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DEUTSCHLAND GERMANY
Bundesland: Nordrhein-Westfalen North Rhine-Westphalia
Regierungsbezirk: Detmold  
Kreis: Minden-Lübbecke  

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Porta Westfalica

lt: Porta Vestfalika
ru: Порта-Вестфалика

1125 Porta Westfalica The narrow valley of the river Weser between the Wesergebirge and Weihengebirge mountains has been called Porta Westfalica for just about 200 years. The first mention of this name appeared in a book published in 1800. In 1972/73, 15 communities (Barkhausen, Costedt, Eisbergen, Hausberge, Holtrup, Holzhausen, Kleinenbremen, Lerbeck, Lohfeld, Möllbergen, Nammen, Veltheim, Vennebeck and Wülpke) were merged to form the new town of Porta Westfalica. The former town of Hausberge became the seat of the administration of the new community.

The Kaiser-Wilhelm-Denkmal is the best-known attraction of the area. The first plans for a patriotic monument for the first German Emperor, Wilhelm I (1797–1888, King of Prussia 1861, German Emperor 1871), were devised already one month after the death of the monarch. In 1889, the Wittekind mountain (276 m) at Porta Westfalica was chosen as the site for the monument, the final plans were drawn by the architect Bruno Schmitz. Due to financial problems, the construction of the monument could be started only in 1892 and was completed in 1892. The total height of the monument is 88 m, the canopy (height 50 m, diameter 32 m) is topped by an imperial crown (2.5 m). The statue of Wilhelm I (7 m high) was made by the sculptor Kaspar von Zumbusch (who also designed the famous monument for Maria Theresia of Austria in Vienna). The monument was unveiled by Wilhelm's grandson and third (also last) German Emperor, Wilhelm II (1859–1941, German Emperor 1888–1918). The monument is the second-largest monument of Germany (after the monument for the Battle of the Nations in Leipzig and before the Kyffhäuser monument).
Several glasses of this collection show other monuments for Wilhelm I.

3084 Porta Westfalica The picture on glass no. 3084 [near eft] shows the first bridge across the Weser at Porta Westfalica. The bridge was constrcted in 1865 as a chain suspension bridge and connected the former municipalities of Barkhausen and Hausberge. The bridge had a span of 87.9 metres and at first was used for a lorry railway transporting coal between the railway station 'Porta' and the steelworks at Barkhausen. The steelworks were closed already in 1868, but the tracks remained on the bridge for several years. The bridge was converted to a road bridge in 1896 for the opening of the Kaiser Wilhelm monument. The bridge was blown up on 4 April 1945 by the German army in an attempt to obstruct the advance of the Allied forces (which, however, used a pontoon bridge constructed a short distance downriver. After the war, only a ferry connected the river banks until 1954 when a new steel bridge was opened, a short distance upriver of the old bridge. This second bridge was finally replaced in 1995 by a new steel bridge, located even further upriver.


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