from a private trade with Detlef.
The card shows the "Völkerschlachtdenkmal - "Monument to the Battle of the Peoples" - is a monument in Leipzig, Germany, to the Battle of Leipzig of 1813, also known as the Battle of the Nations.
It is one of Leipzig's main landmarks and the largest monument in Europe. Paid for mostly by donations and a lottery, but partially by the city of Leipzig, it was completed in 1913 for the 100th anniversary of the battle and cost around 6,000,000 Marks.
There were Germans fighting on both sides, as Napoleon's troops included Germans from the French-occupied left bank of the Rhine as well as from the Confederation of the Rhine due to mandatory conscription. The monument commemorates Napoleon's defeat at Leipzig. This was a crucial step towards the end of hostilities, which was, in essence, a victory for the German people. Additionally, it mourns the dead from all the nations involved, not only the German soldiers.
The structure is 91 metres tall, making it the tallest monument in Europe. It contains over 500 steps to a viewing platform at the top, from which there are spectacular views across the city and its environs. The structure makes extensive use of concrete, although the facings are of granite.
In front of the monument there is an artificial rectangular lake intended to symbolise the blood and tears shed during the wars.
Some view its style as overbearing and pompous, and the statuary which dominates the entire structure is intended to evoke mythic images of Germanic heroism, of the sort propounded by Richard Wagner. If the monument has a nationalist tone, however, then it is in the sense that a nation should be united, rather than split into parts that are forced to fight each other, as Germans were obliged to in that battle.
Hitler exploited the monument to the full, and chose it as a frequent venue for his speeches when in Leipzig.
During the period of communist rule in East Germany, the government of the GDR was unsure whether it should allow the monument to stand, since it represented the staunch nationalism of the period of the German Empire. Eventually, it was decided that the monument should be allowed to remain, since it represented a battle in which Russian and German soldiers had fought together against a common enemy, and was therefore representative of "Russo-German Brotherhood-in-arms"." - in: wikipedia

No comments: