History is full of amazing women who have overcome enormous odds to do something truly triumphant. However, it's relatively rare to see monuments that celebrate the achievements of women, especially history's female warriors. But they do exist.
Throughout the world, you can find monuments and statues of some of the most amazing women in history. Figures like Joan of Arc, Boudica, and Hua Mulan have all had their deeds permanently memorialized in monuments that are as impressive as the women themselves.
While these monuments might not be all that well known, they deserve a turn in the spotlight for their craftsmanship and historical importance. These are some of the coolest statues and monuments dedicated to female warriors across the world.
Joan of Arc began her life as little more than an uneducated peasant, and she ended up one of the most beloved heroes of French history. Joan lived during the Hundred Years War, a harsh period of conflict between France and England. Although uneducated, Joan was a devout Catholic. At the age of 13, she began hearing disembodied voices that urged her to beat back the English invaders and expel them from France once and for all.
Although she'd never fought a day in her life, Joan was granted an audience with Prince Charles of Valois. She convinced him to give her an army so that she could retake the city of Orléans, and her campaign ended in miraculous success. Unfortunately, Joan was eventually captured by English forces and slain at the age of 19. Her martyrdom inspired French forces for decades to come, and she was officially sainted in 1920 by Pope Benedict XV.
A 15-foot, gilded bronze monument to Joan of Arc was completed in 1890 by French artist Emmanuel Frémiet . It can be found at the center of the Place des Pyramides in Paris, France.
Age: Dec. at 19 (1412-1431)
Birthplace: Domrémy-la-Pucelle, France
There are few people in history who have gone out in a cooler fashion than Queen Suriyothai. She ruled with her husband, King Maha Chakkraphat, over the kingdom of Ayutthaya in modern day Thailand. In the 16th century, Ayutthaya was thrust into a bitter conflict against Burmese invaders. When King Chakkraphat left his throne to command his troops, Suriyothai disguised herself as a soldier and followed her husband into combat.
During a major engagement, King Chakkraphat fell and was nearly slain, but Suriyothai intervened and saved his life. Riding a war elephant, she charged forward and got between her husband and his attackers. The king was able to flee, but Suriyothai fought ferociously until her unfortunate demise. Her bravery is commemorated by a massive memorial outside Ayutthaya.
Jhalkari Bai was an Indian warrior and royal advisor remembered for her fierce military acumen and skill. Though lacking an academic education, she was trained in combat and horsemanship from a very young age. She gained a reputation as a force to be reckoned with, and stories tell of her fighting wrongdoers and even slaying a tiger.
Bai would eventually marry Puran Singh, a soldier in the royal army of Queen Rani of Jhansi. Her marriage to Singh ultimately led her to the queen, who was shocked at how similar in appearance Jhalkari was to her. After hearing tales of Jhalkari's feats, the queen invited her to join the women's royal army.
In 1857, a series of revolutions swept through India with the goal of expelling the British from the subcontinent. British forces marched on Jhansi the next year, and Jhalkari led an army of 4,000 in defense of a strategic fort. Queen Rani was forced to flee as the engagement began to unfold in favor of the British, but Jhalkari decided to dress as the fleeing queen and continue the battle on her own. This gave the real queen more time to escape, and Jhalkari fought her way into the British encampment and demanded to speak with the leadership.
Fooled by her impersonation, the British spent a full day discussing terms with her before they realized the truth. It is unclear exactly what happened to Jhalkari afterward, but sources indicate that she survived the ordeal. In 2001, a statue was raised in her honor in the city of Gwalior.
Age: Dec. at 60 (1830-1890)
Birthplace: Jhansi, India
Jeanne Hachette was a French folk hero who seriously lived up to her name. The surname Hachette was actually a nickname given to her after she led a contingent of French women to liberate the besieged city of Beauvais. The women, armed with swords and hatchets, successfully ousted the 300 Burgundian soldiers in a surprise maneuver and managed to liberate the city. Jeanne was celebrated as a French hero, especially after word got out about her personal achievements in battle.
During the engagement, Jeanne spotted a Burgundian soldier planting a flag atop the battlements. Enraged, Jeanne went after him with her axe, and eventually threw his body down into a moat. She personally ripped the flag from the battlements, giving her soldiers a symbolic victory and boosting their morale for the rest of the fight.
Jeanne was personally rewarded by King Louis XI for her valor, and he allowed her to marry whatever man she saw fit. She chose her lover Colin Pilon, and the two were offered a lifelong tax exemption as an additional reward. Today, you can find a statue of Jeanne Hachette in the very town that she liberated.