The Löwenburg is picturesquely situated in Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe. From afar, it appears to visitors as a romantic knight's castle from the Middle Ages. Yet it was built between 1793 and 1801. Landgrave Wilhelm IX. of Hesse-Kassel, later Elector Wilhelm I., devised it as a pseudomedieval "ancestral castle", while the bold plans were put into action by the court builder, Heinrich Christoph Jussow. The Löwenburg was not used as a fortress, but rather as a pleasure palace. Thus inside, you will find lavish living spaces, whose rich furnishings with historical furniture, paintings, tapestries, glasses, bronzes, a magnificent weapons collection, and medieval glass windows reflect the architect's passion for collecting things.
What makes the Löwenburg just as fascinating is its picturesque location in the park as well as the tense relationship between the "medieval" architecture of a castle and the "Baroque" room sequence of a palace. The Löwenburg is therefore park scenery, pleasure palace, and mausoleum (Elector Wilhelm I. was buried in the castle chapel) all at the same time and constitutes a complete work of art which is unique in the world. A tournament arena, castle garden and meadow, vineyard, and a fruit and vegetable garden complete the park's image of a medieval castle complex.
UNESCO World Heritage Site Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe
Since June 23rd, 2013, Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe has been a part of the UNESCO World Natural and Cultural Heritage. The Baroque complex with the enormous palace, Hercules statues, and the 350 metre long cascade was created at the beginning of the 18th century. When Wilhelm IX. came to power in 1785, there was a generous development at the nature park. Surrounding the axis of the cascade, an expansive, idealised natural landscape with waterfalls, an aqueduct, and fountains was created by taking advantage of the natural conditions.
The landscaped park, which is situated on the hillside of the Habichtswald, is one of the largest mountain parks in Europe and constitutes a unique cultural landmark. Until 1866, the palace and park was used as a summer residence for the Landgrave and Elector of Hesse-Kassel and afterwards, for the Prussian Kings and German Kaisers. Today, the uniquely designed mountain park attracts visitors from around the world each year. Another of its special attractions, which include the Kassel landmark, Hercules, are the waterworks which flow through 12 kilometres of waterways, numerous ponds and waterfalls, and finally culminate in the powerful fountain above Schloss Wilhelmshöhe. The entire park with the Hercules structure and the Baroque axis extending down into the city through the Bergpark via the cascade system are unique in the world as an expression of princely power. It constitutes the so-called "Outstanding Universal Value" of the World Heritage status, which it was awarded by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee on the 23rd June, 2013.
Museum Schloss Wilhelmshöhe
Integrated into the complete work of art that is Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe, the Schloss Wilhelmshöhe took shape in several stages starting from 1786. Landgrave Wilhelm IX., later Elector Wilhelm I. (gov'd 1785-1821) developed his palace project in parallel with the transformation of the Baroque park complex into an
English landscape garden. The intended majestic and dignified nature of the park was to be a distinctive structural counterpart. This effect was accorded to the Baroque Hercules monument and the cascades while the old hunting lodge, which Landgrave Moritz "the Scholar" (gov'd 1592-1627) had built instead of the Weißenstein Augustine Convent, had to give way to the reconstruction of the palace.
According to plans drawn up by Simon Louis Du Ry (1726-1799), the so-called Weißensteinflügel (Weißenstein Wing) was created in the style of Palladian country castles in England. Although it was originally planned as a solitary building, during its construction, Wilhelm IX. decided to build a northern counterpart, known today as the Kirchflügel (Church Wing) and finally also a middle wing. Not only Du Ry but also his associate Heinrich Christoph Jussow (1754-1825) submitted designs for this Corps de Logis. The architecturally ambitious landgrave took a long time to decide between ruins, in the way they were eventually realised by Jussow with the aqueduct (1788-1792) and Löwenburg (1793-1800), and taking over the classicist style of the side wings. Finally, Jussow won out with his plan to monumentally elevate the main building with a portico and a dome derived from the Roman Pantheon opposite the side wings. The palace did not achieve its finished form until under Elector Wilhelm II. (gov'd. 1821-1831), who had connecting structures built between these three separate wings.
The Auestadion, which was inaugurated in 1953 and last renovated between 2003 and 2010, is a multi-purpose stadium in the North Hessian city Kassel. For football matches, it currently has a capacity of 18,737 spectators, making it the largest stadium in North Hesse. It is a venue for football matches and athletics events as well as concerts and cultural events. The stadium is particularly known as the home stadium for the KSV Hessen Kassel football team. Right next to the Auestadion is the Eissporthalle Kassel. Aside from ice skating, you also have the chance to watch the Kassel Huskies in action.
Neue Galerie Kassel
On the beautiful view above the Karlsaue, a museum building was built between 1871 and 1877 in accordance with plans by the architect Heinrich von Dehn-Rotfelser (1825-1885). Here, the famous art collection of Landgrave Wilhelm VIII. of Hesse-Kassel (gov'd 1730/51-1760) was to be kept. The reconstruction had been necessary, as Jérôme Bonaparte, King of Westphalia (gov'd 1807 to 1813), had converted the gallery building built by François de Cuvilliés the Elder into a city residence and rendered it useless by installing false ceilings. Under Prussian leadership, plans were made to create an adequate substitute. It was modelled on Leo von Klenze's Alte Pinakothek in Munich (1826-1836).
Though planned in smaller dimensions, Kassel too was to have an art gallery with exhibition rooms and sidelight cabinets arranged at the side. Like with the original Munich allocation, only the first floor was used to display the paintings. On the ground floor, the plaster cast collection and the applied arts collections were displayed. As was the case in Munich, the Kasseler Galerie was also equipped with an extensive fresco and sculpture program: Arranged by countries and schools in the sense of a "History of Art History", sculptures, wall paintings, and busts of famous artists were to be a part of the visit of the collection.
Jewel of Karlsaue.
The flower island, Siebenbergen, was created in 1710, following the excavation of the large basin with the Schwaneninsel. The island was adorned with several small man-made vista hills before they were partly demolished in the early 19th century. The small island was then naturally modelled and re-planted in line with the landscaped garden. Climatically favourable factors with mild winters allow almost all bushes, ornamental trees and shrubs, rhododendrons and rare conifers to thrive on Siebenbergen
The Fridericianum is a key location for modern art. Here, significant movements and trends in art such as socially relevant problems are defined, presented, and debated. The spectrum of current art and discourse is demonstrated through both experimental and well-researched group and solo exhibitions, screenings, performances, conferences, and symposiums. In 1779, with the Fridericianium Museum, the world's first building designed as a public museum was opened. Conceived in line with the enlightenment and constructed by Huguenot architect Simon Louis du Ry, the Fridericianum later passed through one of the ruptures of charted history and remained a centre for history.
Only a few steps away from the Kassel's centre, one of the dazzling sides of the city presents itself to the astonished visitor: Situated between Rosenhang and Fulda is Schlosspark Karlsaue. It was created as a Baroque park in 1700. With numerous water basins and canals in a fan-like arrangement, the park in its sheer infinite expanse became the highlight of the Orangerieschloss, the summer residence of Landgrave Karl. At the end of the 18th century, the grounds were carefully redesigned into a landscaped park, with respect to Baroque structure. The Baroque garden design with its axes in sight and meaning is still open to visitors today.
At the end of the park lies the Siebenbergen Island, which is also called "Flower Island" in the local language, due to its changing blossoms during Spring and Summer. Scenic and botanic diversity are preserved and cultivated both in the park and on Siebenbergen Island. Over the course of the seasons, the Karlsaue unfurls its own very cheerful flair. The Karlsaue Park is a member of the European Garden Heritage Network (EGHN).
The Marmorbad (Marble Bath) which are located next to the Orangerieschloss in Karlsaue, is Germany's last major and preserved prestigious bathing area from the late Baroque era. It was built under Landgrave Karl of Hesse-Kassel from 1722 to 1728. The significant Roman sculptor Pierre Etienne Monnot (1657-1733) created the magnificent interior architecture with marble sculptures and wall reliefs with depictions from the Metaphorphoses of Ovid, as well as medallions with portrait busts of Landgrave Karl of Hesse-Kassel and his wife, Landgravine Marie Amalie of Kurland. Kassel's
Marmorbad represents one of the most significant ensembles of Romanr secular sculpture of the early 18th century.
The term "Orangerie" comes from the French and means "orange tree house“. It was originally a greenhouse where Southern plants were taken in for the winter and small orange trees were grown. The Orangerie was constructed under Landgrave Carl (today spelt with a "K", hence Karlsaue) between 1701 and 1710. It served as his summer residence and was also used as a winter home for potted plants (citrus fruits, palms, etc.) until the beginning of the war in 1939. During a major bombing raid on Kassel in October 1943, the Orangerie was severely damaged. It was in ruins until 1976, then the facade underwent reconstruction until 1981 for the 2nd National Garden Show in Kassel. This was followed by a complete restoration of the Orangerie and on 1st May, 1992, it was opened as the Astronomical Museum with Planetarium, today known as the Astrophysical Cabinet with Planetarium.