Hermannsdenkmal – Detmold, Germany - Atlas Obscura
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Detmold, Germany

Hermannsdenkmal

This proud Teutonic warrior rises out of a German forest heralding a victory and measuring lightning. 

The towering Hermannsdenkmal (Hermann Monument) was built in fairly modern times, yet this proud celebration of strength and victory actually hearkens back to the area’s tribal roots. 

Finished in 1875, the landmark remembers an ancient battle that was thought to have taken place at the site. Known as The Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, the skirmish saw Roman soldiers soundly defeated by German leader Arminius (Hermann) and his tribal forces. Hermann was able to lure the Roman general, Varus, and his three legions into the forest where Hermann had prepared a devastating ambush, which crushed his foes.

The Hermannsdenkmal was built on what what was supposed to have been the exact spot of the battle, although modern archeologists now believe the confrontation happened at another location. Regardless, the over 170 foot tall statue stands on its huge columned pedestal so high above the forest line that it could likely have been seen from the actual battle.    

Today the statue is a popular tourist site since its metal sword is raised high into the air and completely exposed, it acts as a terrific lightning rod. In fact scientists actually installed lightning monitoring equipment inside the colossal warrior to take advantage of this. The giant metal warrior is now actually harnessing the lightning of the gods.