Friedrich II der Grosse

This huge statue of the king in classical style was erected at Unter den Linden, the famous Berlin boulevard, in 1851. The monument shows the king surrounded by his advisors and generals, 74 people altogether, 21 of them life size, among whom four generals on horseback: Ferdinand Von Braunschweig Wolfenbüttel, Friedrich Heinrich Ludwig von Preussen, Friedrich Wilhelm von Seydlitz and Hans Joachim von Zieten.

During World War II, a surrounding wall saved the memorial. After the war, this monumental equestrian statue narrowly escaped destruction. In 1949, it was decided that the statue had to be removed as ‘the king drove eastwards’. The monument was taken apart and the pieces transported to Potsdam. Ten years later, the decision was made to melt down this symbol of reactionary politics. Transport to the melting furnaces had already been arranged, when one of the ministers – a former historian – prevented its destruction at the very last moment. The monument was rebuilt on its original site in 1980 and thoroughly restored in 2001.

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