The statue “Lion of Bavaria” can be found in a location called “Bavarian Tombs” in the neighborhood “Pronia” next to the city’s cemetery, and it is believed to be one of the first monuments of Modern Greece.
Made of marble sculpted directly on the rock, it represents a sleeping lion, with a face filled with sorrow. On the base of the statue there is a carved sign written in German. This monument was created by German sculptor Kristian Ziegel, by order of Otto’s father, the king of Bavaria Ludwig the 1st, in Otto’s soldiers’ honour, who suffered from typhus and died in 1833-1834.
The place surrounding the statue has been turned into a small park with benches, offering the traveler a little respite during the tour.
On the way up the narrow lanes of “Pronia” neighborhood, under the hill of Palamidi, in the location called “Bavarian tombs” next to the city’s cemetery, the visitor comes face to face with the famous marble “Lion of Bavaria”, a piece of incomparable grace and technique and one of the most important monuments of postwar Greece.
This monument is considered to be created by the German sculptor Christian Ziegel between 1840 and 1841, consistent with the original “Lion of Lucerne”. The statue was made by order of Otto’s father, the king of Bavaria Ludwig A’, in order to honor his son’s soldiers that suffered from typhus and died in 1833-1834. Of course, local people have their own version of the story to tell. For them, Otto’s army died because they ate too many bitter cucumbers (in Greek: “pikraguria”), and that’s why they call this monument “Aguroon”.
This piece of art is really special, as the sleeping lion was sculpted directly on the rock and has a terrible look of sorrow on its face. Its paws rest gently on a carved sign written in German, saying: “From the Generals and Soldiers of the Royal Bavarian Division to their co-soldiers of 1833 and 1834. This monument is founded by Ludwig, king of Bavaria.”
According to a still preserved legend, if someone touches the gravestone which the lion protects, then the lion will wake up and tear to pieces whoever dared to disturb its sweet sleeping children.
Nowadays, the area surrounding the monument has been transformed into a small illuminated park with benches, offering the traveler a chance to rest and enjoy the breathtaking view.