Friday, March 14, 2008

Walhalla

On this cold, rainy, foggy, not pretty day, we decided to venture out and discover some more German history. Fun, no? We decided to stay close to home and headed towards Regensburg to visit the Walhalla. Remember the Hall of Liberation from Kelheim? Well, the Walhalla was the idea of and commissioned by the same crazy (?), mad (?), King Ludwig I that imagined and commissioned the Hall of Liberation. (A little historical clarification in case some history buff tries to beat me up - King Ludwig actually had the idea when he was just a mere Crown Prince. Creating the busts of the great figures of Germany started then. The Walhalla was completed when he was a king.)
The Walhalla is a temple intended to commemorate all the great figures and events of ethnic German history. Although the busts were created as early as 1807, it wasn't until 1826 that the Walhalla building was commissioned and Ludwig wanted it modeled after the Parthenon in Athens. The inauguration was October 18, 1842 and there were 96 busts plus 64 plaques on the wall for people who no picture was available to make a bust. A quick fun fact for you - the qualification to be included in the Walhalla, besides being great was to speak in the German tongue so the busts in the Walhalla are not all from modern day Germany but also from Switzerland, Czech Republic, Austria, Poland, Sweden, Netherlands, United Kingdom and the Baltic States. Since inauguration only 31 busts have been added, including Albert Einstein in 1990. We found him and he is all shiny and new compared to all those old guys who have been sitting in there for 150 years.
Here are our pictures - enjoy!

The Walhalla from the road along the Danube

It's a nice day to be a tourist

One of the highlights of Luke's visit to the Walhalla - the stairs

The back of the Walhalla

The view from the side - that is the Danube through all the fog - the drop from the front and sides of the Walhalla is HUGE. There were warning signs saying that serious injuries have occurred here and we have to be responsible for ourselves and our children. That was a little freaky. And no, there are no guard rails, anywhere so the fall really could be deadly.

The massive and impressive columns

Inside the WalhallaMarble busts, angels and chairs line the walls
Plaques of some of the greats along the wall near the ceiling
The inside, again - look at those massive doors! (And that little booth is where they took our 8 Euros so we could visit our marble friends)
King Ludwig I himself - commemorate me!
An ode to all my piano lessons - look! It's Bach!
And here is Albert, all shiny and new. (And kind of goofy looking)

These guys are originals - love the do's.

The Walhalla from the front stairs (there were 62 steps to the first platform)
Closer shot
By the massive front doors to the Walhalla
He totally wants to hug me.Time to leave the Walhalla

Was the visit worth 8 Euros? Well, it was pretty impressive but the Hall of Liberation was way cooler and only cost 6 Euros. The Walhalla didn't have any staircases or nooks to explore so we just stared at the heads and tried to find some familiar historical people. Since it was a gloomy day, there was little tourist traffic so for the majority of our time there, we were the only ones in the Walhalla. Which leads me to end with this...was it worth the 8 Euros? It was, if not for the simple fact that we got to see Luke do this (over and over and over).

video

Did the ticket lady enjoy it? Probably not, but I'm sure she's heard it before. But we thought it was pretty funny but that probably was because there was no one else in there with us that would be bothered by it. The acoustics in there are insane and he was LOUD! It was a nice visit and we get to check the famous Walhalla off our list.

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