Deutsches Eck is the name of a headland in Koblenz, Germany, where the Mosel river joins the Rhine. Named after a local commandry of the Teutonic Order (Deutscher Orden), it became known for a monumental equestrian statue of William I, first German Emperor, erected in 1897 in appreciation for his role in the unification of Germany. One of many Emperor William monuments raised in the Prussian Rhine Province, it was destroyed in World War II and only the plinth was preserved as a memorial. Following German reunification, a replica of the statue was erected on the pedestal after controversial discussions in 1993. It is today a Koblenz landmark and a popular tourist destination.
After the death of Emperor William I in 1888, his grandson William II wished to spark a nationalist cult around the "founder of the German Reich". In the following years the privately funded Kyffhäuser Monument was erected and an Emperor William Monument was inaugurated in Porta Westfalica, both designed by the Leipzig architect Bruno Schmitz. Several other cities had also applied as installation sites and in 1891 William II decided upon the confluence of the Rhine and Mosel rivers at Koblenz.
While the inner city of Koblenz was hit hard by Allied strategic bombing during World War II, the Deutsches Eck remained largely unscathed. On 16 March 1945, however, the statue was badly damaged by an American artillery shell.
After the formation of the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic in 1949, the country was divided into a capitalist west and a communist east. In order to express the deep wish for a united Germany, President Theodor Heuss turned the German Corner into a monument to German unity.