"THE DONKEY STATUE" Biberach an der Riß Things to Do Tip by balhannah

Biberach an der Riß Things to Do: 9 reviews and 20 photos


This Donkey sculpture is no ordinary Donkey!

Take a closer look, I did!

This sculpture was unveiled on 3 May 2000.

This donkey was created by Peter Lenk, a sculptor from Bodman, Lake Constance. From what I have researched of his work, he sounds to be a very controversial artist!

This Donkey has a very sad story!

The Donkey is representing the story written by Christoph Wieland, who spent his childhood in Biberach. He wrote a novel in the 1770's which included a Donkey and his Shadow.

The story goes, that a Dentist needed to go to a country market town to treat patients. For his transport, he decided on a Donkey, so he hired the Donkey and his owner.
It was hot, and it was lunch-time, and there wasn't any shade, so the Dentist sat down in the shade of the Donkey.
Almost immediately an argument begins as the Owner declares he has the right to the shade, as he is the Owner and the Dentist has only paid for the Donkey and NOT the shadow! The dentist argues that without the donkey there would be no shadow.
No agreement is reached, so they return to their home town.

Some how, the Town had heard about the argument, and became split into two parties, one for the " Donkey Party " and the other the "Shadow Party."
Eventually the case is taken to court. The final trial takes place in the Market Square where the Donkey stands decked with flowers and wreaths.
By then the audience has become so hysteric that they tear the poor animal to pieces!
Reconciliation comes too late for the Donkey, but it is decided that there should be a memorial for him.

This happened in Biberach in 2000. The Towns folk were split in decision whether it should be there temporarily or permanently.

"The front side of the sculpture is a modern interpretation of the story: vices such as prostitution (donkey?s head and ears), corruption, skinheads (hind legs) are opposed by representatives of law and order, moral code, religion, and the appeal is for common sense, altruism, peace. The reverse side is blank ? the shadow."

One very interesting sculpture!

Remember, it is only a story!

Address: Market place
Website: http://www.guernseybiberach.com/news-and-events/the-biberach-donkey/57

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Was this review helpful?

  • Updated Nov 17, 2013
  • Send to a Friend
  • Add to your Trip Planner
  • Report Abuse

Comments (2)

  • davidjo's Profile Photo
    Nov 17, 2013 at 11:32 PM

    Brings back memories as i have been there several times in the 70's, used to have a gf there, but she married a Frenchman instead!!!

    • balhannah's Profile Photo
      Nov 18, 2013 at 10:22 AM

      Thanks for visiting. Sounds like good and bad memories! I was surprised nobody else had written about this town as it was quite nice.

    • davidjo's Profile Photo
      Nov 18, 2013 at 1:57 PM

      Yes, i certainly thought it was a nice place, not too big.

  • Regina1965's Profile Photo
    Nov 17, 2013 at 4:35 PM

    What a strange statue and a sad story.

    • balhannah's Profile Photo
      Nov 17, 2013 at 6:55 PM

      It is! You have to remember it is a story, not a true story. He does a lot of controversial statues in Germany.

    • Regina1965's Profile Photo
      Nov 18, 2013 at 2:19 AM

      Yes, I will remember that, there are a lot of sad folklores like that.


“Don't wait till you retire to travel, do it now!”

Online Now


Top 1,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 0 0 0 2
Forum Rank:
0 0 0 3 8

Have you been to Biberach an der Riß?

  Share Your Travels