Exerzierhalle (‘Drill Hall’) (OV8QR2)
Exerzierhalle (‘Drill Hall’)
In 1873, Emperor William I ordered the defortification of Wittenberg. Even so, it remained a garrison town until the end of the First World War, as evidenced by the Cavalier Barracks built in around 1880. The main building, now the seat of the town council, marks a high point of Wittenberg’s expansion in the late-19th century. Opposite the barracks, the Drill Hall was built.
The Drill Hall is an example of a rare type of military architecture. It is evocative of artistic and military developments between the foundation of the German Empire in 1871 and World War I. The inclusion of military buildings is typical of the treatment of national heritage in Wilhelmine Germany, which recast Wittenberg as a monument to the Reformation.
The foremost event to be staged here was a Reformation spectacle marking the consecration of the renovated All Saints’ Church (Castle Church) on 31 October 1892. It was held under the patronage of Emperor William II, who attended along with all the Protestant German princes.
Special thanks are due to local bank Sparkasse Wittenberg, Sparkasse Foundation Germany East, and other benefactors for their generous support for the restoration of the brickwork façade.