When you are along the Isar, something stick out along the landscape – it is the Angel of Peace. And when you find it, you are rewarded with a beautiful idealized monument.
Peace itself looks so majestic, controlled and in charge.
Peace stands on top of a base made with more Roman-style architecture and paintings and statues.
Here’s a pretty good description from Wikipedia:
The angel of peace is a reminder of the 25 peaceful years after the Franco-German war of 1870/71. The monument with its small temple shows the portraits of the German Emperors William I, Frederick III, Wilhelm II, the Bavarian rulers Ludwig II, Otto and Luitpold, the Imperial Chancellor Otto von Bismarck and the generals Helmuth von Moltke, Albrecht von Roon, Ludwig von der Tann, Jakob von Hartmann and Siegmund von Pranckh. In the hall of the temple are gold mosaics which depict the allegories of war and peace, victory and blessing for the culture.
Really, the Angel of Peace is more of a temple to empire, than to peace. The message is clear – trust in our saviors – the leaders of nations and the generals of armies for peace. They will bring peace through might, war and death. The angel of peace is nothing more than the angel of death cloaked in gold.
The notion is faulty and continues to tells the lie that peace is a destination, as opposed to the way of living. Maybe that’s why the actual statue of the angel of peace is propped up so high, unreachable from everyone.
But, maybe there’s more here. The park that surrounds the monument looks like this:
It’s not large, but yet it’s the essence of peace. You can walk in it and everything is within grasp. The trees block out the sound of the hustle and bustle of the city around you, yet you know it’s there, just beyond the trees, waiting for you to go back, yet this time more peaceful. And this monument has a special dedication – to life.
Peace isn’t some kind of destination that we can never get to. Peace doesn’t come through war and killing. Peace doesn’t come through leaders and generals. Peace isn’t a tool to be used in the service of power. Peace happens all around us, continuously, if we are willing we to open our eyes to it and embrace it, to walk in its paths, to smell its life, and to carry it out into the world.