Standing nine metres tall and weighing at 18 tonnes, the Imperia statue by local artist Peter Lenk has been a focus of discussion ever since it was erected, in particular the naked figures she holds in her hands. Imperia holds aloft King Sigismund in her right hand and Martin V, the Pope elected by the Council of Constance, in her left. Lenk portrays them as grotesque figures who have unlawfully taken possession of the insignias of power.
The brainchild of the former Constance Tourist Information Office (now the MTK) and the artist himself, the statue was created without the use of public money and financed by sponsors. At the time, the erection of the statue caused a heated public debate, and even the world's media reported on it. Since then, the Imperia statue has become one of the most popular destinations for tourists in Constance. It establishes a literary connection to French romantic novelist Honoré de Balzac's stories of the "beautiful Imeria" at the time of the Council of Constance" (1414 - 1418), even if, according to literary historian Professor Helmut Weidhase, Imperia is said to have lived between 1455 and 1511.
TIP: Guided tour "Auf den Spuren des Konzils"
There still are many places of interest that bear witness of the Council of Constance of 600 years ago, the only time a pope was elected north of the Alps. The guided tour "Auf den Spuren des Konzils - Von Päpsten, Ketzern, Kurtisanen" delves into history of the Council on visits on the Imperia statue, the Council of Constance building, the Hus stone and other, less well-known settings of this momentous event.