Feldherrnhalle (Field Marshals' Hall)
Feldherrnhalle (Field Marshals' Hall) Review
Erected in 1841–44, this open pavilion, fronted with three huge arches, was modeled on the 14th-century Loggia dei Lanzi in Florence. It opens the grand Ludwigstraβe (closed by Siegestor) on Odeonsplatz, and was built to honor Bavarian military leaders and the Bavarian army. Two huge Bavarian lions are flanked by the larger-than-life statues of Count Johann Tserclaes Tilly, who led Catholic forces in the Thirty Years' War, and Prince Karl Philipp Wrede, hero of the 19th-century Napoleonic Wars.
There's an astonishing photograph of a 25-year-old Adolf Hitler standing in front of the Feldherrnhalle on August 2, 1914, amid a huge crowd gathered to celebrate the beginning of World War I. The imposing structure was turned into a militaristic shrine in the 1930s and '40s by the Nazis, to whom it was significant because it marked the site of Hitler's abortive coup, or putsch, in 1923 (today, there's a plaque on the ground, 20 meters from the lion on the left, commemorating the four policemen who were killed in the putsch attempt). During the Third Reich, all who passed it had to give the Nazi salute. Viscardigasse, a tiny alley behind the Feldherrnhalle, linking Residenzstrasse and Theatinerstrasse, and now lined with exclusive boutiques, was used by those who wanted to dodge the routine. Its nickname was Drückebergergaβl, or Dodgers' Alley.