An outstanding tourist attraction will become even more worth visiting. The Kaiser-Wilhelm monument, which towers above the Teutoburger Wald forest in Porta Westfalica, will now soon house contain a panorama restaurant and visitors’ centre, with information about the monument, its history and its surrounding area. The planned opening date is set for 8 July 2018.
In the future, visitors will be able to find out more about the history of the area beyond the monument itself. According to the owner, the “Landschaftsverband Westfalen-Lippe” association (LWL), the information will cover historical events such as the advance of the Romans into Germania, the Prussian pathos and the lives of forced labourers during the Second World War in the mines directly below the monument.
The monument has been undergoing refurbishment since May 2016. During extensive earthworks, several tens of thousands of cubic meters of soil and rock were moved, and nearly 300 pile foundations were installed which together with the building structure itself will give the ring base of the monument the stability it needs. The LWL estimates that the cost will run to five million euros for repairing the ring wall alone. Further building costs of 11.4 million euros have been set aside for the visitor centre and the restaurant, which is integrated into the refurbished ring terrace. The town of Porta Westfalica is participating with a contribution of over 600,000 euros, while the German federal government is contributing a total of 5.8 million euros.
In the future, according to LWL, it is hoped that the second-highest monument in Germany after the “Völkerschlacht” monument in Leipzig will attract 150,000 visitors a year. Together with five other monuments, it is part of the “Monument road”. The original structure was built from 1892 to 1896 according to a design by the Berlin architect Bruno Schmitz.