Germans are masters of engineering and construction. Go have a look at the Battle of Nations monument in south east Leipzig, you’ll be blown away. As monuments to great battles go there is nothing quite like it. Now is a great time to visit as the entire site takes on an eerie mood in the winter landscape.
Built over a five year period and completed in 1913 – just in time to commemorate the one-hundredth anniversary of the Battle of Leipzig – the monument sits in a lovely park and forest setting. It is believed that the entire project cost more than 50 million euros in today’s money.
On April 16-18th 1813 Napoleon’s Grand Armee was decisively defeated here in a fierce battle against a coalition of armies from Russia, Prussia, Austria and Sweden. Estimates suggest that 100,000 soldiers died. The event marked a crucial turning point in the Napoleonic Wars and eventually led to France’s defeat and Napoleon’s abdication and exile to Elbe.
There is currently some restoration work happening which is scheduled to finish early in 2013, in time for the two-hundredth anniversary. There is a gift shop offering guided tours and the entrance fee to go inside the monument is 6 € for adults. The site can be reached by trams 15 and 2 (tram stop Völkerschlachtdenkmal). Definitely a must-see for anyone staying in Leipzig.