Walhalla is a monument built to commemorate great personalities and events in Germanic history (including Gothic, Langobardic, Anglo-Saxon and Swiss-German figures) of the past 1800 years, beginning with the battle at Teutoburg Forest in the year 9 AD. Walhalla was built between 1830 - 1842 by order of King Ludwig I of Bavaria and it was meant to resemble the Pantheon in Athens. At the monument's induction there were 96 busts, plus 64 plaques for persons or events of which no portrait or description was available. Being "of German tongue" was the main selection criterion for the original 160 persons and King Ludwig included personalities from modern-day Sweden, Austria, Poland, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Russia, Switzerland and the Baltic States. There are plaques for people like: Alaric I - King of the Visigoths, Alfred the Great - first King of England, Saint Boniface - Patron Saint of Germany, Gerhard von Rile - architect of the Köln Cathedral, Hermann der Cherusker - victor in the Battle of Teutoburg Forest, Karl Martel - defeated the Arabs at the Battle of Tours, Karl the Great - founder of the Holy Roman Empire, Veleda - prophetess of the Bructeri during the Batavian rebellion. And there are busts of, for example: Ludwig van Beethoven – composer, Albrecht Dürer – printmaker and painter, Johannes Gutenberg – inventor of movable type, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe – poet and polymath, Karl X Gustav of Sweden – King of Sweden, Katarina II of Russia (Katarina the Great) – Tsarina of Russia, Nicolaus Copernicus – Polish/German astronomer, Peter Paul Rubens – Flemish painter, Sophie Scholl - German resistance fighter against the Nazi regime, Richard Wagner – German composer of operas, etc. Only 31 busts have been added since 1842 for a total of now 191 — 12 of them female.
Proposals for new busts or plaques to be added may be made by anyone, but only persons who have been dead at least 20 years are eligible. It is the government of Bavaria that decides on additions.