Andreas Hofer stands tall in Merano, made entirely from bronze, looking very monumental.
As early as 1895, a group of "Andreas Hofer innkeepers", therefore practically "colleagues" of the Tyrolean hero, planned to erect a monument in his honour, but the finances did not add up. The project very nearly died, but in the end some largely nationalistic groups, among them the "Andreas Hofer veterans and warriors" and a "Maiser reservists' column" supported the plan. To fund the project, festivities were organised on Merano's promenade, but the generous support of archduke Franz Ferdinand also helped. It was planned to finalise the monument in 1909 which was an important year, the 100th anniversary of the Tyrolean uprising. But despite all patriotic efforts, the money just was not there. Meanwhile the sculptor Emanuel Bender had created a design for the monument and it was decided that Hofer should be cast in bronze. The originally envisaged completion date could no longer be met, so the new target date was 1914. But what was the best location? Some suggested an exposed spot on the Küchelberg, overlooking Val Passiria and the Etsch valley. But negotiations to secure the plot were unsuccessful, which left a location near the railway station, with a planned unveiling on 4 October, 1914. But then the war broke out, and the Hofer monument had to spend the next few years covered up in a depot. It was not until 1920 that the monument was lifted onto its porphyry pedestal; Andreas Hofer now glances serenely in the direction of Merano station.