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North Hessen : Kassel
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Kassel [1] is the regional "capital" of North Hesse in Germany and has a population of about 200 000.

Löwenburg castle in Mountain park 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 Hugenots emigrated from France and brought with them their trade and skills. The impact of the Hugenots can still be witnessed in the centre of Kassel where streets are named after Hugenots.

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 rumors 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 World War II Kassel was thoroughly bombed by English and American planes.

Kassel was home to the Grimm Brothers who collected, edited and published the folk tales made famous by Disney cartoons. Their work is documented in the GRIMMWELT museum [2] (German site).

Get in[edit]

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 Kassel-Wilhemshöhe station, about 4 kilometres west of the city centre. The Busbahnhof Kassel Wilhelmshöhe (intercity bus station), also known as the Busparkplatz, adjoins the Kassel-Wilhemshöhe station. Kassel's historic Hauptbahnhof (central station), also known as the Kulturbahnhof , is very near the city center, but is mostly serviced by regional trains. 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.

Get around[edit]

If you are staying a few days in Kassel, buy a public transport Wochenkarte. For about 22 €, you can use all public transport in Kassel and the surrounding villages for one week. For shorter trips, you can use MultiTicket (24 hours or one weekend of unlimited travel within the KasselPlus-Zone for 2 adults and up to 3 children) or MultiTicket Single (only one adult). Further information can be found here [3] (German site) or on the ticket vending machines, which are available in English. Please note that they do not sell the Wochenkarte.

See[edit][add listing]

  • The Unesco World Heritage Site Wilhelmshöhe Bergpark - the world's second largest hillside park - with
    • the Schloss (palace) with its old masterpieces of art, including a large Rembrandt collection
    • the Löwenburg castle (see banner) - a fake Medieval ruined castle that was destroyed in WW2, but is being returned into its former state
    • the Herkules - a 7 m tall statue of Hercules towering over the city
    • the world famous Wasserspiele, a series of water features that follow the slope of the hill from the Herkules to the palace, ending in a spectacular fountain reaching heights of about 50 m without using any pumps.
    • the tomb of Emperor William II's dachshund
  • The Karlsaue park with the Orangerie palace and Siebenbergen - the island of flowers
  • documenta: An internationally acclaimed exhibition of contemporary art held every 5 years. In summer 2017, the 14. instalment will open in Kassel and Athens. Direct flights between the two cities are planned [4]
  • Fridericianum - one of Europe's oldest public museums and the heart of the documenta

Discover more at the city's official English website at http://www.kassel.de/englisch/

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe. Worth visiting is the "Bergpark" (Mountainpark) which is the largest in Europe and second largest park on a mountain slope in the world. The park contains the Herkules statue at its top end which is towering over the city and has become its symbol. Further the park contains loads of smaller features which are mainly Greek temples and Medival castles. There are the Rembrandts and Rubens paintings in the Schloss in the park - an entrance fee is charged. The Park also features during summer months the Wasserspiele (watergames) every Wednesday and Sunday starting from 2:30PM. Various of the features such as the Cascades (below the Herkules statue), the waterfall and the Roman Aqueduct' (which use no pumps) have their water supplies opened for half an hour or so each and the crowd of tourists will move from feature to feature starting on the higher parts moving downslope.
  • The Centre of Kassel itself had been thoroughy destroyed during WW2 and was rebuilt in a post-war fashion. Hence, the inner city is mainly dominated by bank and mall buildings of the modern sort. However, in walking distance from the main high street, you can reach the Karlsaue, another, french style park with some old buildings containing all sort of museums (tapstries to astrology). That area is also the usual place for the Documenta art exhibition to happen every five years.
  • If you get a chance to get out of the city. Near Lohfelden there are beautiful forests and ponds that have really good trails. Also just past there are some great churches and markets.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Shopping can be somewhat difficult in Kassel compared to the United States, but most of the good shopping is located close to the Rathaus so if you get off the Strassenbahn around there you can do most of your shopping. The "Fussgaengerzone" Obere Koenigsstrasse, pedestrian mall, that runs through the center of downtown, has many shops, street cafes and can be quite busy with people on Fridays and Saturdays. It starts at the old city hall and ends at the Koenigsplatz, where turns into Untere Koenigsstrasse. One of the big department stores along Koenigsstrasse is Kaufhof, where one can find good quality clothing, house wares and a food and drink department in the basement.

  • I found a good place to buy all of the stuff I needed for everyday things could be found at Muellers (drug store). It is somewhat like a Fred Meyer's or Target.
  • The best place I found to buy clothes was at the H&M right across Muellers located at Koenigsplatz. They have the best prices and clothing in my opinion around Kassel.

Bigger shopping centers outside of the center are the DEZ (Frankfurter Straße 225) and even farther the RATIO (Fuldastraße 1,34225 Baunatal).

Eat[edit][add listing]

The are many restaurants, cafes and street vendors in town. The Nordsee is a chain of stores/restaurants throughout Germany, where one can buy fresh buns with fish at their window kiosks or eat inside a small restaurant (Obere Koenigsstrasse). The butchers in Kassel sell buns with cold cuts, fresh spiced minced meat and hot sausage (Kochwurst). My favorite is: Fleischerei Barthel, Obere Koenigsstrasse, just around the corner on Wilhelmsstrasse.

  • There are great bakeries on every corner and throughout the city.
  • Another great place to eat is any of the little stands located on Konigsplatz(city centre)
  • You should try the specialty of this region, called "ahle Wurst". (Often written as "Wurschd"). Can be found at "Metzgerei Rohde", located in Frankfurter Straße 67

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Eberts'' is a restaurant pub popular with young and old close to the Bebelplatz in the Friedrich-Ebert-Strasse.
  • Check out the area around the Hauptbahnhof. There you will find Clubs like the ARM and the Cuba club two of the most favourite clubs in Kassel at the moment.
  • The "Lohmanns's" is the oldest Pub in Town. You will find a cozy atmosphere and a good selection of drinks and snacks. Try the "Ahle Wurst", a speciality of this region. Check out Markthalle Kassel for good food, local specialties and flair: markthalle-kassel.de. This is where the locals still shop and meet for brunch on Saturday mornings.
  • * The "Hot Legs" and "Joes Garage", both right next to each other. Frome time to time bands play live in those bars

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Kassel has its own youth hostel close to the Hauptbahnhof (main railway station).
  • Schlosshotel Bad Wilhelmshoehe [5] Schlosspark 8 - Four star hotel with a superb view over Kassel or the hillside park with Palace Wilhelmshoehe, Castle Loewenburg and the Herkules.
  • Ibis Hotel Kassel, Heinrich-Hertz-Strasse 3, +49 561 58940 (fax: +49 561 5894400), [6]. A clean budget hotel located in an industrial area a couple of kilometers from downtown, right at the Autobahn exit. If you are traveling by car, this is an excellent choice, if traveling by train or other kind of transportation, not. The hotel restaurant could be compared to a fast-food joint, but again, if you have a car you can drive to the city center for a better meal. from 52 €.  edit
  • Motel One Kassel, Rudolf Diesel Straße 5 (Kassel-Lohfelden, south of the city centre), +49 89 6650 250, [7]. A good value hotel outside of the town centre, basic rooms, big and quiet building, bus connection to the centre. from 49€.  edit

Get out[edit]

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