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- Cultural & History
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Where can one get a great breakfast in the morning?
Are there any cultural highlights, museums?
Ideas for 2-3 activities and daytrips?
Good restaurants for dinner?
Typical tourist activities or places that one should NOT do, as they are not worthwhile doing.
Things can do to make it a fun and memorable evening?
How to get around and find best means of local transportation?"What's the best way to get around during documenta, Kassel? Also, I'm looking for a knowledgable art tour guide during documenta. Thank you." (posted 05/26/2017)
Where to find good quality groceries?
Are there any special local events?"Greetings, I will be travelling to Kassel from Dec29-Jan 4 pls advise what type of festivities we can attend on New Year's Eve ... Are there any celebrations in reception Halls ? Also are touristic sites open during the Christmas Holidays? Thank you, Jizel Montreal, Canada" (posted 12/14/2015)
Are there any local food specialties one should try out?
What makes this destination special? Why should one spend some time here during vacation?"Why should someone do a vacation in Kassel? Can you possibly tell me 2-3 popular travel tips for Kassel, which everyone visiting Kassel should see? Also let me know 2-3 special insider travel tips for Kassel that a typical tourist may not know about, but that you can highly recommend. Thanks!" (posted 05/18/2014)
Is there a good local deli or restaurant with lunch menu?
Are there any points of interest or local attractions?
What are good places to go for shopping?
Any sporting activites and recommendations to stay active?
Questions around the weather, different seasons, ...
Popular Points of Interest in and near Kassel
Münden Nature Park
The Münden Nature Park lies within the district of Göttingen, in south Lower Saxony in Germany.
This large and densely wooded nature park was founded in 1959 within the borders of the now defunct district of Münden. It is just under 374 square kilometres (144 sq mi) in area and runs almost from the eastern edge of the town of Kassel and border of Hesse in a northerly direction through the northern part of the Kaufungen Forest via Hann. Münden to the Bramwald and Dransfeld Town Forest. It lies south, east and northeast of the confluence of the Fulda and Werra rivers with the Weser and borders in the south and southeast on the Meißner-Kaufungen Forest Nature Park. It is crossed by the A 7 motorway.
Many footpaths criss-cross this forested landscape, including long-distance paths like the Frau Holle Path (Kennzeichnung X4), Werraburgensteig (X5), Studentenpfad (X13) and Fuldahöhenweg (X17). On the Großer Staufenberg there is a glider airfield.
The Habichtswald is a small mountain range, covering some 35 km2 and rising to a height of 615 m, immediately west of the city of Kassel in northern Hesse in Germany.
The bulk of the range is a nature reserve. The remainder lies within the city limits of Kassel and is partly settled. The castle and park of Wilhelmshöhe are located within the Habichtswald.
Hercules monument (Kassel)
The Hercules monument is an important landmark in the German city of Kassel. It is located in the "Bergpark (Mountainpark) Wilhelmshöhe", northern Hesse, Germany.
Hercules is a copper statue depicting the ancient Greek demigod Heracles (Gr. Ηρακλής, German Herkules). The statue is located at the top of a Pyramid, which stands on top of the Octagon; the statue and the other parts of the monument were constructed at different times. Today "Hercules" refers not only to the statue, but the whole monument, including the Octagon and Pyramid. The monument is the highest point in the Wilhelmshöhe Bergpark.
The monument is located in Bad Wilhelmshöhe, on the Eastern ridge of the Habichtswald. It was built in an artificial dell of the Karlsberg (526m above sea level) on the most western and at the same time highest location (515 m) of the line of sight Schloss Wilhelmshöhe – Hercules.
Schloss Wilhelmshöhe is a palace located in the Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe in Kassel, Germany.
Beginning in the 12th century the site was used as a monastery. Under Philip I, Landgrave of Hesse 1504-1567 it was secularised and used as a castle. This castle was replaced by a new one from 1606 to 1610 by Landgrave Moritz. Schloss Wilhelmshöhe was designed by the architect Simon Louis du Ry from 1786 to 1798.
As King of Westphalia, Jérôme Bonaparte renamed it Napoleonshöhe and appointed his Head Chamberlain Heinrich von Blumenthal as its governor, with instructions to supervise extensive renovations. After the Franco-Prussian War, the Prussian King offered the defeated Emperor Napoleon III accommodation there. From 1899 to 1918 Wilhelmshöhe was the summer residence of the German emperor Kaiser Wilhelm II. In 1918, after the defeat of Germany at the end of World War I, Paul von Hindenburg organized and led the withdrawal and demobilization of the German troops there.
The middle tract of the castle was substantially destroyed during the Second World War. The first reconstruction was made in 1968-1974 by the functionalist architect Paul Friedrich Posenenske. He reconstructed completely the exterior but changed the structure of the interior for its new function as an art museum. From 1994 to 2000 a renovation was made to bring it closer to the original structure.
Today the Wilhelmshöhe Castle Museum houses the antiquities collection, the Gallery of the Old Masters and the Graphic Arts Collection. The Gallery of the Old Masters has one of the largest collection of works by Rembrandt.
New Gallery (Kassel)
The Neue Galerie (New Gallery) is an art museum in Kassel in the state of Hesse, in Germany. The building was constructed between 1871 and 1877 as a museum for works of the Old Masters. In World War II the building was damaged and burned out in 1943. The 60 most important works were brought to Vienna, and were returned in 1956. The building and large parts of the collection were lost. The museum was reopened with its present name in 1976, and a large renovation was completed in 2011.
The new museum
The new museum was opened opened 4 September 1976 and included an additional collection of contemporary art works from the 19th and 20th centuries with Romantic and Impressionist paintings by artists such as Carl Schuch, Lovis Corinth and Max Slevogt. A large collection of German Expressionists is shown, and a room contains sculptures by Joseph Beuys. In 2011 the museum was renovated and restored with more historic details.
The Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe is a unique park in Kassel, Germany. Art historian Georg Dehio (1850–1932), inspirator of the modern discipline of historic preservation, described the park as "possibly the most grandiose combination of landscape and architecture that the Baroque dared anywhere" ("vielleicht das Grandioseste, was irgendwo der Barock in Verbindung von Architektur und Landschaft gewagt hat."). The area of the park is 2.4 square kilometres (590 acres), making it the largest European hillside park, and second largest park on a mountain slope in the world. Construction of the Bergpark, or "mountain park", began in 1696 and took about 150 years.
Wilhelmshöhe Park, Statue of Hercules and Palace
Wilhelmshöhe park is a remarkable place and has been nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its most striking attraction is the statue of Hercules, Kassel's famous landmark. Other highlights include fountains, a miniature temple, the remains of a Chinese village and Wilhelmshöhe Palace. A phenomenal synthesis of the arts featuring natural spectacles, architectural gems, various period styles and curiosities. The area of the park is 2.4 square kilometers (590 acres), making it the largest European hillside park, and second largest park on a mountain slope in the world. Construction of the Bergpark, or "mountain park", began in 1696 and took about 150 years.
The palace in the park now is a museum and houses a world-famous wallpaper collection, an important collection of Graeco-Roman antiques and a fine gallery of paintings comprising the second largest collection of Rembrandts in Germany.
Karlsaue Park and The Orangerie
Karlsaue Park along the Fulda River was established in the 16th century. It is famous for the Orangerie, a palace built in 1701 as a summer residence for the landgraves. Today there is also a planetarium in the park.
The Fridericianum Museum
On May 23rd 1779, after 10 years of construction, the opening of the first public museum building on the European continent - the museum Fridericianum – was celebrated. Almost thirty years later the youngest brother of Napoleon, Jérôme Bonaparte, by then king of Westphalia, converted the museum into the Palais des Ètats, a house of parliament with representation rooms. After his banishment in 1813, the building was turned back into a museum, but then no longer followed the idea of art and science penned by the dynasty, instead now fully concentrated on its museal collection.
After WWII the ruins of the Fridericianum became the cultural heart of the first world documenta exhibition, founded by Arnold Bode in 1955. The successful history of documenta is well-known; its 12th edition just closed the doors on September 12th 2007. Since 1988 the space has also been used for permanent and temporary art shows which take place in-between the documenta.
Hours: Wednesday – Sunday 11am – 6pm.
Admission: Adults 5 €, Concessions 3 €, Children under 12 years free, Admission is free for all visitors on Wednesdays.
Brothers Grimm Museum
Jacob (1785-1863) and Wilhelm Grimm (1786-1859) are two of the leading intellectuals in German and European cultural history They shot to fame with their collection of fairy tales, but their pioneering work in the fields of Germanic language and literature, law, history and mythology as well as their political activity are also highly significant. The museum, which was established in 1959, is an institution with an international outlook. Its collections include documents that illustrate the life and works of the Brothers Grimm and their worldwide influence. The exhibition details the most important places where the Brothers Grimm lived and worked in chronological order and in relation to their scientific and political activities. The famous Grimms' fairy tales, which are firmly rooted in our culture, can be found in an appropriately themed room. The exhibition rooms are located in the baroque-style Palais Bellevue which was originally designed as an observatory for Hesse’s Landgrave Karl in 1714 by the French architect Paul du Ry. Multilingual guided tours on request.
Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum in the Ottoneum has its roots in an art collection created in 1568 by Landgrave Wilhelm IV, which also contained a number of natural history items. Its permanent exhibition, including world-class botanical, geological, zoological and aquatic collections, introduces visitors to the shift in our understanding of nature. Major exhibits include the 400-year old
Ratzenberger Herbarium– Europe's oldest systematic plant collection, Schildbach's Wood Library dating from the 18th century, and
Goethe's elephant, one of the first large skeletons of a mammal ever to be preserved. The section on the history of the Earth shows visitors how the environment around Kassel has changed over millions of years.
Hours: Tuesday - Sunday 10am - 5pm.
Admission: Adults 1.50 €, Concessions 1 €.
Museum of Sepulchral (Burial) Culture
The only one of its kind in Germany, covering an area of 1,400m², the museum was opened in 1992 and houses a wide range of sepulchral objects, both historical and modern: coffins, funeral carriages, mourning attire and jewelery, gravestones, sculptures and everyday objects associated with dying, death and commemoration. The exhibition also covers death and burial rites as well as the design of cemeteries, graves and monuments. In addition, the museum has a collection that currently consists of around 16,500 drawings and prints dating from the 15th century to the present day, as well a reference library with monographs, catalogs, special editions and a number of magazine articles on sepulchral culture.
Hours: Tuesday - Sunday 10am - 5pm, Wednesday open until 8pm.
Admission: Adults 5 €, Concessions 3.50 € Children under 6 years free.
Museum of Astronomy and Technical History
The Museum of Astronomy and Technical History and the Planetarium have been housed in the Orangery since 1992. On display is a broad range of fascinating scientific and technological objects from the Renaissance period to the modern day. The entrance hall introduces the museum's main themes of basic physical concepts: space, time, matter, energy and information. Highlights of the collection include astronomical instruments invented by Ebert Baldewein and Jost Bürgi, as well as rare and exquisite telescopes and clocks for measuring time and space from the fields of physics, microscopy and optics. Celestial globes, armillary spheres and astrolabes from the 16th century, reconstructions, models and interactive experiments bring the enthralling exhibition to life. On the third floor of the central building, above the smaller photography and meteorology sections, lies the ten-meter dome with the Zeiss planetarium projector.
Hours: Tuesday - Sunday 10am - 5pm.
What is your insider travel tip for Kassel?
Travel Insider Tips for Kassel
Kassel (until 1926 officially Cassel) is a city situated along the Fulda (Fulda vacation rentals | Fulda travel guide) River in northern Hessen, Germany, one of the two sources of the Weser river . It is the administrative seat of the Kassel administrative region (Regierungsbezirk) and of the district (Kreis) of the same name. The city has approx. 198,500 inhabitants (2007) and covers an area of 106.77 square kilometers. Kassel is the largest city of the north of Hessen (Nordhessen).
Things to See
Due to the destruction of 1943, the city was almost completely rebuilt in the 1950s. Hence there are very few old buildings in the centre. The oldest monument is the "Druselturm". The "Brüderkirche" and the St. Martin Church are also in part of medieval origin, but the towers of St. Martin are from the 1950s.
What historic buildings have survived are mainly outside the center of town. Wilhelmshöhe Palace, above the city, was built in 1786 by landgrave Wilhelm IX of Hesse-Kassel. The palace now is a museum and houses a world-famous wall paper collection, an important collection of graeco-roman antiques and a fine gallery of paintings comprising the second largest collection of Rembrandts in Germany. It is surrounded by the beautiful Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe with many appealing sights. The Oktagon is a huge octagonal stone structure carrying a giant replica of Hercules "Farnese" (now at Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Naples, Italy). From its base down to Wilhelmshöhe Palace runs a long set of artificial cascades which delight visitors during the summer months. The Löwenburg ("Lions Castle") is a replica of a medieval castle, also built during the reign of Wilhelm IX. After the Franco-Prussian War of 1870/71 Napoléon III was imprisoned in Wilhelmshöhe. In 1918 Wilhelmshöhe became seat of the German Army Command (OHL): it was there that the military commanders Hindenburg and Ludendorff prepared the German capitulation.
Another large park is the Karlsaue along the Fulda (Fulda vacation rentals | Fulda travel guide) River. Established in the 16th century, it is famous for the Orangerie, a palace built in 1710 as a summer residence for the landgraves. Today there is also a planetarium in the park.
Kassel is scene of Documenta, an important international exhibition of modern and contemporary art. Museums include: Schloss Wilhelmshöhe (Antiquities Collection and Old Masters; wall paper museum), Museum für Sepulkralkultur (the only German Museum of the culture of funerals); Art Gallery (Albrecht Dürer, Rubens, Rembrandt, Frans Hals, Anthony van Dyck), New Gallery (Tischbein Family, Joseph Beuys).
[ source: wikipedia ]
More about the History of Kassel
The city's name is derived from the ancient Castellum Cattorum, a castle of the Chatti, a German tribe that has lived in the area since Roman times.
Kassel as such is first mentioned in 913 as the place where two deeds were signed by king Conrad I. The place was called Chasella and was a fortification at a bridge crossing the Fulda (Fulda vacation rentals | Fulda travel guide) river. A deed from 1189 certifies that Kassel had city rights, but the date of their conveyance is not known.
In 1567 the landgraviate of Hesse, until then centered in Marburg (Marburg vacation rentals | Marburg travel guide), was divided among four sons, with Hesse-Kassel (or Hesse-Cassel) becoming one of its successor states. Kassel was its capital and became a centre of Calvinist Protestantism in Germany. Strong fortifications were built to protect the Protestant stronghold against Catholic enemies. In 1685 Kassel became a refuge for 1700 Huguenots who found shelter in the newly established borough of Oberneustadt. Landgrave Charles, who was responsible for this humanitarian act, also ordered the construction of the Oktagon and of the Orangerie. In the late 18th century Hesse-Kassel became infamous for selling mercenaries (Hessians) to the British crown to help suppress the American Revolution and to finance the construction of palaces and the landgrave's opulent lifestyle.
n the early 19th century the Brothers Grimm lived in Kassel and collected and wrote most of their fairy tales. At this time (1803) the landgravate was elevated to a principality and its ruler to Prince-elector. Shortly after, it was annexed by Napoleon and, in 1807 became the capital of the short-lived Kingdom of Westphalia under Napoleon's brother Jérôme. The electorate was restored in 1813.
Having sided with Austria in the Austro-Prussian War for supremacy in Germany, the principality was annexed by Prussia in 1866. The Prussian administration united Nassau (Nassau vacation rentals | Nassau travel guide), Frankfurt (Frankfurt vacation rentals | Frankfurt travel guide) and Hesse-Kassel into the new Prussian province of Hesse-Nassau. Kassel ceased to be a princely residence, but soon developed into a major industrial centre as well as a major railway junction.
In 1870 after the Battle of Sedan, Napoleon III was sent as a prisoner to the castle of Wilhelmshöhe above the city.
[ source: wikipedia ]
With almost 500,000 residents, Kassel is located on the Fulda River in northern Hesse. This city is home to numerous parks and palaces, including Bergpark Wilhelmshoehe, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Having first been mentioned in written sources from the 10th century, Kassel has a long and storied past, but most non-Germans will only know two specific residents of Kassel: the Brothers Grimm. They lived here for many years and wrote most of their fairy tales here. (If you are interested in fairy tales and the Grimms, makes sure to take the time to visit the Brothers Grimm Museum.) Kassel offers many interesting museums, including the Museum Fridericianum, Europe's first public museum, founded in 1779. Besides a significant art collection, this museum has one of the largest collections of watches and clocks in the world. Want something a little different? The Museum for Sepulchral Culture may suit those whose taste in museums runs to the eclectic. The Karlsaue Park is also worth visiting. It is a 16th-century park, which today is home to a planetarium and the Museum for Astronomy and Technology. Looking for a day trip from Kassel? Within reach from Kassel are Goslar (about 100 miles) and Eisenach (80 miles). Closer? Fritzlar is a charming medieval town with historic city walls.
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