It is the year 1888. On March 9 Emperor Wilhelm I dies at the age of almost 91 and is succeeded by his son, Friedrich III. Already bearing the stamp of death, Friedrich rules for just 99 days. He in turn is succeeded on June 15 by his son Wilhelm II, only 29 years old at that time, thus labelling 1888 as the “ year of three emperors”.
The historical background of this monument, nowadays owned by the Landschaftsverband Westfalen-Lippe, is determined by Prussia, Germany after 1871, enhanced reputation within Germany and in the rest of the world, in short: authority.
The monument on the top of Wittekindsberg at 880 feet is one of the most important national monuments in Germany. It commemorates Wilhelm I (1797 – 1888), King of Prussia, and since 1871 German Emperor. His name is inseparable from Germany’s national unity.
The monument itself measures 288 feet in height and is situated in a prominent site at the transition from the North German Plain to the hilly parts of Germany. It was erected between 1892 and 1896. Its monumental structure was meant to further patriotic emotions and national conviction and identity.
“Workmen, clubs, schools shall have occasion to celebrate a day of national elation at the foot of the emperor’s statue”, one contemporary wrote.
Today every year many thousands visit this historically important landmark of the region around the Porta Westfalica and take in impressive views far into the North German Plain and the mountainous region of the Weserbergland. Ten information panels and a leaflet on the history of this monument and its surrounding landscape help to make the visit an unforgettable experience.
Accessible at any time