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Immerse yourself in grand history
Right above the city of Kassel sits the majestic, world-famous Hercules Monument. A little further down is the Wilhelmshöhe Palace, which was built during the 18th and 19th centuries. Today, the impressive former home of landgraves houses the Old Masters Picture Gallery, the Antiquities Collection, and the Collection of Prints and Drawings, as well as the Palace Museum in the Weissenstein Wing. It’s already worth visiting for just these alone, but there’s much more to explore at Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe.
For example, the legendary water features are well worth a visit, too. They are not only a true magnet for visitors, but also played a vital role in being granted World Heritage status by UNESCO in 2013.
Above the palace nestles Löwenburg Castle. Built between 1793 and 1801, it was one of the earliest mock-medieval ‘ruins’ of Continental Europe. Its interior conforms to the characteristic layout of a Baroque country palace.
Another highlight of the region is Wilhelmsthal Palace near the village of Calden. Situated in the centre of the picturesque Wilhelmsthal Park, it is one of the most beautiful Rococo palaces in Germany. The ‘maison de plaisance’ from the 18th century still gives an impression of what life was like for princes and servants at a ruler's court in the late Absolutist era, thanks to the historical layout of the rooms, which have survived almost unaltered.
But no visit is complete without exploring the Orangery Palace at Karlsaue Park near Kassel’s city centre. Next to the grand yellow main building is the striking pavilion with its Marble Bathhouse, the last remaining princely bathhouse from the Late Baroque era in Germany. Originally, it wasn’t used for bathing, but as a venue for festive occasions and courtly events.
Located around UNESCO World Heritage Site Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe, with its Wilhelmshöhe Palace, there are a whole range of remarkable buildings, gardens and museums. Karlsaue Park and Wilhelmsthal Park complete the historical ‘big three’ of the Landgravial palace grounds, which include marvellous art treasures collected by Hesse’s Landgraves and Electors. Today, the premises are looked after and managed by Museumslandschaft Hessen Kassel.
Today, the orangery is also home to the Cabinet of Astronomy and Physics, as well as Hesse’s largest planetarium. The western pavilion is used as an additional exhibition space. From 17 May 2020, a big special exhibition by Museumslandschaft Hessen Kassel explores all subjects around the element of water in and around Kassel. Taking place in five different venues, the exhibition looks at life by the river, the presentation of bathers in the arts, water as part of the Baroque garden decoration and the significance of water regarding hygiene.
A great occasion to marvel at the diversity of the different collections.