The Monument to the Battle of the Nations is a monument in Leipzig, Germany, to the 1813 Battle of Leipzig, also known as the Battle of the Nations. Paid for mostly by donations and by the city of Leipzig, it was completed in 1913 for the 100th anniversary of the battle, at a cost of 6 million Goldmark.The monument commemorates Napoleon's defeat at Leipzig, a crucial step towards the end of hostilities in the War of the Sixth Coalition, which was seen as a victory for the German people, although Germany as it is known today did not begin to exist until 1870. There were German speakers fighting on both sides, as Napoleon's troops also included conscripted Germans from the French-occupied left bank of the Rhine as well as from the Confederation of the Rhine.The structure is tall. It contains over 500 steps to a viewing platform at the top, from which there are spectacular views across the city and environs. The structure makes extensive use of concrete, although the facings are of granite. The monument is widely regarded as one of the best examples of Wilhelmine architecture. It is said to stand on the spot of some of the bloodiest fighting, from where Napoleon ordered the retreat of his army.HistoryBackgroundBetween 16–19 October 1813, the Battle of the Nations was fought by the coalition armies of Russia, Prussia, Austria, and Sweden against the French army of Napoleon aided by Polish and Italian troops as well as German-speakers from the Confederation of the Rhine. Napoleon's army was defeated and compelled to return to France while the Allies invaded France early the next year. Napoleon was forced to abdicate and was exiled to Elba in May 1814.
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