Walhalla is a memorial that honors distinguished German-speaking politicians, sovereigns, scientists, and artists. The memorial is a neo-classical structure resembling a Greek temple by the Danube River in Donaustauf, Germany. Its construction took place between 1830 and 1842 at the behest of the Bavarian king Ludwig I.
Ludwig I had the idea of such a monument after a severe defeat by the Napoleonic armies in 1807. His aim was to emphasize and remind the merits of German-speaking men and women. Hence, the 19th-century Neoclassical architect Leo von Klenze designed a memorial inspired by the Parthenon on the Acropolis in Athens dating from 5 BC. This German Parthenon was named after the warrior’s paradise of Valhalla in Nordic mythology.
Inside the Walhalla, there are the busts of 96 notable figures in two rows. The names include Johannes Gutenberg, Jan van Eyck, Goethe, Paracelsus, Nicolaus Copernicus, Amalie Elisabeth, and William III of Orange. There are also 64 plaques for the people who did not have any portraits or descriptions. The timeline of the plaques spans from Arminius, born in 17 BC, to the watchmaker Peter Henlein, who died in 1542. In 2003, one more plaque was added to celebrate the German Renaissance against Nazi Germany.