Befreiungshalle Kelheim
Location in Germany
General information
Architectural style Neoclassical
Town or city Kelheim
Country Germany
Coordinates 48°55′06″N 11°51′38″E / 48.91833°N 11.86056°E / 48.91833; 11.86056Coordinates: 48°55′06″N 11°51′38″E / 48.91833°N 11.86056°E / 48.91833; 11.86056
Client King Ludwig I of Bavaria
Owner Bavarian Administration of State-Owned Palaces, Gardens and Lakes
Design and construction
Architect Friedrich von Gärtner,
Leo von Klenze
Designations Baudenkmal (listed monument)

The Befreiungshalle ("Hall of Liberation", German: [bəˈfʀaɪ̯ʊŋsˌhalə]) is a Neoclassical monument on the hill Michelsberg above the town of Kelheim in Bavaria, Germany. It stands upstream of Regensburg on the river Danube at the confluence of the Danube and the Altmühl, i.e. the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal. It was commissioned by King Ludwig I of Bavaria to commemorate the victory over Napoleon in the Befreiungskriege of 1813-15.


Befreiungshalle at night
Interior with sculptures by Ludwig Schwanthaler.
Floor inscription

King Ludwig I of Bavaria ordered the Befreiungshalle to be built in order to commemorate the victories against Napoleon during the Wars of Liberation that lasted from 1813 to 1815.

The construction was started in 1842 by Friedrich von Gärtner in a mixture of Neoclassical and Christian styles. It occurred on Michelsberg, in a place previously occupied by a part of the ruins of a pre-historic fortification or town, thought by some to have been Alcimoennis. At the behest of the King, Leo von Klenze later altered the plans and completed the building in 1863. The ceremonial opening took place on 18 October 1863 – the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Nations (Völkerschlacht) near Leipzig.

The following dictum by King Ludwig I, embedded into the marble floor, commemorates the occasion of the construction of the Befreiungshalle:

the Germans
never forget what
made necessary
the Struggle for Freedom
and by what means they

This inscription of dedication is to be found above the ornamented door frame of the entrance portal:

(To the German
Liberation Fighters
Ludwig I
King of Bavaria)

For the celebration of the first stone laying on 19 October Ludwig I had written a poem dedicated to the soldiers who had fought in the Napoleonic Wars. Joseph Hartmann Stutz had set it to music:[1]

German English

1. Heil Euch, wack’re Männer, muth’ge Krieger,
Die errungen Ihr den Heldenkranz,
Heil Euch, treue Teutsche, tapf’re Sieger!
Ewig währet Eurer Thaten Glanz.

1. Hail to you, valiant men, brave warriors
Who have won a hero's wreath,
Hail to you, faithful Germans, courageous victors!
The brightness of your deeds will last forever.

2. Dumpf und finster hatt es uns umgeben,
Und kein Teutschland gab es damals mehr;
Ihr doch schwangt auf’s Neue es zum Leben,
Siegreich ragt es wieder hoch und hehr!

2. We were surrounded by dull and dark forces,
And Germany did no longer exist;
But you reanimated her,
And now she stands again victoriously and sublime!

3. Dass die Zwietracht schmählich uns gekettet,
Dies vergessen werde nie und nie,
Dass die Eintracht uns allein gerettet,
Die der Heimath Ruhm und Sieg verlieh.

3. We will never forget
That discord ignominiously chained us
And that unity alone saved us,
Unity which granted glory and victory to our country.

4. Durch der Zeiten weite Ferne schlinge
Immer sich der Eintracht heilig Band,
In des Teutschen Seele sie durchdringe,
Unbesiegt bleibt dann das Vaterland.

4. May forever wind
The holy band of concord,
May it enter the German's soul,
Then the fatherland will remain unvanquished.


The hall is open to the public. However, restoration work on the façade is ongoing and will continue until the end of 2017. The upper exterior gallery is currently closed to visitors.[2]


  1. The song on the website of the Bavarian administration for public castles, gardens and lakes.

See also

External links

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