|• 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||CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)|
Kassel (German pronunciation: [ˈkasl̩] (
Hesse or Hessia, officially the State of Hesse, is a federal state (Land) of the Federal Republic of Germany, with just over six million inhabitants. Its state capital is Wiesbaden and the largest city is Frankfurt am Main.
A Regierungsbezirk is a type of administrative division in Germany.
Kassel is one of the three Regierungsbezirke of Hesse, Germany, located in the north of the state. It was created in 1866 when Prussia annexed the area to form the new province Hesse-Nassau. Altogether it consists of 138 municipalities.
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" - valley or recess and "sali" - hall or service building, which can be interpreted as (town)hall in a valley.
A deed is any legal instrument in writing which passes, affirms or confirms an interest, right, or property and that is signed, attested, delivered, and in some jurisdictions, sealed. It is commonly associated with transferring (conveyancing) title to property. The deed has a greater presumption of validity and is less rebuttable than an instrument signed by the party to the deed. A deed can be unilateral or bilateral. Deeds include conveyances, commissions, licenses, patents, diplomas, and conditionally powers of attorney if executed as deeds. The deed is the modern descendant of the medieval charter, and delivery is thought to symbolically replace the ancient ceremony of livery of seisin.
The Fulda is a river of Hesse and Lower Saxony, Germany. It is one of two headstreams of the Weser. The Fulda is 220.4 kilometres (137.0 mi) long.
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 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.
The Landgraviate of Hesse was a principality of the Holy Roman Empire. It existed as a single entity from 1264 to 1567, when it was divided between the sons of Philip I, Landgrave of Hesse.
Marburg is a university town in the German federal state (Bundesland) of Hesse, capital of the Marburg-Biedenkopf district (Landkreis). The town area spreads along the valley of the river Lahn and has a population of approximately 72,000.
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.
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.
The Brothers Grimm, Jacob Ludwig Karl (1785–1863) and Wilhelm Carl (1786–1859), were German academics, philologists, cultural researchers, lexicographers and authors who together collected and published folklore during the 19th century. They were among the first and best-known collectors of German and European folk tales, and popularized traditional oral tale types such as "Cinderella", "The Frog Prince", "The Goose-Girl", "Hansel and Gretel", "Rapunzel", "Rumpelstiltskin", "Sleeping Beauty", and "Snow White". Their classic collection, Children's and Household Tales, was published in two volumes—the first in 1812 and the second in 1815.
The Prince-electors of the Holy Roman Empire, or Electors for short, were the members of the electoral college that elected the Holy Roman Emperor.
The Kingdom of Westphalia was a kingdom in Germany, with a population of 2.6 million, that existed from 1807 to 1813. It included territory in Hesse and other parts of present-day Germany. While formally independent, it was a vassal state of the First French Empire and was ruled by Napoleon's brother Jérôme Bonaparte. It was named after Westphalia, but this was a misnomer since the kingdom had little territory in common with that area; rather the kingdom mostly covered territory formerly known as Eastphalia.
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.
The Austro-Prussian War or Seven Weeks' War was a war fought in 1866 between the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia, with each also being aided by various allies within the German Confederation. Prussia had also allied with the Kingdom of Italy, linking this conflict to the Third Independence War of Italian unification. The Austro-Prussian War was part of the wider rivalry between Austria and Prussia, and resulted in Prussian dominance over the German states.
Prussia was a historically prominent German state that originated in 1525 with a duchy centred on the region of Prussia on the southeast coast of the Baltic Sea. It was de facto dissolved by an emergency decree transferring powers of the Prussian government to German Chancellor Franz von Papen in 1932 and de jure by an Allied decree in 1947. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organised and effective army. Prussia, with its capital first in Königsberg and then, in 1701, in Berlin, decisively shaped the history of Germany.
Frankfurt is a metropolis and the largest city of the German federal state of Hesse, and its 746,878 (2017) inhabitants make it the fifth-largest city of Germany after Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, and Cologne. On the River Main, it forms a continuous conurbation with the neighbouring city of Offenbach am Main, and its urban area has a population of 2.3 million. The city is at the centre of the larger Rhine-Main Metropolitan Region, which has a population of 5.5 million and is Germany's second-largest metropolitan region after the Rhine-Ruhr Region. Since the enlargement of the European Union in 2013, the geographic centre of the EU is about 40 km (25 mi) to the east of Frankfurt's central business district. Like France and Franconia, the city is named after the Franks. Frankfurt is the largest city in the Rhine Franconian dialect area.
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.
The Battle of Sedan was fought during the Franco-Prussian War from 1 to 2 September 1870. It resulted in the capture of Emperor Napoleon III and large numbers of his troops and for all intents and purposes decided the war in favour of Prussia and its allies, though fighting continued under a new French government.
Napoleon III, the nephew of Napoleon I, was the first President of France, ruling from 1848 to 1852, and the last monarchical ruler of France, reigning from 1852 to 1870. First elected president of the French Second Republic in 1848, he seized power in 1851, when he could not constitutionally be re-elected, and became the Emperor of the French. He founded the Second French Empire and was its only emperor until the defeat of the French army and his capture by Prussia and its allies in the Franco-Prussian War in 1870. He worked to modernize the French economy, rebuilt the center of Paris, expanded the overseas empire, and engaged in the Crimean War and the Second Italian War of Independence.
Heinrich Hübsch was a German architect. After studies in Heidelberg (1813–15) and at Friedrich Weinbrenner's school of architecture in Karlsruhe (1815–17) he traveled extensively in Greece and Italy (1817–24). In 1831 he was appointed Oberbaurat at Karlsruhe. He designed many churches and other public buildings, mainly in the Grand Duchy of Baden, and is also known for his writings.
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, 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 2–4 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 unemployement 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.
In 1558, the first German observatory was built in Kassel, followed in 1604 by the Ottoneum, the first permanent German theatre building. 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 5 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 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 as 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|
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|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.
St. Bonifatius, Kassel
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 in the world of watches and clocks. 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.The team, the Kassel Huskies, was active from 1977 to 2010. They were founding members of the DEL in 1994, belonging to the league from 1994-2006 and again from 2008-2010. In 1997, they were runners-up in the championship play-offs, losing to Adler Mannheim and reached the semi-finals 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. 25,000 students were enrolled at the university in 2018, 3381 of them non-Germans. 224 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:
This article is about the history of Hesse.
documenta is an exhibition of contemporary art which takes place every five years in Kassel, Germany. It was founded by artist, teacher and curator Arnold Bode in 1955 as part of the Bundesgartenschau which took place in Kassel at that time, and was an attempt to bring Germany up to speed with modern art, both banishing and repressing the cultural darkness of Nazism. This first documenta featured many artists who are generally considered to have had a significant influence on modern art. The more recent documentas feature art from all continents; nonetheless most of it is site-specific.
Schloss Wilhelmshöhe is a Neoclassical palace located in de: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.
Charles of Hesse-Kassel, of the House of Hesse, was the Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel from 1670 to 1730.
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.
Victor of Hesse-Rotenburg was the last Landgrave of Hesse-Rotenburg and the Prince of Corvey from 1815 and Duke of Ratibor from 1821. His namesake was his second cousin King Victor Amadeus III of Sardinia.
The Fridericianum is a museum in Kassel, Germany. Built in 1779, it is one of the oldest public museums in Europe. Since 1955 the quinquennial art festival documenta is centred on the site. The exhibition building itself was fully renovated by 1982. Ever since 1988, Fridericianum has continually hosted changing exhibitions of contemporary art. Since June 2013 Susanne Pfeffer has been director of the Fridericianum.
The Kassel tramway network is a 93.3-kilometer (58.0 mi) network of tramways, forming part of the public transport system in Kassel, a city in the north of the federal state of Hesse, Germany. As of 2014, the Kassel tram network is made up of seven regular tramlines.
The Neue Galerie 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. The building was damaged and burned out on 22 October 1943 in a devastating air raid carried out on the orders of Winston Churchill. 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 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.
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.