Named after the warrior’s paradise of Germanic mythology, Valhalla, you’ll feel like a warrior yourself if you join AmaWaterways for one of our active adventures: a bike ride through the Regensburg countryside towards the neo-classical marble temple inspired by Athens’ Parthenon on the Acropolis.
But the Walhalla celebrates the heritage of Bavaria. Representing 2,000 years of history, 130 busts and 65 plaques line the interior and honor German-speaking writers, clerics, scientists, warriors and other men and women. Interestingly for his time, Ludwig I specifically designed this to honor members of both sexes, making them eligible to be elected for this high honor. Since the completion of the memorial in 1847, plaques and busts have continued to be erected in honor of German-speaking luminaries throughout both modern and classical history.
Nestled high above the Danube, the Walhalla is the brainchild of the Bavarian King Ludwig I (a forefather of the legendary “Swan King” or “Mad King” Ludwig II, known for Neuschwanstein Castle among others). Ludwig I, who reigned between 1825-1848, built the Walhalla for much the same reason his grandson built his fanciful castles: to remind Bavarians of their greatness. In the case of Walhalla, Bavaria was coming off what many perceived as a humiliating defeat by Napoleon and his soldiers in 1807. Granted, if you’re going to lose, losing to Napoleon who bested most of Europe seems like it might not be the most embarrassing loss ever… But no matter, Ludwig wanted to bolster pride in his homeland.