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A Teutonic 'Temple of Fame' in Donaustauf bei Regensburg

From: Regensburg, Germany


ABOVE: Walhalla is modeled on the Parthenon. The "Temple of Fame" stands on a hillside overlooking the Danube.

In a world where halls of fame are commonly associated with baseball or rock 'n roll, the idea of a Teutonic Hall of Fame to honor German-speaking artists, writers, philosophers, scientists, and other historic figures may seem a bit odd. Yet that's exactly what King Ludwig I of Bavaria had in mind when he commissioned Walhalla in Donaustauf bei Regensburg, Germany.

Ludwig conceived his Temple of Fame in the early 19th Century, when he was still Bavaria's Kronprinz. After choosing the location, he ordered his architect, Leo von Kienze, to construct a Greek Revival monument based on the Parthenon in Athens. The building, called Walhalla, was built over a 12-year period (from 1830 to 1842) and became a symbol of "the German nation" at a time when Germany was a patchwork of kingdoms and small states.

The white stone temple sits on a massive foundation with 358 steps that lead down to a boat landing on the Danube. Newlyweds often have bridal photos taken between Walhalla's columns, and few tourists can resist making snapshots with the monumental building or the curving river as a backdrop.

Next page: Inside the Temple of Fame

In this article:
Walhalla - Introduction
Inside the Temple of Fame
Directions, hours

More about Regensburg:
Regensburg, Germany
Document Neupfarrplatz
BMW Factory Tour
Hotel Münchner Hof
Regensburg photo gallery - 89 pictures with captions

About the author:

Durant Imboden photo.Durant Imboden is a professional travel writer, book author, and editor who focuses on European cities and transportation.

After 4-1/2 years of covering European travel topics for, Durant and Cheryl Imboden co-founded Europe for Visitors (now including Germany for Visitors) in 2001. The site has earned "Best of the Web" honors from Forbes and The Washington Post.

For more information, see About Europe for Visitors, press clippings, and reader testimonials.