(1858–1916). German architect, remembered primarily for his heroic monuments, including that to Kaiser Wilhelm I (1871–88) at Deutsches Eck, where the River Mosel joins the Rhine at Koblenz (1896–7—destroyed in the 1939–45 war, but reconstructed in the early 1990s). On the Kyffhäuser Hills, Thuringia, he designed the huge monument (1890–6) to Emperor Friedrich I Barbarossa (c. 1123–90). His gigantic Völkerschlachtsdenkmal (Battle of the Nations Memorial), near Leipzig (1896–1913), is the epitome of the glorification of German history, and is the greatest and most menacingly monumental national memorial of the early C20, built of reinforced concrete faced with massive granite blocks: it represents the power of the German peoples who rose in 1813 to drive the French from their lands. Schmitz's brooding work was a considerable influence on Wilhelm Kreis.
From A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture in Oxford Reference.