Imperia is a statue at the entrance of the harbour
of Konstanz, Germany,
commemorating the Council of Constance that took place there between 1414 and 1418.
Detail of the Imperia
The concrete statue is 10 meters high, weighs 18 tonnes, and stands
on a pedestal that rotates around its axis once every three
minutes. It was created by Peter Lenk
erected in 1993.
Imperia shows a woman holding two men on her hands. The two men
represent Pope Martin V
. Martin V was elected during the
Council while Sigismund was the king who called the council. Both
are naked except for the symbols of their power.
The statue refers to a short story by Balzac
"La belle Impéria". The story is a harsh satire of the Catholic
clergys' morals, where Imperia seduces cardinals and princes at the
Council of Constance and has power over them all. The historical Imperia
was a well-educated Italian courtesan
named Lucrezia de Paris who was born 1485 in Ferrara, well after
the council, and never visited Konstanz.
- Helmut Weidhase: Imperia. Konstanzer
Hafenfigur. Konstanz: Stadler 1997. ISBN 3-7977-0374-0