|• Mayor||Christian Geselle (SPD)|
|• City||107 km2 (41 sq mi)|
|Elevation||167 m (548 ft)|
|• Density||1,900/km2 (4,900/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (CEST)|
Kassel (German pronunciation: [ˈkasl̩] ( listen ); in Germany, spelled Cassel until 1926 ) is a city on the Fulda River in northern Hesse, Germany. It is the administrative seat of the Regierungsbezirk Kassel and the district of the same name and had 200,507 inhabitants in December 2015. The former capital of the state of Hesse-Kassel has many palaces and parks, including the Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Kassel is also known for the documenta exhibitions of contemporary art. Kassel has a public university with 25,000 students (2018) and a multicultural population (39% of the citizens in 2017 had a migration background).
Kassel was first mentioned in 913 AD, as the place where two deeds were signed by King Conrad I. The place was called Chasella or Chassalla and was a fortification at a bridge crossing the Fulda river. There are several yet unproven assumptions of the name's origin. It could be derived from the ancient Castellum Cattorum, a castle of the Chatti, a German tribe that had lived in the area since Roman times. Another assumption is a portmanteau from Frankonian "cas," meaning valley or recess, and "sali" meaning hall or service building, which can be interpreted as (town)hall in a valley.
A deed from 1189 certifies that Cassel had city rights, but the date when they were granted is not known.
In 1567, the Landgraviate of Hesse, until then centered in Marburg, 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. Secret societies, such as Rosicrucianism flourished, with Christian Rosenkreutz's work Fama Fraternitis first published in 1617. In 1685, Kassel became a refuge for 1,700 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 Oktogon 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.
In the early 19th century, the Brothers Grimm lived in Kassel. They collected and wrote most of their fairy tales there. At that time, around 1803, the Landgraviate was elevated to a Principality and its ruler to Prince-elector . Shortly after, it was annexed by Napoleon and in 1807 it 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 to gain supremacy in Germany, the principality was annexed by Prussia in 1866. The Prussian administration united Nassau, Frankfurt 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. Henschel & Son, the largest railway locomotive manufacturer in Germany at the end of the nineteenth century, was based in Kassel.
In 1870, after the Battle of Sedan, Napoleon III was sent as a prisoner to the Wilhelmshöhe Palace above the city. During World War I the German military headquarters were located in the Wilhelmshöhe Palace. In the late 1930s Nazis destroyed Heinrich Hübsch's Kassel Synagogue.
During World War II, Kassel was the headquarters for Germany's Wehrkreis IX, and a local subcamp of Dachau concentration camp provided forced labour for the Henschel facilities, which included tank production plants. [ citation needed ] Most of the casualties were civilians or wounded soldiers recuperating in local hospitals, whereas factories survived the attack generally undamaged.[ citation needed ] Karl Gerland replaced the regional Gauleiter, Karl Weinrich, soon after the raid.The most severe bombing of Kassel in World War II destroyed 90% of the downtown area, and some 10,000 people were killed and 150,000 were made homeless.
The Allied ground advance into Germany reached Kassel at the beginning of April 1945. The US 80th Infantry Division captured Kassel in bitter house-to-house fighting during 1–4 April 1945, which included numerous German panzer-grenadier counterattacks, and resulted in further widespread devastation to bombed and unbombed structures alike.
Post-war, most of the ancient buildings were not restored, and large parts of the city area were completely rebuilt in the style of the 1950s. A few historic buildings, however, such as the Museum Fridericianum (see below), were restored. In 1949, the interim parliament ("Parlamentarischer Rat") eliminated Kassel in the first round as a city to become the provisional capital of the Federal Republic of Germany (Bonn won). In 1964, the town hosted the fourth Hessentag state festival (again in 2013). In 1972 the Chancellor of West Germany Willy Brandt and the Prime Minister of the German Democratic Republic Willy Stoph met in Wilhelmshöhe Palace for negotiations between the two German states. In 1991 the central rail station moved from "Hauptbahnhof" (English: main station) (today only used for regional trains) to "Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe". The city had a dynamic economic and social development in the recent years, reducing the unemployment rate by half and attracting many new citizens so that the population has grown constantly. Several international operating companies have factories or headquarters in the city (Volkswagen, Mercedes Benz, SMA, Wintershall, Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, Rheinmetall, Bombardier). The city is home of several hospitals; the public Klinikum Kassel is one of the largest hospitals in the federal state, offering a wide range of health services.
Kassel is the largest city in the north of the federated state of Hesse in the south-western part of Germany, about 70 kilometers northwest of the geographic center of Germany.
It is located on both sides of the river Fulda. Kassel's deepest point is in the north-eastern Fulda valley at 132.9 m above sea level.
The urban area of Kassel is divided into 23 local districts, each of which has a local council with a local mayor as chairman. The local councils are elected every five years by the population of the local districts. The local advisory board can be heard on all important issues affecting the local district. However, the final decision on a measure rests with the Kassel city council.
Around Kassel is the administrative district ( Landkreis ) of Landkreis Kassel. The following cities and municipalities border the city of Kassel (starting clockwise in the north): Ahnatal, Vellmar, Fuldatal, Staufenberg, Niestetal, Kaufungen, Lohfelden, Fuldabrück, Baunatal, Schauenburg, Habichtswald. Of these, Vellmar and Fuldatal in the north, Kaufungen in the east, Lohfelden in the southeast and Baunatal in the south are growing ever closer to the urban area.
In 1558, the first German observatory was built in Kassel, and a later version from 1714 survives as the Bellevue Palace. The Ottoneum, the first permanent German theatre building, was built in 1604. The old building is today the Natural History Museum, and the now-called Staatstheater Kassel is located in a nearby building that was constructed in the 1950s. Since 1927, Kassel has been home to Bärenreiter, one of the world's most important music publishers.
Since 1955 the Documenta, an international exhibition of modern and contemporary art, has been held regularly in Kassel. The Documenta now takes place every five years. The most recent exhibition, documenta 14 is being held from June to September, 2017. As a result of the Documenta 6 (1977), Kassel became the first town in the world to be illuminated by laser beams at night (Laserscape, by artist Horst H. Baumann). This laser installation is nowadays still visible at weekends. Other Documenta remnants (mainly sculptures) can be found in many places in Kassel; among those are the "7000 Oaks", a work of land art by the German artist Joseph Beuys. All over the city are art pieces from former Documenta exhibitions. Currently the city plans to construct a Documenta institute connected to the university.
Kassel experiences an oceanic climate (Köppen: Cfb) but not so far from marine climates, with a more notable continental influence than Berlin. Using the 1961-1990 normal and 0 °C isotherm, the city already had a humid continental climate (Dfb).
|Climate data for Kassel (~5 km from the downtown), elevation: 231 m, 1971-2000 normals|
|Average high °C (°F)||2.8|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||0.7|
|Average low °C (°F)||−1.5|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||53.5|
|Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)||10.7||8.4||11.3||9.3||9.8||11.0||9.2||8.8||9.3||9.3||10.9||12.5||120.5|
|Climate data for Kassel (Süsterfeld-Helleböhn), elevation: 233 m, 1961-1990 normals and extremes|
|Record high °C (°F)||13.3|
|Average high °C (°F)||1.8|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−0.2|
|Average low °C (°F)||−2.4|
|Record low °C (°F)||−19.7|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||55.0|
|Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)||12.0||9.0||12.0||10.0||11.0||11.0||10.0||10.0||9.0||9.0||11.0||13.0||127|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||38.5||72.3||109.9||149.7||194.1||190.3||195.7||187.7||135.1||98.7||45.2||31.2||1,448.4|
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (April 2020)
|source: [ circular reference ]|
The bombing raids of 1943 destroyed 90% of the city center. The city was almost completely rebuilt during the 1950s and is a combination of renovated or reconstructed old buildings and architecture of the 1950s. Outside the city center, the suburbs are dominated by 19th-century architecture. The oldest monument is the Druselturm; the Brüderkirche and the Martinskirche are also, in part, of medieval origin. The towers of the Martinskirche are from the 1950s.
The main Protestant church of Kassel, it was begun in 1364 and finished in 1462. Severely damaged by British bombing in 1943, it was later reconstructed in a more modern style between 1954 and 1958.
St. Bonifatius was designed and built in 1956 by Josef Bieling.
The complex includes Wilhelmshöhe Palace (with the Antiquities Collection and Old Masters), the Hercules monument, and the Lions Castle. Wilhelmshöhe Palace above the city was built in 1786, by landgrave Wilhelm IX of Hesse-Kassel. The palace is now a museum and houses 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 complex was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013.
The Hercules monument 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. Every Sunday and Wednesday afternoon at 14:30 (from May until October) the famous water features take place. They start at the Oktagon and during a one-hour walk through the park visitors can follow the water's way until they reach the lake of the Wilhelmshöhe Palace, where a fountain of about 50 metres (160 ft) marks the end of the spectacle.
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 the seat of the German Army High Command (OHL): it was there that the military commanders Hindenburg and Ludendorff prepared the German capitulation.
Another large park and also part of the European Garden Heritage Network is the Karlsaue along the Fulda 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, the Orangerie contains the Museum of Astronomy and Technology, with a scale model of the Solar System spanning the entire park and beyond. In addition, the Park Schönfeld contains a small, municipal botanical garden, the Botanischer Garten Kassel.
Europe's first public museum, the Museum Fridericianum was founded in 1779. By the end of the 19th century the museum held one of the largest collections of watches and clocks in the world. Other art museums in Kassel include:
Hessen Kassel is the football club in the city, who plays in the Hessenliga after being relegated from the Regionalliga Südwest in the 2017/2018 season. The city's own football stadium, the Auestadion was built in 1953 and is able to hold 18,737 people. It is located in the south of Kassel at the quarter Südstadt, next to the Karlsaue.
Kassel has a long ice hockey tradition,but it was not until 1977 that the Kassel ice rink (Eissporthalle) opened on a private initiative. The Kassel Huskies were founding members of the DEL in 1994, belonging to the league from 1994 to 2006 and again from 2008 to 2010. In 1997, they were runners-up in the championship playoffs, losing to Adler Mannheim, and reached the semifinals on three more occasions. The Huskies ran into financial difficulties and dissolved in 2010. The "Young Huskies," which is a junior and youth hockey club, decided to enter a men's team in the Hessenliga. This is the fifth division and the lowest men's competition in the state of Hesse. The new club was expecting no more than 3,000 supporters for the first home game in the Hessenliga. However, they had over 5,000 supporters come to watch.
Kassel has seven tram lines (1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8), with trams arriving usually every 15 minutes. The city also operates a light rail Stadtbahn network called RegioTram using Regio Citadis low-floor trams which run on both tram and main line railway tracks with three lines (RT1, RT4, RT5). Moreover, a number of low-floor buses complete the Kassel public transport system. The introduction of low-floor buses led to the development of the Kassel kerb which improves the accessibility at bus stops.
The city is connected to the national rail network at two stations, Kassel Central, and Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe. The traditional central station (Hauptbahnhof) has been reduced to the status of a regional station since the opening of the Hanover-Würzburg high-speed rail line in 1991 and its station (Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe) on the high-speed line at which the InterCityExpress (ICE) and InterCity services call.
Kassel is connected to the motorways A 7, A 49 and A 44.
The city is served by Kassel Calden Airport.
The University of Kassel is a public higher education institution and was founded in 1971 as a so-called reform university offering new and innovative models of teaching. It is the newest university in the state of Hessen and has an urban and lively inner-city campus between the city center and the Northern city district, a typical working-class area with a multicultural population. There were 25,000 students enrolled at the university in 2018, 3381 of them non-Germans. Two hundred and twenty-four students obtained their doctorate from the university in 2017.
The University offers a wide range of study programs from organic agriculture to social work. Furthermore, it offers several English master's programs as well as two short-term international programs, the Summer University and the Winter University. The Kunsthochschule Kassel (University of Fine Arts) is also part of the university with a satellite campus directly at the Karlsaue park in the Southern city district.
Several courts are located in Kassel, including:
Kassel is twinned with:
Hesse or Hessia, officially the State of Hesse, is a state of the Federal Republic of Germany. Its capital city is Wiesbaden, and the largest urban area is Frankfurt. With an area of 21,000 square kilometers and a population of just over six million it ranks seventh and fifth respectively among the sixteen German states. Frankfurt Rhine-Main, Germany's second-largest metropolitan area, is mainly located in Hesse.
The Landgraviate of Hesse-Kassel, spelled Hesse-Cassel during its entire existence, was a state in the Holy Roman Empire that was directly subject to the Emperor. The state was created in 1567 when the Landgraviate of Hesse was divided upon the death of Philip I, Landgrave of Hesse. His eldest son William IV inherited the northern half of the Landgraviate and the capital of Kassel. The other sons received the Landgraviate of Hesse-Marburg, the Landgraviate of Hesse-Rheinfels and the Landgraviate of Hesse-Darmstadt.
The Landgraviate of Hesse-Marburg was a German landgraviate, and independent principality, within the Holy Roman Empire, that existed between 1458 and 1500, and between 1567 and 1604/1650.
Hesse-Rotenburg is a former German landgraviate created from the landgraviate of Hesse-Cassel in 1627. Its independence ended in 1834 when the estates not bequeathed to princes Victor and Chlodwig of Hohenlohe-Waldenburg-Schillingsfurst were reunited with Hesse-Kassel.
Schloss Wilhelmshöhe is a Neoclassical palace located in Bad Wilhelmshöhe, a part of Kassel, Germany. It was built for Landgrave Wilhelm (William) IX of Hesse in the late 18th century. Emperor Wilhelm II made extensive use of it as a summer residence and personal retreat.
Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe is a railway station in the city of Kassel, in the German state of Hesse. It is the city's most important railway station, as it is connected to the Hanover-Würzburg high-speed rail line, with InterCityExpress services calling at the station.
Donatus, Prince and Landgrave of Hesse as the eldest son and successor of German aristocrat Moritz, Landgrave of Hesse, and his former wife, Princess Tatiana of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg is the head of the House of Brabant and the German House of Hesse. A great-grandson of Victor Emmanuel III of Italy, he is named in part after Georg Donatus, Hereditary Grand Duke of Hesse. He is also a descendant of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, and of Frederick III, German Emperor.
Charles of Hesse-Kassel, of the House of Hesse, was the Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel from 1670 to 1730.
William VIII ruled the German Landgraviate Hesse-Kassel from 1730 until his death, first as regent (1730–1751) and then as landgrave (1751–1760).
Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe is a landscape park in Kassel, Germany. The area of the park is 2.4 square kilometres, making it the largest European hillside park, and second largest park on a hill slope in the world. Construction of the Bergpark, or "mountain park", began in 1689 at the behest of the Landgraves of Hesse-Kassel and took about 150 years. The park is open to the public today. Since 2013, it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Kassel Hauptbahnhof is a Deutsche Bahn railway station in the city of Kassel, in the German state of Hesse. Situated in the central borough of Mitte, it is the city's second important railway station after the opening of Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe in 1991; and so it is the only Hauptbahnhof that is not the main station of its city.
The Orangerie is an Orangery in Kassel, Hesse, Germany. It was built under Landgrave Charles between 1703 and 1711. Since then, it forms the northern corner of the Karlsaue park. Today it is used as an astronomy and physical cabinet.
Landgrave Hermann IV of Hesse-Rotenburg, was the first Landgrave of the semi-independent Landgraviate of Hesse-Rotenburg. He was the fourth son of the Landgrave Maurice of Hesse-Kassel and his second wife Juliane of Nassau-Dillenburg.
Simon Louis du Ry was a classical architect.
The Karlsaue Park is a public and inner-city park of 1.50 km2 (0.58 sq mi) in Kassel. It was redesigned as a landscape garden in 1785 and consists of a mixture of visible Baroque garden elements and arranged “natural areas”.
The Crowning of the Virtuous Hero is a painting by Peter Paul Rubens, painted between 1613 and 1614. Unsigned, it was commissioned by the St George Guild of Archers in Antwerp for their banqueting hall and is now in the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister within the Schloss Wilhelmshöhe in Kassel.
Bellevue Palace in Kassel was built in 1714 for Charles I, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel. Originally the building served as an Observatory. It became a residence, and then part of Bellevue Castle, which was later destroyed. Today the building houses a museum devoted to the Brothers Grimm.
Jean Paul du Ry was a French architect and Huguenot refugee who was responsible for a number of baroque buildings in Kassel, Hesse, Germany.
The following is a timeline of the history of the city of Kassel, Germany.
The Museumslandschaft Hessen Kassel represents a group of institutions in Kassel, Germany, comprising museums, associated research libraries, and supporting facilities. They are overseen by the German federal government in collaboration with Germany's federal state of Hesse. The central complex of Schloss Wilhelmshöhe with installed art in the park and grounds was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 2013.
Media related to Kassel at Wikimedia Commons Kassel travel guide from Wikivoyage