Hesse’s third largest city, home of the GRIMMWELT and the documenta and only 70 kilometres from Germany’s geographical centre. Which city are we talking about here? Kassel, of course! The two hundred thousand inhabitant city is characterised by its hills and is also one of the most popular destinations in Hessen. Nature, art and culture are at the top of the list here, and anyone who wants to embark on a voyage of discovery can start looking for a hotel right away.
CONTEMPORARY WITNESSES OF AN EVENTFUL HISTORY
The old town of the former residence Kassel was one of the most important in Europe until it was destroyed during the war. And despite the effects of the war, there is still much to discover in Kassel today. One of the oldest buildings in the city is the High Gothic Old Brethren Church. Construction began in 1298 and after completion it was used by the Carmelites for a long time. During the 2nd World War it was destroyed, whereupon a new construction was started. To commemorate the victims of the bombing raids, the sculpture “Reminding Angel” was attached to the façade. The Renthof borders directly on the Brüderkirche. It has the same architectural style and was also used by the Carmelites for a long time.
If you like this part of Kassel, there is a hotel nearby. In the area of the city centre there are many accommodations, especially the Best Western Plus Kassel City is recommendable. It is also very convenient to start a tour of the city from here. It is not far to Druselplatz, for example. Here stands the 44 metre high Drusel Tower, one of the few remaining medieval buildings in Kassel. The tower was once part of Kassel’s city fortifications, today together with the Gothic Zwehrenturm it is all that remains of the former protective wall. A little further on stands the Karlskirche. The special feature of this baroque church is the eight-sided building. But the carillon of 47 bells also attracts many enthusiasts.
Friedrichsplatz, one of the largest inner-city squares in Germany, is also located in the centre of Kassel. Not to be overlooked here is the Fridericianum from 1779, the first purely classical building in Germany. In the beginning it was one of the first public museums, but in the meantime it was the Ständepalast and now serves as a museum again. Every five years it is also the most important venue for the documenta art exhibition series. Some hotels, such as the Golden Tulip Kassel Reiss, are located in the immediate vicinity. So every morning after breakfast you are always right in the middle of the action.
A PARK WALK OF A SPECIAL KIND
A holiday in the fresh air and in the countryside? No problem at all in Kassel. Kassel’s pride and joy is the 2.5 square kilometre Wilhelmshöhe Mountain Park in the Habichtswald. It is the largest mountain park in Europe and well known beyond the borders of the continent. It has been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2013. The official start of construction dates back to 1696 and its completion took about 150 years. The mountain park is unique: other gardens of this time were either much smaller or extended over only one level.
Water is a special feast for the eyes in the mountain park. It is always present in the form of water basins and fountains, but also as ponds or streams. The waterfall at the aqueduct is particularly impressive.
Even Hercules, built at the highest point with visual contact to the castle, cannot do without water. Its cascades flooded with water offer a breathtaking view, especially in the dark with the colourful lighting. The park is also beautiful from a horticultural point of view. The English style predominates here, which runs like a red thread through the park.
The park would be inconceivable without the Schloss Wilhelmshöhe and the Schlosspark on the lower level, but it is still a very special sight. The beautiful classicistic castle from the years 1786 to 1798 was built for the eponym of the district and park Landgrave Wilhelm IX. Today the stately building serves as a collection for ancient relics and houses the Old Masters Picture Gallery. Here you can find mainly paintings of the Dutch and Flemish Baroque, but also isolated works of well-known Italian, French and Spanish artists.
The Bad Wilhelmshöhe district is one of the more exclusive quarters, which is why cheap hotels are in short supply. Although Kassel does not have a 5-star hotel, the 4-star superior Schlosshotel Bad Wilhelmshöhe is located directly on the park and fulfils every wish of its guests. Who thus gladly particularly comfortably accommodates and would like to be gladly fast in the mountain park, makes everything correct with bath Wilhelmshöhe.
rich leisure program for big and small
As a lover of art and culture, Kassel can be regarded as a small paradise. If you have a special fondness for the performing arts, the Staatstheater Kassel is the place to be. The modern theatre from the years 1955 to 1959 stands on the site of the former court theatre building. Here you can look forward to classical drama and children’s and youth theatre, but dance performances and concerts also take place here. It is usually divided into a small and a large house for larger theatres.
There are also many museums in Kassel. Next to the Fridericianum, another museum building, the Ottoneum, can be found at Friedrichsplatz. This is the location of the Natural History Museum, which displays exhibits on three floors on the theme of “The development of nature over the centuries”. Some of the countless specimens are over 400 years old.
The documenta Hall, built especially for documenta 1992, is now used for changing events. Every year, for example, students from the Kunsthochschule Kassel exhibit their master’s theses there.
Cultural programme with little adventurers? Nothing is easier in Kassel than that. The perfect holiday begins with the hotel question. No matter how luxurious a wellness hotel may be, the youngest ones won’t care much. But the city also offers one or the other family hotel like the Am Herkules, where the little ones are more than welcome. And after a restful night, you can plunge into the leisure activities in a good mood.
Little astronomers will love the Orangery with its planetarium. If you can sit still for an hour and enjoy watching others, you can attend a children’s theatre performance at the theater im centrum.
A very special highlight, however, is the GRIMMWELT opened in 2015. The new museum is an interactive magical world which, among other things, vividly presents children’s and family fairy tales and explains interesting facts about the life and works of the Brothers Grimm.
As you can see Kassel has something to offer for every taste and inspires its visitors with variety and uniqueness. And anyone who has now got the desire to go on a voyage of discovery should not hesitate long and choose a city hotel for their next holiday.