Friday, July 10, 2009

Peace Arch

Often called Munich’s fourth gate (along with Sendlinger, Isar, and Karlstor), the Siegestor or Victory Gate is the only one outside the Altstadt and the only one with traffic driving around it. The stunning monument, at the intersection of Leopold and Ludwig strasse and at the dividing line between Schwabing and Maxvorstadt neighborhoods, was built to celebrate a WWII victory for Germany. Not only did that not happen, but the victory gate – as well as much of Munich’s Altstadt - was destroyed during WWII by allied bombing. Restoration took place during the 1950s, and renovation continues to this day. Today, the arch which was modeled after the Arc de Triumph in Paris and the Arc of Constantine in Rome, is most well known for the inscription on its façade: "Dedicated to victory, destroyed by war, reminding of peace".

1 comment:

Steffi & Patrick said...


as a Munich Kindl who lives in the US I very much enjoy your blog. It's interesting to see how expats in Munich see "my' city and to compare your observations with my own reflections about the essence of being German/Bavarian - which becomes very obvious to me in living abroad.
Plus: it relieves some of my homesickness. So: Thank you!!!

But being very german here I can't resist to comment that the Siegestor was actually built by King Ludwig I, finished 1852 and was more a design feature for his glamorous Ludwigstrasse than a symbol of war or peace - modeled after similar arches in Europe and decicated to the bavarian army. There's still a link to WWII, though: it was destroyed in WWII and rebuilt afterwards. At that time the inscription "Dem Sieg geweiht, vom Krieg zerstört, zum Frieden mahnend" (dedicated to victory, destroyed by war, calling for peace) was added to the arch.

I apologize for being a supersmartie here :-)

Looking forward to future entries!