The monument Gëlle Fra

The monument Gëlle Fra

The Monument of Remembrance, usually known by the nickname of the Gëlle Fra (Luxembourgish for 'Golden Lady'), is a war memorial dedicated to the Luxembourgers who fell in battle during the two World Wars and in Korea.

The Gëlle Fra was erected in 1923 in Constitution Square and is one of the most famous monuments in the city of Luxembourg. The centerpiece of the statue is a 21 meter high obelisk atop which stands a woman holding out a crown of laurels to two soldiers, one of whom watches over his compatriot who died in battle. Thus, the Gëlle Fra is dedicated to the soldiers who died in battle during the two World Wars and symbolizes peace and patriotism.

During the Nazi occupation, the demolition of the base and obelisk and the removal of the statue caused widespread discontent among the Luxembourg population, provoking several demonstrations and patriotic awakening through slogans such as "Roude Léiw, erwech” (Red Lion, Awaken). After the Second World War, the statue was exhibited one last time to the public in 1955 at an exposition, then “disappeared” until 1981, when it was discovered under the bleachers of the Josy-Barthel stadium. A copy was remounted on its obelisk and the inauguration of the reconstructed monument took place on 23 June, 1985. The original is on display in a Luxembourg museum. From the square itself can be enjoyed a superb view of the Pétrusse valley, surrounded by the ramparts of the fortress, as well as the prestigious architecture of the Banque et Caisse d’Epargne de l’Etat building.

In 2001, a replica of the Golden Lady appeared as part of the contemporary art forum, this time pregnant to emphasize the difficulty women encounter in modern society. This work of art, certainly ephemeral and at the origin of intense debate, is representative of the strong symbolic value linked to the Gëlle Fra.

The Gëlle Fra was sent to the Shanghai World Expo from 1 May to 31 October, 2010. The Gëlle Fra completed her latest voyage at 9 AM on 28 January, 2011, after six months away from home.

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