Lion of Belfort
Record: 11 m
The Lion of Belfort is the monumental sculpture by Frédéric Bartholdi, sculptor of the Statue of Liberty, located in Belfort, France.
It was finished in 1880 and is entirely made of red sandstone. The blocks it is made from were individually sculpted then moved under Belfort castle to be assembled. The colossal work is 22 meters long and 11 meters high and dominates the local landscape.
The lion symbolizes the heroic French resistance during the Siege of Belfort, a 103-day Prussian assault (from December 1870 to February 1871). The city was protected from 40,000 Prussians by merely 17,000 men (only 3,500 were from the military) led by Colonel Denfert-Rochereau.
Instead of facing Prussia to the east as was intended, it was turned the other way because of German protests.
Smaller editions stand in the center of Place Denfert-Rochereau in Paris, and in Downtown Montreal — Lion of Belfort (Montreal).