Monument to Wilhelm I and the Franco-Prussian War in Stuttgart

Pictures and text by Mark R. Hatlie

These pictures were taken on 4 January, 2006 on Karlsplatz (near Schlossplatz), behind the Altes Schloss, about three blocks from, but in view of, the main shopping street (Koenigstrasse) in Stuttgart. It shows Kaiser Wilhelm I mounted on a horse, a motif typical for the period in which this statue was built, probably in the 1870s-1890s. It commemorates the German victory over France in the war of 1870-1871, the war which culminated in the unification of Germany under Wilhelm as emperor or, in German, "Kaiser" of the German Empire. It is located right across the street from the memorial to the victims of the Nazis.

The monument is well cared for; the obelisks appear to have been recently renovated. The last photo shows that the statue is still enjoyed by pigeons. In the summer, young people can be seen here as well, perched on the steps and drinking beer.

This is the view as seen from the direction of the main shopping street. The ensemble faces in the direction of the main train station.
The front shows the imperial eagle under Wilhelm and two lions in front.
At the back of the mounted figure, there are two obelisks.
They list the major battles and events of the Franco-Prussian War. This photo shows the text indicating the coronation of Wilhelm as Kaiser on 18 January, 1871 among several battle names.
Here, we can see, among other events, the Battle of Sedan (1-2 September, 1870), at which the French Emperor, Napoleon III, was taken prisoner, as well as the encirclement of Paris on 19 September. The siege of Paris lasted through the following winter.

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