Hermann the German
New Ulm, Minnesota
Hermann the German has brandished his Teutonic battle sword over New Ulm since 1897. New Ulm was settled by a large contingent of Germans in the 19th century, and Hermann is modeled after a similar monument near Detmold, Germany.
Hermann was a slave chieftain named Armnius the Cherusci (He was much later re-named "Hermann" by Martin Luther). In the year 9 Hermann turned against his masters and led a ragtag army to victory over three Roman legions, thereby saving Germania from conquest. Rome was out, thanks to Hermann the German.
New Ulm's 32 ft. tall rendition of the warrior is the third largest copper statue in the United States (after the Statue of Liberty, then "Portlandia" in Portland, Oregon). The monument, which features Hermann atop a pedestal above a cupola supported by ten columns, is 102 ft. tall. A spiral staircase winds around a 70-ft. iron column up into the cupola.
After a century of harsh Minnesota winters, sharpshooting vandals, and a 90 mph windstorm that sheared off one of his helmet wings, Hermann was suffering from battle fatigue. In 2003 the statue was taken down and refurbished. It was back in place by the end of 2004.
Visitors to New Ulm should also plan to swing by the giant glockenspiel at 4th North and Minnesota Streets -- a 45-ft. high tower with clockotronic characters bangs out carillon tunes daily at noon, 3 pm and 5 pm.