14 April 2013

US Private Examines the Siegestor

Image size: 1322 x 1600 pixel. 625 KB
Date: Wednesday, 13 June 1945
Place: Maxvorstadt, Münich, Germany
Photographer: Unknown

Private First Class Lawrence W. Bartlett (1924-1985), Niagara Falls, New York, examines the four fallen lions which once adorned the top of the Siegestor, built by King Ludwig I, in 1844-1852 in tribute to the Bavarian Army. The Siegestor (Victory Gate) in Münich, is a three-arched triumphal arch crowned with a statue of Bavaria with a lion-quadriga, similar in style to the Arch of Constantine in Rome, the Marble Arch in London, the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and the Brandenburger Tor in Berlin. It is located between the university and the Ohmstraße, on the intersection of the Leopoldstraße and the Ludwigstraße. Therefore it divides the two Münich districts of Maxvorstadt and Schwabing. The gate was commissioned by King Ludwig I of Bavaria, designed by Friedrich von Gärtner and completed in 1852. The quadriga was created by Martin Wagner. The gate was originally dedicated to the glory of the Bavarian army (dem bayerischen Heere zum Ruhme). Today the Siegestor is a monument and reminder to peace. After sustaining heavy damage in World War II, the gate was - similar to the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche in Berlin - reconstructed and restored only partially. The inscription on the back side is by Wilhelm Hausenstein and reads "Dem Sieg geweiht, vom Krieg zerstört, zum Frieden mahnend", which translates as "Dedicated to victory, destroyed by war, reminding of peace". In the last couple of years, the statues that remained were meticulously cleaned and restored. 

NARA (National Archives) 540136

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