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Where can one get a great breakfast in the morning?
Are there any cultural highlights, museums?
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Typical tourist activities or places that one should NOT do, as they are not worthwhile doing.
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Are there any points of interest or local attractions?"Is the grand ducal palace in Darmstadt open to the public?" (posted 02/01/2015)
What are good places to go for shopping?"Looking for the best places to buy: *Toys for children (I have an almost 4 year old) *Health and beauty products *Second hand goods" (posted 08/29/2014)
Any sporting activites and recommendations to stay active?"Could you name/describe for me some good places to swim?" (posted 10/10/2014)
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Popular Points of Interest in and near Darmstadt
Wüstegarten is a mountain of the Landkreis Waldeck-Frankenberg and Schwalm-Eder-Kreis (districts) in the north of Hesse, Germany. lt is in the Kellerwald mountain range, with an elevation of 675.3 metres (2,216 ft).
The mountain is within the Kellerwald-Edersee National Park, Hesse's only national park. Activities include hiking, nordic walking, mountain biking, and cross-country skiing.
Hohes Lohr is a mountain of Landkreis Waldeck-Frankenberg, Hesse, Germany.
Hunsrück (Kellerwald) is a mountain of Schwalm-Eder-Kreis, Hesse, Germany.
Jeust is a mountain of Schwalm-Eder-Kreis, Hesse, Germany.
Talgang (Kellerwald) is a mountain of Landkreis Waldeck-Frankenberg, Hesse, Germany.
Peterskopf (Kellerwald) is a mountain of Landkreis Waldeck-Frankenberg, Hesse, Germany.
Homberg (Kellerwald) is a mountain of Hesse, Germany.
Frankenstein Castle is a hilltop castle about 5 km south of Darmstadt in Germany. Modern claims of the castle having an influence on the work of Mary Shelley remain controversial.
Before 1250, Lord Konrad II. Reiz von Breuberg erected Frankenstein Castle and since named himself von und zu Frankenstein. The first document proving the existence of the castle in 1252 is bearing his name. He was the founder of the free imperial lordship Frankenstein, which was subject only to the jurisdiction of the emperor, with possessions in Nieder-Beerbach, Darmstadt, Ockstadt, Wetterau and Hesse. Additionally the Frankensteins held other possession and Sovereignty-rights as Burgraves in Zwingenberg (Auerbach (Bensheim)), in Darmstadt, Groß-Gerau, Frankfurt am Main and Bensheim. The hill whereupon the castle stands was probably occupied by another castle since the 11th century, which fell into ruins after Castle Frankenstein was built a couple of yards to the northwest. Claims of an even older predecessor upon the hill are widespread, but historically unlikely.
[ source: Wikitravel ]
Mathildenhöhe Artists´ Colony and Museum
Darmstadt is famous for its Jugendstil (art nouveau) buildings. Many of the buildings survived the massive destruction of Darmstadt in 1944. Visit the Künstlerkolonie Mathildenhöhe, to see the most interesting ones.
The Museum is housed in the Ernst-Ludwig-Haus, the former atelier building of the Darmstadt Artists´ Colony. It provides a summary of the works of the artist members of Darmstadt´s Mathildenhöhe artists´ colony from 1899 to the beginning of the First World War. The focus is on items of everyday use, although other types of applied art are also represented. The collection pays tribute to the broad spectrum of Jugendstil forms.
Darmstadt´s Residential Palace is located at the centre of modern downtown Darmstadt, at the upper end of the Rheinstraße. This has not always been the case. Earlier, in the times of Georg I, the Palace secured Darmstadt´s west flank. The Palace moat was used as a defence against intruders. The New Gate to the southwest was used mainly by the peasants from the surrounding countryside.
The Residential Palace combines structures from 6 centuries. The last structural changes were made under Landgrave Ernst Ludwig in the 18th century. His Master Construction Engineer Rémy de la Fosse planned a Baroque Palace. As it turned out, only two wings of the planned structure were completed, along the Rheinstraße and towards the Market Square. In 1944, the Palace burned down to the outer walls. Reconstruction efforts succeeded in restoring the facade structures to nearly pre-war status.
The Palace Museum is located in the older part of the Palace. Its 22 rooms provide a good overview of 250 years of courtly life in a minor Residence as well as the history of the region, at first under the Landgraves and later as the Grand Duchy of Hessen. The museum is open Monday to Thursday from 10am - 1pm and 2pm - 5pm, Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 1pm, tel. +49 6151/24035. Guided tours only.
The Waldspirale ("Forest Spiral")
The Waldspirale (
Forest Spiral), a residential complex by Austrian Friedensreich Hundertwasser, was built in 1998 – 2000. An almost surreal building, it is internationally famous for its almost absolute rejection of rectangular forms, down to every window having a different shape, the style being a trademark of Hundertwasser's work. Natural features of the landscape are expressed in this building: the layers of sedimental rock found underneath the site are reflected on the facade in bands of ceramic tiles and coloured stucco. The roof of the building is formed by a garden of beech, maple, and lime trees.
[ source: Organization website ]
Messel Pit Fossil Site UNESCO World Heritage Site
The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Messel Pit Fossil Site is located a few kilometers outside Darmstadt. UNESCO states that
Messel Pit is the richest site in the world for understanding the living environment of the Eocene, between 57 million and 36 million years ago. In particular, it provides unique information about the early stages of the evolution of mammals and includes exceptionally well-preserved mammal fossils, ranging from fully articulated skeletons to the contents of stomachs of animals of this period.Messel has a small railway station on the Darmstadt – Aschaffenburg line. From the station it is about a 20-minute walk (there is no bus) out of town to the south. The Site is open from the start of April to the end of October.
Kranichstein Hunting Lodge
Kranichstein Hunting Lodge, built by Jakob Kesselhut, is among the rare Renaissance hunting lodges still existant in Germany. Landgrave Georg I had it constructed at the end of the 16th century to house his many hunting parties. Later, the Lodge was used as a summer residence. The three-winged Renaissance chateau was one of the first horseshoe-shaped buildings in all of Germany. It was renovated and restored as a monument from 1988 to 1996.
The building is the center of an extensive park featuring a number of shooting stands and the smaller lodges Dianaburg and Alexanderburg. Today, the Hunting Lodge houses a hunting museum with a large collection of hunting weapons and equipment, furnishings from the hunting period and paintings depicting the hunt. In the summertime, concerts take place against the backdrop of the Renaissance chateau and offer a wonderful open-air experience.
Botanischer Garten der TU Darmstadt
The Botanischer Garten der TU Darmstadt (4.5 hectares), also known as the Botanischer Garten Darmstadt, is a botanical garden maintained by the Darmstadt University of Technology. It is located at Schnittspahnstrasse 1 - 5, Darmstadt, Hesse, Germany, and open daily without charge.
The garden dates to 1814 when Johannes Hess (1786-1837) proposed creating a botanical garden on newly acquired ground in front of castle Darmstädter. It contained primarily native, herbaceous plants in a scientific arrangement. Soon the site proved inadequate, and in 1829-1830 moved to the grounds of the Bosquett mansion, now the Herrngarten, where it remained until 1838, then moved again to a third location in the area of today's Mercksplatzes until 1848. It was then relocated to the area of Wilhelminenplatzes from 1849-1863, where plants were cultivated in two greenhouses. When the Neuen Palais was constructed on this site, the garden was moved again to a one-hectare leased plot in the Meiereipark on Frankfurter Straße. Today's site was finally acquired in 1874 at government expense. Under the direction of Leopold Dippel (1827–1914), a professor at the Technical University in the field of cells and tissue, the garden acquired a fine collection of exotic trees. It became affiliated with the Technical University of Darmstadt in 1897.
Today the garden contains some 9,000 plant species, with a notable collection of rare trees in its arboretum (1.5 hectares), as well as an alpine garden and heather. It also contains an extensive collection of tropical and subtropical plants in its greenhouses (1200 m²), including tropical marsh plants, cacti, bromeliads, and orchids.
Hessisches Landesmuseum Darmstadt
Hessisches Landesmuseum Darmstadt is a multidisciplinary museum in Darmstadt, Germany.
The museum is especially noted for its natural history collections, for instance fossils from the nearby Messel pit and an historic American mastodon purchased by the Darmstadt naturalist Johann Jakob Kaup.
It also features an important arts collection.
It is currently closed for renovation; reopening is scheduled for 2013.
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Travel Insider Tips for Darmstadt
As the administrative centre of an increasingly prosperous duchy, the city gained in prominence during the following centuries. In the 20th century, industry (especially chemicals) as well as large science and electronics (later information technology) sectors became increasingly important, and are still a major part of the city's economy. Darmstadt also has a large tertiary education sector, with three major universities and numerous associated institutions. Darmstadt is one the few cities (as opposed to smaller towns) in Germany which does not lie close to a river, lake or coast. It can also boast being the sunniest city in the state of Hesse. The chemical element Darmstadtium (atomic number 110) is named after it, having been synthetisized in GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research in Darmstadt-Arheilgen.
Things to See in Darmstadt
The ducal palace of Darmstadt is located in the city centre. It was the residence of the counts of Hesse-Darmstadt, later as Grand Dukes of Hesse by the grace of Napoleon. Its current look was established in the 18th century. The counts also owned a castle on the Langenberg above the city. This castle dates back to the 13th century, but it was acquired by the counts of Hesse-Darmstadt in 1662. The name of the castle is Frankenstein. Mary Shelley probably adopted the name for her novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus (1818). Before writing the story, she had travelled through the region and visited Eberstadt (Eberstadt vacation rentals | Eberstadt travel guide) near the castle (today a borough of Darmstadt), so the inspiration was likely from here.
The Luisenplatz, the largest square of the city, forms the centre of the city and is the main public transport hub. In 1844 the Ludwigsäule (called Langer Lui, meaning Long Ludwig), a 33-meter column commemorating Ludwig I, first Grand Duke of Hesse, was placed in the middle of the square. While the column still stands, the square is today surrounded by mostly modern buildings. The other large city square is the Marktplatz (see image) near the old city hall, only several hundred meters away.
Surviving examples of the Jugendstil period include the Rosenhöhe, a landscaped English-style rose garden from the 19th century, recently renovated and replanted, the Mathildenhöhe, with the Hochzeitsturm (
Marriage tower, also commonly known as the
Five-Finger-Tower) by Joseph Maria Olbrich and the Russian Chapel and large exhibition halls as well as many private villas built by Jugendstil architects who had settled in Darmstadt. The Russian Chapel was built as a private chapel by the last Tsar of Russia, Nicholas II, whose wife Alexandra was born in Darmstadt.
The Waldspirale (
Forest Spiral), a residential complex by Austrian Friedensreich Hundertwasser, was built 1998–2000. An almost surreal building, it is internationally famous for its almost absolute rejection of rectangular forms, down to every window having a different shape, the style being a trademark of Hundertwasser's work.
The Botanischer Garten der TU Darmstadt is a botanical garden and arboretum containing a fine collection of rare trees.
Darmstadt's central train station, Darmstadt Hauptbahnhof, built in 1912 is at the west end of the city. Both local and inter-city trains stop at the station. The station also serves as a stop for buses and streetcars.
Every year around early July the Heinerfest festival is held in the streets surrounding the old ducal palace. It is a traditional German festival with music acts, beer halls, amusement rides and booths selling trinkets and food. The similar 'Schloßgrabenfest', which is more live music-oriented, is held in the same location every year in May. These two festivals attract 700,000 and 400,000 visitors respectively.
[ source: wikipedia ]
More about the History of Darmstadt
The name Darmstadt first appears towards the end of the 11th century, then Darmundestat; Literally translated, the current German name Darmstadt means
Intestine City. This is just a coincidence however, and the origins of the name are unknown. Even locals often believe, incorrectly, that the name derives from the
Darmbach (a small stream formerly running through the city). In fact the stream received its current name much later, after the city, not vice versa.
Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, Darmstadt became home to many technology companies and research institutes, and has been promoting itself as a
city of science since 1997. It is well known as a high-tech center in the vicinity of Frankfurt (Frankfurt vacation rentals | Frankfurt travel guide) Airport, with important activities in spacecraft operations (the European Space Operations Centre, European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites), chemistry, pharmacy, information technology, biotechnology, telecommunications (substantial Deutsche Telekom presence) and mechatronics. In 2000, its region also scored Rank 3 amongst 97 German regions in the WirtschaftsWoche test ranking Germany's high-tech regions. The TU Darmstadt is one of the important technical institutes in Germany and is well known for its research and teaching in the Electrical, Mechanical and Civil Engineering disciplines. Together with other tertiary institutions, the TU is responsible for the large student population of the city, which stood at 33,547 in 2004.
[ source: wikipedia ]
Darmstadt is a city in the Bundesland (federal state) of Hesse in Germany, located in the southern part of the Rhine Main Area. The city of Darmstadt was founded by the Counts of Katzenelnbogen in 1330, though settlement in the area is known to have been present as early as the late 11th century. However, the sandy soils in the Darmstadt area, ill-suited for agriculture in times before industrial fertilisation,prevented any larger settlement from developing, until the city became the seat of the Landgraves of Hessen-Darmstadt in the 16th century.
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