Golden Lady (“Gëlle Fra”)

According to Culture Trip, Luxembourg’s Golden Lady (“Gëlle Fra”) was “initially meant to commemorate the fallen Luxembourgish soldiers who volunteered in the French army during World War I. However, it also turned into a memorial against Nazi rule and nowadays commemorates war victims in general.

(…)The middle piece is a 21 meter high obelisk, the top of which stands the gilded bronze statue of the Golden Lady.

Inaugurated in May 1923, the monument that stood for the country’s independence was targeted for destruction by the Nazis who occupied the country in May 1940. In October 1940, amidst the loud protests of hundreds of students, the statue was knocked down and removed by a steamroller.

After the war, plans were made to re-erect the monument, yet it would be impossible without the Golden Lady who, after briefly appearing in an exhibition on the Resistance in 1955, had suddenly disappeared. Only decades later, in 1981, were the fragments of the Golden Lady found under the tiers of a football stadium. After gathering donations via a national campaign, the statue that had come to embody Luxembourg itself was renovated and reinstated on 23 June 1985.”

 

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