Where Rhein and Mosel meet, Koblenz
This is probably the most-visited (by tourists) spot in Koblenz, and yet it is one that stirs the most emotions and heated debate among Germans. Technically the name refers to the promontory created by the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle (“Eck” is German for corner, so the name means “German Corner”) but it is synonymous too with the huge monument that sits here. This is surmounted by a statue of Kaiser Wilhelm I, first erected here in 1897, nine years after his death. The statue was cast in copper, 14 metres high and 53 tons in weight. It portrayed the emperor on horseback wearing the cloak of a field marshal with helmet and plume. The inscription read, “Never will the Empire be destroyed, so long as you are united and loyal”, and the message was clear – a celebration of the Kaiser’s success in unifying the German Reich in the aftermath of the Franco-German War of 1870-71. As such it echoed the even more nationalistic Niederwald Monument of Germania some way to the south in Rüdesheim.
In 1945 the Kaiser fell off his perch – or rather, the statue was so badly damaged by US shelling that it had to be taken down. The occupying French military government planned to replace it with a monument for peace and understanding among nations but never did so. However, after the division of Germany into East and West the Deutsches Eck was turned into a monument to German unity. A German flag flew from the monument’s still-standing base and the coats of arms of all German Länder (states) were erected here, including those of former German territories such as Silesia and East Prussia. In 1990, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the emblems of the new Länder were added.
But with reunification the role of the Deutsches Eck as a symbol of the wish for that unity became superfluous. Debate began on what to do with the monument, with some arguing for the reinstatement of the Kaiser Wilhelm I statue (or rather, a copy of it), and others that to do this would be out of step with modern-day sensibilities about empire and nationalism. Well, you can see from my photos (or for yourself if you visit) that the former argument won the day, which it did in 1992, largely on the grounds that the statue would be a tourist draw for the city of Koblenz.
The replica was cast in bronze (more durable than the copper of the original) and erected here in September 1993. And its popularity with the many visitors who swarm around its base and take their “selfies” here can perhaps be seen as proving right those who argued for its reinstatement, although many Germans I believe still find it something of an embarrassment. Nevertheless it is probably a “must see” when in Koblenz, and worth visiting in any case for the view of the Moselle meeting the Rhine at this point.
Next tip: fragments of the Berlin Wall
The point of land where the Rhine and Moselle flow together got its historical name "Deutsches Eck" (German Corner), in 1216.
The German Corner has flags flying of the German states, as well as the European flag and the flag of the United States of America, which is dedicated to the victims of the 11th September 2001.
This is where you will find the huge equestrian Statue of German Emperor Wilhelm I, who reunificated Germany after 3 wars.
Three years later in 1891, the grandson of the deceased Emperor Wilhelm II, selected the German corner in Koblenz as a suitable place for the Statue. ,
It was built 9 year's after his death in 1897.
The monument was unveiled in the presence of Emperor Wilhelm II on August 31, 1897 and is a listed UNESCO World Culture Heritage Site of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley.
The inscription is quoting a German poem: "Nimmer wird das Reich zerstöret, wenn ihr einig seid und treu" (Never will the Empire be destroyed, so long as you are united and loyal).
The Knights of the Teutonic Order 1st came to Koblenz in 1216, after Archbishop Theoderich of Wied granted them a piece of land next to St. Castor’s church. The bestowal included the buildings of the St. Nikolaus Hospital which was situated here since around 1100. Teutonic Knights were called on to aid as a crusading military order during the Middle Ages but it was also their task to maintain hospitals to care for the sick and injured or for pilgrims. They established their commandry here, at the confluence of the rivers Rhine and Moselle, and due to their presence soon the site was known as “Deutsches Eck” (German Corner). The Teutonic Knights considerably enlarged the commandry by acquiring 20 buildings in and around Koblenz and in the middle of the 13th century it was appointed a bailiwick.
The Knight’s church, that was built at this site in 1306, was almost completely torn down in 19th century and only the Southern walls have been preserved. Large parts of the commandry were later destroyed in WWII. Parts of the outer walls of the 14th century chapel can still be seen. The residential building of the Order’s commander has been restored from war damage, though.
Around 1800 the building was leased out to private citizens. But already in 1819 the Prussian military administration moved in and “Deutschherrenhaus” was used as a provisions magazine until 1895 when it was converted into the public record office.
Since 1992 it has been the home of the Ludwig Museum, devoted primarily to 20th century Frechn art. There’s a permanent exhibition called “Atelier de France”. Behind the museum’s main building you can find the gardens of the so called “Blumenhof” (flower court) where several 3-dimensional works of art are displayed.
At Deutsches Eck (German Corner) you can find 3 original concrete components of the Berlin Wall. They've been established as a monument to reunion. Bronze plates are affixed to the components and the inscriptions are: "17. Juni 1953", "9. November 1989" and "Den Opfern der Teilung":
17th of June 1953 was the date of the 1st attempt of the reunion between Western and Eastern Germany. This national uprising was violently suppressed by Soviet tanks and many people died on that sad day.
9th of November 1989 was the day when the Berlin Wall finally came down and Eastern Germany opened its borders to the West.
"Den Opfern der Teilung" means "Dedicated to the victims of separation".
Deutsches Eck had been chosen as a site for this memorial as the place itself had served as a monument to the hope of unity for decades.
The name Koblenz comes from a Latin word for confluence, the place where two rivers come together. The Moselle, above, joins the Rhine here at the German Corner.
Second photo: Deutsches Eck with ships on both rivers.
Third photo: This ugly equestrian statue of the militaristic German Emperor Wilhelm I was first set up here in 1897 and was mercifully destroyed by artillery fire at the end of the Second World War. Instead of leaving well enough alone, somebody insisted on raising money to make a replica, which was unveiled in 1993.
There is a very fine statue (a copy as the French obliterated it at the end of WW 2) of Wilhelm II on a big horse, on a big plinth sticking out on a little promentory where the two great rivers of the Mosel and the Rhine meet.
For years it was an acceptable symbol of German Unity and pride. I understand that when German telly came to closedown time, the German corner would often be used as a backdrop to the closing music (*)
The base of the statue is adorned with the names of various German cities and towns. When East Germany fell and the country was re-unified the names of former East German Cities were added to the monument - and thus the symbolism of the monument was somewhat lost.
* Nowadays with 24hour TV there is no closedown. Instead the night hours are filled with comely fraulines wearing skimpy lederhosen inviting you to ring them on 'Fine - Fumpf - fine - fumpf - sex - noin - sex - noin - sex noin.
The Deutsches Eck -- or Corner of Germany -- is a great description of this piece of land where the Mosel and Rhein Rivers meet. Today this public area is dominated by an enormous statue of Kaiser Wilhelm I, who ruled Germany until his death in 1888. The original statue was constructed during his Grandson Wilhelm II's reign, in 1897. Wilhelm II is most famous for his role in starting World War I.
The statue was destroyed in 1945 near the end of World War II, and replaced in 1953 with a monument for Germany's army. In 1993, a replica of the original Wilhelm I statue was erected at this site and stands today.
The Rhine and the Mosel meet here. There is a huge monument that is dedicated to thr reunion of germany. It´s build under Kasier Wilhelm in the early 20th century and it´s very patriotic. I don´t like it, think it´s oversized and ugly. Part of a long gone German national pride.
Nevertheless it´s nice to see how the rivers unite here.
The Deutsches Eck (German Corner) is the triangle shaped square at the confluence of the rivers Rhine and Moselle.
The name comes from the Knights of the Deutscher Orden (German Order) who founded here a settlement back in 1216.
This is exactly where the Rhine and the Mosel rivers meet. This is the reason why the city is called Koblenz, from the latin word "confluentes".
This picture was taken from the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, on the other side of the Rhine.
They are statues but none like the one at the point where the Rhine meet the Mosel. Not only its size but how many statues can you climb up inside. The view not only from the statue but from the surrounding area are breathtaking. Make sure you check out the three standing wall panels taken from the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The German Corner - it's a lovely place where Rhineriver and Moselleriver meet. There is a big beergarden nearby and sometimes lifeconcerts.
You can walk along the river and remember the song 'Fraeulein' (from the River Rhine).
The statue is a copy. It shows Emperor Wilhelm I.. The original had been erected 1897 and was shot down in 1945. There was a big discussion in Koblenz for or against the rebuilding of the statue. The copy was payed by a private man.
"Deutschherrenhaus" and Ludwigmuseum
The museum contains paintings and contemporary art. Don't miss the beautiful little garden called Blumenhof. The garden is free of charge!
In summer there are sometimes concerts in the Blumenhof.
Rhein in Flammen is a big firework over the castle Ehrenbreitstein. This year it is on August 9th, 2003. You can watch it between Spay and Koblenz, so there are many fireworks, one after the other. More than 80 ships with 30.000 people on board start in a konvoi from Spay and to slowly to Koblenz when the mountains are coloured in red light along the Rhine and everywhere the fireworks starts.
After having walked along the rhine Promenade, make your way to the confluence of the Rhine River with the Mosel River. This spot gives koblenz its name, which comes from "Confluentes"--Koblenz today. It is here that you will find 1 of the grandest monuments in Germany, the statue of Emperor Wilhelm I. He ruled in Koblenz as the Prussian Military governor from 1850-1857, and is a local hero. Originally erected in 1897, the size of the monument is overwhelming. The monument was partially destroyed during the bombing in April 1944, but finally reconstructed in 1993. There are stairs leading up to the top of the monument, where you have a great view of the confluence of the 2 rivers...note the difference in color between the Rhine and the Mosel. The flags that surround the tip of land represent the 16 different German states known as Laender, and at the tip of the spit f land you wil find the European Community flag as well as the German and American flags, a symbol of peace between the 2 countires today.