Robert Bunsen Statue – Heidelberg, Germany - Atlas Obscura

Robert Bunsen Statue

A larger-than-life monument to the inventor of the Bunsen burner. 


Bunsen is a well-known name to anyone who ever had a chemistry class, as his burners are still widely used today. Using this burner, Bunsen was able to pioneer research in the emission spectra of heated elements and became one of the most famous scientists of his generation.

Robert Wilhelm Eberhard Bunsen was a German scientist and a pioneer in photochemistry. In 1855, Bunsen developed his namesake burner with his laboratory assistant, Peter Desaga. It was hailed as a massive improvement over the laboratory burners that were in use at the time.

Bunsen was one of the most widely admired scientists of his generation, and this statue of him was unveiled in 1908, just nine years after the scientist’s death. It had stood in multiple locations since that time, but for the last 40 it has resided in its current position in the heart of Heidelberg.

The plaque on the statue translates to: “Director of the Chemical Laboratory, founder of chemical analysis, developed the chromic acid battery and the fused salt electrolysis to the preparation of Magnesium; created together with Gustav Kirchhoff spectral analysis and discovered Cesium and Rubidium (1860).”

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The statue is publicly available.

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