Civic fundraising to commemorate a victory: following Germany’s defeat of France in the Franco-Prussian war in 1871, Baden’s citizens from Karlsruhe to Lörrach began collecting donations to erect a monument to honor the achievement.
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The sculptor Karl Freidrich Moest was chosen from a field of 18 artists who had submitted work in a public competition. His Victory Monument was cast from French cannons and dedicated in 1876. The tapering pedestal is adorned with inscriptions and depictions of war heroes, atop of which naturally stands Victoria, the Goddess of Victory, proudly holding high a laurel wreath.
In 1940, there was a plan to gift the memorial to Adolf Hitler to mark his birthday, but the city vetoed this. The monument then stood only 100 meters away from its original location on the northern edge of Freiburg’s Old Town, until in March 2016 it had to be moved to accommodate the construction of a new trolley car line. When the new square on the Friedrichring is completed, the Victory Monument will then be returned to its original location in front of the former Karlskaserne (barracks).