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The Hall of Liberation near Kelheim, Germany, was inspired, as many of King Ludwig I's monuments were, by ancient Greek architecture.

The Hall of Liberation near Kelheim, Germany, was inspired, as many of King Ludwig I's monuments were, by ancient Greek architecture. (Michael S. Darnell/Stars and Stripes)

The Hall of Liberation near Kelheim, Germany, was inspired, as many of King Ludwig I's monuments were, by ancient Greek architecture.

The Hall of Liberation near Kelheim, Germany, was inspired, as many of King Ludwig I's monuments were, by ancient Greek architecture. (Michael S. Darnell/Stars and Stripes)

The view from the top of the Hall of Liberation is easily worth the drive. The best view can be accessed only via stairway, but this view of the town of Kelheim, Germany, can be accessed by elevator.

The view from the top of the Hall of Liberation is easily worth the drive. The best view can be accessed only via stairway, but this view of the town of Kelheim, Germany, can be accessed by elevator. (Michael S. Darnell/Stars and Stripes)

The Greek influence of The Hall of Liberation can be seen in the pillars that surround the hall.

The Greek influence of The Hall of Liberation can be seen in the pillars that surround the hall. (Michael S. Darnell/Stars and Stripes)

A walkable alcove circles the interior of the Hall of Liberation and a flight of stairs can take you to views of the scenery outside.

A walkable alcove circles the interior of the Hall of Liberation and a flight of stairs can take you to views of the scenery outside. (Michael S. Darnell/Stars and Stripes)

Plaques bearing the names of generals who fought in the Wars of Liberation can be seen just below the 147.6-foot-high domed ceiling.

Plaques bearing the names of generals who fought in the Wars of Liberation can be seen just below the 147.6-foot-high domed ceiling. (Michael S. Darnell/Stars and Stripes)

Each of the statues of the "Goddesses of Victory" hold shields that bear the name of battles fought during the Wars of Liberation.

Each of the statues of the "Goddesses of Victory" hold shields that bear the name of battles fought during the Wars of Liberation. (Michael S. Darnell/Stars and Stripes)

Even the walk from the parking lot to the Hall of Liberation manages to be scenic. A small detour can take visitors on a view of the Danube River as it winds through the forest around Kelheim, Germany.

Even the walk from the parking lot to the Hall of Liberation manages to be scenic. A small detour can take visitors on a view of the Danube River as it winds through the forest around Kelheim, Germany. (Michael S. Darnell/Stars and Stripes)

The inscription in the center of the monument roughly translates to "May the Germans never forget why the battle for liberation was necessary and the means by which it was won."

The inscription in the center of the monument roughly translates to "May the Germans never forget why the battle for liberation was necessary and the means by which it was won." (Michael S. Darnell/Stars and Stripes)

There is a moment during every memorable sightseeing expedition that makes it worth the hassle of waking up early, fighting traffic and paying for the privilege of parking.

It can be a great meal shared among friends at a quiet cafe, the awe-inspiring scope of history showcased at ancient monuments or the excitement of a crowd at a public event.

My moment during a recent trip to the Befreihungshalle (Hall of Liberation) in Kelheim, Germany, happened shortly after scaling the spiral staircase leading to the top of the monument. There, I was treated to an absolutely stunning view of the town that lies along the banks of the Danube and Altmühl rivers as the sun rose over the eastern mountains.

In that moment, it was easy to see why King Ludwig I chose that spot to build his monument to German valor.

The Hall of Liberation was conceived by the king to immortalize the sizable German contribution toward the defeat of Napoleon’s forces during the 1813-14 Wars of Liberation. In fact, it opened on Oct. 18, 1863 — the 50th anniversary of the massive Battle of Leipzig, the decisive encounter of that conflict and the largest battle in Europe prior to World War I.

It’s also a sister monument of sorts to Ludwig’s other monuments — the Ruhmeshalle (Hall of Fame), Feldherrnhalle (Hall of Generals) and Walhalla (a hall dedicated to Germanic heroes), and it was the last monument he built before his death in 1868.

Today, the monument remains a popular stop for those heading to the city of Regensburg, and it’s a great destination on its own.

Parking is ample and located close enough to the monument that visitors of any age can make the walk. A small visitors center offers English and German tour books and multimedia guides for those looking for in-depth information on the hall’s history.

There are a couple of places to stop and take photos along the 500-meter path from the parking lot to the monument. An elevator provides access to the main floor of the hall, though the top level can be reached only via a lengthy staircase.

It’s worth the climb, because the view of Kelheim is simply one-of-a-kind.

Inside, visitors can walk along an alcove that circles around 34 sculptures depicting “Goddesses of Victory,” each bearing a shield inscribed with a battle fought during the campaign. Above, a vaulted dome 147.6 feet high bears plaques dedicated to famous generals of the war.

It’s all very solemn and awe-inspiring to see the soldiers’ names memorialized in such an extravagant manner.

I can’t promise you’ll have a moment quite like the one I had while visiting, but if you show up early enough, odds are you’re going to be treated to one of the most gorgeous views in Bavaria.

There is a cafe on site if you’d like to just see the hall, grab a bite of strudel and head for home, but the town of Kelheim is worth a visit if you’d like to make a day of it.

In short, it’s the perfect quick trip.

Darnell.michael@stripes.com

Hall of Liberation at Kelheim, Germany Directions Befreiungshalle, Befreiungshallestrasse 3, 93309 Kelheim, Germany

Times 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday through Saturday, March 19-Oct. 31; 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday through Saturday, Nov. 1-March 18

Costs 2 euros to park, 3.50 euros for adult admission; no charge for visitors under 18 (with school identification)

Food A cafe on site serves lunch and light breakfast options.

Information Phone: (+49) (0)9441 82 07-10; website: www.schloesser.bayern.de/englisch/palace/objects/kelheim.htm.

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