Hall of Liberation at Kelheim - History and Facts | History Hit

Hall of Liberation at Kelheim

Kelheim, Bavaria, Germany

The Befreiungshalle or Hall of Liberation is a stunning neoclassical rotunda sitting atop Mount Michelsberg in the southern German town of Kelheim. It was completed in 1863 and commemorates Germany’s victory over Napoleon in the 1813-15 Wars of Liberation.

Peta Stamper

15 Jul 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Hall of Liberation at Kelheim

At the top of Mount Michelsberg in the Bavarian town of Kelheim is the Befreiungshalle – Hall of Liberation – a magnificent 18-sided rotunda which was completed in 1863 by renowned German neoclassical architect, Leo von Klenze.

Hall of Liberation at Kelheim history

Designed from from plans drawn up 20 years previously by Friedrich von Gärtner, the 45-metre high rotunda was commissioned by King Ludwig I of Bavaria and built to commemorate Germany’s victorious battles over Napoleon during the 1813 – 1815 Befreiungskriege, or Wars of Liberation.

The hall was opened to the public in 1863, on the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Nations, with the inscription of dedication above the door read ‘Den Teutschen Befreiungkaempfern – Ludwig I, Koenig von Bayern’, translated as ‘To the German Liberation Fighters, Ludwig I, King of Bavaria.’

Hall of Liberation at Kelheim today

As is evident from taking one step inside, the hall was modelled on the ancient Roman and Italian Renaissance architectural style of centrally-planned buildings. The 18 exterior buttresses that encircle the memorial are topped by huge allegories of Germanic tribes. The number ‘18’ is significant as it commemorates the Battle of Nations on 18th October 1813, when Napoleon’s troops suffered a crippling defeat.

The interior is equally as stunning as the outside. Take the steps inside and look up at 34 winged goddesses of victory surround the central atrium and between them are 17 shields, each one commemorating an individual battle. You can also climb to the top of the Befreiungshalle to see the Danube River Valley.

Getting to the Hall of Liberation at Kelheim

Sat beside the River Danube, you cannot miss this striking feature of Kelheim’s landscape. The Hall is a 20 minute walk from the Kelheim Altstadt or you can get the Ludwigsbahn (tram). If you’re driving there is parking just outside of the hall. With public transit, Saal an der Donau and Regensburg Hauptbahnhof are the nearest Deutsche Bahn stations.