Kassel

Herkules at Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe

Kassel is the regional "capital" of North Hesse in Germany, has a population of about 200 000 and is also international known for the documenta exhibitions of contemporary art every five years. The "Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe" with its waterworks received the title "UNESCO-World Heritage Site" in 2013.

Understand

picture of the Brothers Grimm on a old 1000 Deutsche Mark note

History

Canopy of the train station Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe

Kassel has been first mentioned around 900 AD. Since then it has always been a provincial capital for the realms of North Hesse or Kur-Hesse.

During the 30 years war Kassels Landgraf Philipp declared for the Protestants. This had an effect as later numerous Huguenots emigrated from France and brought with them their trade and skills. The impact of the Huguenots can still be witnessed in the centre of Kassel where streets are named after Huguenots.

Kassel became a considerable industrial and scientific city as can still be seen in the Orangerie museum where loads of scientific kit from the enlightenment period is on show. Noticeably the first steam pot producing a fountain was constructed in Kassel by Papin and rumours have it that he left Kassel in his steam boat a few years before James Watt got his prototype into shape.

Kassel was already a heavy industries site by WW2, where trains, tanks and planes were constructed. In the later years of the war Kassel was thoroughly bombed as a military target by English and American planes.

Kassel was home to the famous Brothers Grimm who wrote a lot of the fairy tales Disney uses today. A less well known but perhaps more important piece of their work was an attempt at a "complete" dictionary of the German language, that was only completed after their death. The house that they lived in was made into a museum with a lot of interesting artifacts.

The Centre of Kassel itself was thoroughly destroyed during the Second World War and therefore rebuilt in the incredibly bland 1950s style (which in fairness was partially due to budget constraints and admitted to be ugly even back then). Hence, the inner city is mainly dominated by bank and mall buildings of the modern sort.

Tourist Information

Get in

Hauptbahnhof with documenta-artwork "Man walking to the sky"
Terminal of the Kassel Airport

By car

Motorways (Hannover-Würzburg), (Kassel-Dortmund) and (Kassel-Marburg) leads to Kassel.

By train

Kassel is an important hub in the ICE network and was one of the cities on the first purpose built German high speed rail line connecting Würzburg and Hanover. The best way to reach Kassel is by train since most of the Inter-City Express (ICE) trains and plenty of local trains stop at the   Fernbahnhof Kassel-Wilhemshöhe, about 4 kilometres west of the city centre. Kassel's historic   Hauptbahnhof (main station), also known as the Kulturbahnhof since it was redeveloped in the 1990s, is very near the city center. Trains run between the two stations. It is much easier to see the downtown area if you take a train to the Hauptbahnhof and begin your exploring from there.

By bus

The   Busbahnhof Kassel Wilhelmshöhe (intercity bus station), also known as the ZOB, adjoins the Kassel-Wilhemshöhe Bahnhof. There is another intercity bus station at   Kaufungen-Papierfabrik, only a few meters behind the city boundary of Kassel at the motorway. The tramlines 4 and 8 are running from the Papierfabrik in the city centre.

By plane

While there is the   Kassel Airport (IATA: KSF) in Calden, just 10 km out of town, which serves Kassel, chances are, you won't be arriving there. Between the Kassel Airport ( Terminal), the city centre and the train stations Hauptbahnhof and Wilhelmshöhe runs the busline 100. The next major airports are in Hanover (IATA: HAJ) and of course Frankfurt airport (IATA: FRA). As they are both excellently connected to the German railway network (Frankfurt airport even has an high speed ICE stop) and Kassel is a major hub, you can get from the airport to town in no more than two hours. You can even buy combined tickets for flight and train.

Get around

Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe: View towards Kassel. The Baroque water features are operate.

From the Station, trams leave towards the town centre and one can easily walk to the Bergpark which is visible from where the trams leave. If you are staying a few days in Kassel buy a public transport Wochenkarte. Ride as much as you like on the streetcars and buses for a full week from date of issue. Current price (02.06.2014) was €21.

See

Parks

Lion's Castle in Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe
Palace Wilhelmshöhe in Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe

Museums

Neue Gallerie (New Gallery)
Orangerie in Karlsaue, south of downtown
Ottoneum (Museum of Natural Science)
Friedericianum at the Friedrichsplatz
Spohr Museum in the south wing of the main station
Inside the Technik-Museum

Churches

documenta-artworks

Do

Entrance of the Kurhessen-Therme
Main entrance of the Staatstheater Kassel
In the Staatstheater Kassel

Swimming baths

Theatres

Action

Go next

Kassel-Marathon

Buy

Old market hall Kassel

Shopping can be somewhat difficult in Kassel compared to the United States, but most of the good shopping is located close to the Königsplatz so if you get off the Straßenbahn (Tram) around there you can do most of your shopping with the usual big retail chains and many smaller shops.

A lot of local shops you can find in the old market hall:

Eat

Goethestern in the district "Vorderer Westen"
Rondell with beer garden on the top (left)
In the Habichtswald you can find a lot of excursion restaurants

There are great bakeries on every corner and throughout the city. Another great place to eat is any of the little stands located in the City Point or Kürfürsten Galerie (city centre).

Restaurants

Cafés

Beer gardens

Drink

Clubs and discos

Sleep

Go next

Sababurg in the Reinhardswald
This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Wednesday, March 30, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.