This finely detailed painting by Adolph von Menzel depicts the 1861 Coronation of King Wilhelm I of Prussia. This ceremony took place in the 600-year-old historic Königsberg Castle in East Prussia.
Only a short 10 years later, this King of Prussia will successfully re-unite most of the states of the former German Holy Roman Empire… an Empire that lasted a thousand years until defeated by France in 1806 and then abolished and fragmented into independent states. After three victorious wars… in 1864, 1866, and 1870… King Wilhelm became Kaiser Wilhelm I, Emperor of the new modern Germany. As revenge for the French destruction of the First Reich, Kaiser Wilhelm was coronated in 1871 at the Palace of Versailles, in occupied France.
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