Long time friends of me know that I’m a big fan of tall stuff. My friend Gabrielle has been with me to revolving restaurants atop towers in two different cities, as well as an observation deck on the Stratosphere in Las Vegas . My favorite part of my 2006 Chicago visit was the observation deck in the John Hancock Center. In Prague last month, I loved the miniature Eiffel Tower lookalike, the Petrin Lookout Tower.
I like observation decks, revolving restaurants, and television towers. A lot.
Here in Bavaria, most of the tallest things aren’t quite as tall as the John Hancock Center, but there are still some amazing views to be seen. Back in March, I posted about Walhalla, and included some pretty spectacular photographs of the view.
Since then, I’ve been to three more pretty tall places. The first was Tropfsteinhöhle Schulerloch, a show cave near Kelheim. The cave is a stalactite cave, and it’s closed during the winter because it’s full of bats during colder weather. Regrettably, I saw no bats on this visit.
The path to get up to the cave is a pretty steep one, though, and just before you get to the main entrance of the visitors center, you’re treated to this view at roughly 1272 feet above sea level:
The second tall place I visited is Waldwipfelweg. The centerpiece of this educational destination is a boardwalk that overlooks a particularly picturesque stretch of Bavarian forest. It’s a very tall boardwalk, though. I don’t think I would have wanted to be up there on a super windy day.
The third tall place I visited recently was the Befreiungshalle (“Hall of Liberation”). This is a sort of companion piece to the Walhalla- there’s a third monument near Munich that I have to go see now that I know that it exixts. The Befreiungshalle was constructed on the orders of King Ludwig I of Bavaria, with a ceremonial opening in October of 1863. The Befreiungshalle sits on Mount Michelsberg above the city of Kelheim, upstream from Regensburg on the Danube river.
On the walk up to the Befreiungshalle, you can get an amazing view of the Danube river, including the boats that run between Kelheim and the Weltenburg Kloister Brewery. I’ll talk about Weltenburg in another upcoming post.
The structure itself is pretty amazing. It’s ringed by eighteen huge statues which are allegories of the German tribes. The number 18 also symbolizes the date of the Battle of the Nations at Leipzig (October 18, 1813), when the Coalition defeated Napoleon’s troops.
As with the Walhalla, however, the view is best from the stairs in front of the main entrance. You can see all of Kelheim, and some of the surrounding countryside.
There are still some other tall places in Regensburg and Berlin that I haven’t been to yet. They’re on my list. Yep, I have a list of tall stuff to climb, all over Europe. I’d better get to it.