Walhalla, un tempio greco in Germania

Walhalla, a Greek temple in Germany


Walhalla , the German Parthenon, is located in a majestic position above the Danube in the vicinity of Regensburg. This neoclassical building in the form of a temple represents one of the most important and beautiful German monuments of the 19th century.

Perhaps you have already heard this name, because Walhalla would be the “paradise” according to Norse mythology, where the destiny of the heroic dead would be. There, the most noble and fearless warriors enjoyed eternal life, who died on the battlefield, chosen by Odin (the god at the highest level in the hierarchy of this mythology).

Inspired by this concept, the building was built at the request of King Ludwig I of Bavaria, with the personal desire to immortalize a place of remembrance of German men and women of extraordinary merits, as an inspiration and point of reference for the future nation. The person responsible for the initial selection of the personalities to be honored was the historian Johannes von Müller.

The Walhalla began construction in 1830, under the vision of Ludwig I's favorite architect, Leo von Klenze (1784-1864), one of the most important neoclassical architects of the 19th century. Klenze's design was mainly inspired by the famous Parthenon on the Acropolis of Athens, dating back to 5 BC. Originally, Ludwig I's aim was to house the ‘Hall of Expectation', which would house the busts of people to be honored in the future, where they would inspire, bringing pride to the Germanic people.

Originally, 96 busts were selected, placed along the walls inside the building, honoring writers, clergy, scientists, warriors and other men and women, chosen by Ludwig I and his advisors. Among the original busts, we can highlight those of Luther, Beethoven and Mozart.

However, since 1962, new busts have been added every five to seven years, and today we find 130 busts and 65 plaques (the plaques were made for people of whom no portraits or descriptions were available to model the sculptures) brighten the interior. Albert Einstein was one of this new wave of honorees, as was Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen, responsible for the discovery of the X-ray. The choice of personalities to be honored was the responsibility of the Bavarian Council of Ministers, advised by the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. Since 2016, the Walhalla has been managed by the Bavarian Palace Administration.

Above the busts, there is the frieze painted by the artist Martin von Wagner, which represents the idealized history of the Germanic people from the first immigrants to Christianization in the early Middle Ages.