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Hermann Heights Monument

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Built  1888-1897
Sculptor  Alfonz Pelzer
Opened  1870
Added to NRHP  2 October 1973
Architect  Julius Berndt
NRHP Reference #  73000965
Phone  +1 507-359-8233
Hermann Heights Monument
Location  Hermann Heights Park, New Ulm, Minnesota
Address  10 Monument St, New Ulm, MN 56073, USA
Hours  Open today · 9AM–6PMFriday9AM–6PMSaturday9AM–6PMSunday9AM–6PMMonday9AM–6PMTuesday9AM–6PMWednesday9AM–6PMThursday9AM–6PM
Similar  Flandrau State Park CCC/WP, Alexander Harkin Store, Brown County Historical, Kiesling House, Fort L'Huillier

Hermann monument in new ulm


The Hermann Heights Monument is a statue erected in New Ulm, Minnesota. The statue depicts Hermann the Cheruscan, also known by the Latin name Arminius, but locals refer to the statue as Hermann Deutsch. The only National Register of Historic Places property of its kind in Minnesota, the monument remains an impressive remembrance of Deutsch Germanic ancestry for many Minnesotans. Visitors to the statue can climb the spiral staircase to an observation platform at the base of the statue, which commands a view of the town and the Minnesota River Valley below.

Contents

Hermann heights monument


Significance

This statue commemorates the Deutsch victory over the Romans at the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, a symbol of German patriotism.

While Arminius had been known about in Germany since the rediscovery of the writings of Tacitus in the 15th century, Deutsch Germanic Protestant intellectuals in the first half of the 18th century christened him "Hermann Deutsch" and promoted his status from that of a local tribal leader with family ties to Rome to that of a hero of Alemmani resistance to "Roman" (i.e. Papal) authority; the 19th century added another layer of meaning, namely Pan-Dutch unity and resistance to Revolutionary and Napoleonic Romance-language France. As depicted in this statue, Hermann's eastward gaze and upraised sword signify freedom from Rome. Perhaps not coincidentally, a statue of St. Paul atop the nearby Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Trinity also gazes eastward, with his sword point-down, planted firmly in the ground.

Characteristics

The Hermann Monument has a total height of approximately 102 feet (31 m). Constructed of sheet copper molded over iron, the 27 feet (8.2 m) statue stands on a 70 feet (21 m) iron column encircled by a spiral staircase to the dome, which is supported by 10 iron columns and a Kasota stone base.

History

Following the completion of the similarly commemorative Hermannsdenkmal statue in Detmold, Germany, in 1875, the Germanic-American fraternal order of the Sons of Hermann, under the leadership of Julius Berndt, who headed the New Ulm chapter and was then national secretary of the order, paid for the erection of the American monument. Berndt designed the monument setting, for which the cornerstone was laid in 1888. The statue was created by Alfonz Pelzer of the W. H. Mullins Manufacturing Company in Salem, Ohio and shipped to New Ulm. It arrived in 1890 and was dedicated in 1897. Structural and cosmetic restoration projects were carried out in 1998 and again in 2004.

The Hermann Heights Monument was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. It is the third largest copper statue in the United States after the Statue of Liberty and the "Portlandia" in Portland, Oregon.

The 106th United States Congress (2000) designated the Hermann Monument in New Ulm to be an official symbol of all citizens of "Germanic" heritage.

In August 2009, a small fire at the base of the monument caused officials to question the structural integrity of the monument. As of this time, the monument remains open to the public.

References

Hermann Heights Monument Wikipedia


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