At the confluence of the Moselle and Rhine rivers in the lovely city of Koblenz, Germany, stands a large monument called Deutsches Eck (German Corner). Originally dedicated to the empire of Kaiser Wilhelm I, its partial destruction in WWII led the remnants to serve as a memorial to German unity until 1989. It was rebuilt by Koblenz in 1993.
Climbing inside the central structure (below the statue) affords views along both river banks and of the town itself. Koblenz is a well-maintained city with abundant plantings and whimsical fountains and figures sprinkled throughout. The center of town is dominated by pedestrian shopping areas, though it’s easy to find refuge from inclement weather in the indoor (and partially underground) Löhr Center mall at the edge of this area. The monument is at most a 15-minute walk from the central bus or train stations.
Given its location, the area is popular with river-cruising tourists. You don’t need to commit a week, however — one- or three-hour boat trips are readily available at standard rates. In the summer, it is possible to make a leisurely daytrip all the way from Cologne or Bonn by boat.
The monument (admission: free) has many details to be discovered by visitors. Each of the German states are represented by a plaque in the rounded area while their flags grace the waterfront. I’m a sucker for reliefs like these giant carved stone snakes above the benches at the base of the monument. For younger visitors, there is plenty of open space for running, climbing and jumping.
Koblenz can be reached by bus from Frankfurt/Hahn airport and, if the timing is right, is an enjoyable day out for any passengers connecting on low-cost carriers with a long layover.
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