The triangular spur of land created where the might of the Rhine and Moselle converge is one of the most poignant memorials to German unity in the country. In 1897, an equestrian bronze was placed on this spit in honor of Keizer Willem I with an inscription that read in German: "Never will the Empire be destroyed, so long as you are united and loyal."
That statue was badly damaged by American shelling during the Allied advancement in 1945 and was eventually taken down. Following World War II as part of a reparation package, Germany was split into the capitalist west and the communist Democratic Republic, and at this juncture President Heuss of West Germany reinstated Deutsches Eck as a monument to German patriotism by placing the coats of arms and flags of all the regions on display there.
After the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, three sections of the wall were installed at the site, and in 1993 came a replica of the original statue of Willem I, which was placed on a massive neo-Classical plinth that can be seen for miles around. Recent additions have seen the inclusion of the U.S. flag in honor of the dead of 9/11. In 2002 Deutsches Eck became a UNESCO World Heritage site, and now more than 2 million people journey each year to see the monument.
Deutsches Eck sits on the confluence of the Rhine and the Moselle rivers. It is best visited by river cruise, by riverside stroll from the adjoining town of Koblenz or from the cable car up to nearby Ehrenbreitstein Fortress.