Another field report from Beyond the Blue Book. This time, I checked out some of the sites along the Danube river in Bavaria. If you're considering a Danube cruise that starts out from the Main-Danube canal in Nürnberg, you'll probably stop at these points.
Even if you don't know the Befreiungshalle by name, if you've seen enough tourist literature about Bavaria, you probably recognize it by sight. It's a huge neo-Classical rotunda built to commemorate the pan-German contributions to the defeat of Napoleon. The interior consists of 17 pairs of winged goddesses of victory holding plaques for the various battles, and the names of prominent German generals. And that's about it. You can climb stairs to the outer gallery for a good look at the town of Kelheim below and the surrounding Danube valley. If you're not into the history of the Napoleonic wars, don't expect to learn to much. All the sculptors are allegorical. It's an impressive building, but I was expecting a little bit more. Something like the Military Gallery in the Hermitage.
The town of Kelheim is nice enough, but if you've seen more than a few typical Lower Bavarian towns, there's nothing new here. Even so, it appears to receive quite a bit of cruise traffic. Supposedly the foundations of Kelheim were built upon an old Celtic fortress (is that the source of the town's name?), but I saw no evidence of this. Upriver a few kilometers there's some kind of Celtic archeologic site and a medieval castle up on a bluff, neither of which I visited.
I really wouldn't recommend going out of your way to visit either the town or monument unless your Danube cruise stops there anyway, or if you're on your 5th trip to Germany and need something new to check out. If you had to pick between neo-Classical monuments to German history overlooking the Danube, I would go with Walhalla outside of Regensburg first. (cont).