When the Holy Roman Empire broke apart in 1806 the people in todays Germany were trying to define their identity. Who is German? What does it mean to be a German? The idea of these times was that everyone who is speaking the German language shall be defined as a German. Ludwig I, the later king of Bavaria, started to create a collection of busts showing persons whom he defined as important Germans. He planned to exhibit them in an impressive building which he named the Walhalla, after the place where fallen heroes find their eternal rest in Norse mythology.

In 1830 the foundation stone of the Walhalla was laid on the Bräuberg mountain close to Donaustauf, Germany – not far away from the city of Regensburg and with great views on river Donau. It was designed by architect Leo von Klenze and opened in 1842 in the shape of a Classicistic temple; Klenze designed the Walhalla after the Parthenon of Αθήνα, Greece. It is today seen as part of a group of German monuments also including the Befreiungshalle, the Hermannsdenkmal, the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Denkmal, the Niederwalddenkmal, the Berliner Siegessäule, the Völkerschlachtdenkmal, the Kyffhäuserdenkmal, and the Deutsches Eck.

The busts you can find within commemorate persons like Albrecht Dürer, Johannes Kepler, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Albrecht von Haller, Immanuel Kant, Friedrich von Schiller, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Ludwig van Beethoven, Albert Einstein or Sophie Scholl. Still today busts are added. The latest once are those for Carl Friedrich Gauß (2007), Edith Stein (2009), Heinrich Heine (2010), Käthe Kollwitz (2019) and Max Planck (2022).

If you want to visit the Walhalla you can get there by car and park on the back of the building with only some meters to walk. By public transport you can take bus 5 from the main railway station of Regensburg which ends underneath the Walhalla (stops named Reifldinger Straße or Walhallastraße). A short hike up the hill is necessary from there. The Walhalla is accessible by wheelchair, but in general you must take a bit of care (especially when travelling with kids): there is no guardrail outside.

Walhallastraße 48
93093 Donaustauf

Loading map...


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.