Idea of Walhalla originates all the way back in year 1807 and newly elevated Crown Prince Ludwig of the Kingdom of Bavaria, when he decided to create busts of famous German people throughout the history. Building of memorial itself was initiated in 1826 by Ludwig who was king by this time. Memorial was to take place next to the Danube River, near Regensburg, and modeled after the Parthenon in Athens.
At Walhalla’s inauguration on October 18, 1842, there were 96 busts, plus 64 plaques for persons or events of which no portrait was available on which to model a sculpture. As being “of the German tongue” was the main selection criterion for the original 160 persons representing the 1,800 years of German history, the King included persons from, or who had been active in, modern-day Sweden, Austria, Czech Republic, Poland, United Kingdom, Belgium, Netherlands, Russia, Switzerland and the Baltic States.
Today, the government of Bavaria decides on additions. Anyone may propose a name, but candidates must have died at least 20 years before becoming eligible (doubled in 1912). So, if you want to see your bust in this epic memorial, all you need to do is become super famous, be German and wait for few decades – simple!
Naturally – King Ludwig is central figure in Walhalla. He doesn’t have a bust or plaque, but a whole throne from which he observes his momument to this day. Though, this is not the only memorial he created – in Munich, King Ludwig I established an additional Hall of Fame for Bavarians in 1853 – the Ruhmeshalle München. But, more of that on one other occasion, after I actually visit it.
Source of data: Wikipedia.org