Kassel Tourist Attractions
Kassel, the cultural, economic and administrative center of northern Hesse, is delightfully situated at the foot of the Habichtswald in a basin in the Fulda valley. Numerous cultural establishments (including a Gesamthochschule, or comprehensive higher educational establishment) and official agencies (Federal Labor Court, Federal Social Court) are based here. In the artistic field Kassel is noted for its avant-garde "documenta" exhibitions. Within the city limits is Wilhelmshöhe, a popular health resort (Kneipp cure).
Museum Fridericianum (temporarily closed)
On the northeast side of Friedrichsplatz in Kassel is the Museum Fridericianum, a neo-classical building (by Simon Louis du Ry, 1769-79) which since 1955 has housed the "documenta" exhibition of modern art, held every few years.On the southeast side of the square stands the Staatstheater (1958-59; opera, ballet, drama).
Address: Friedrichsplatz 18, D-34117 Kassel, Germany
Opening hours: 11am-6pm; Closed: Mon, Tue
Always closed on: Christmas - Christian (Dec 25), New Year's Eve (Dec 31), Christmas Eve - Christian (Dec 24)
Entrance fee in EUR: Adult €5.00, Group discounts €3.00, Concession or reduced rate €3.00, Child 12 & under FREE
Natural History Museum
To the north of the Theater in Kassel, in the Ottoneum (16th C.), the oldest permanent theater in Germany, is the Natural History Museum.
To the south of the Theater in Kassel, on the banks of the Fulda, lies the Karlsaue, a beautiful wooded park (area 160 hectares/400 acres) in which are the Orangery (1701-11; used for part of the "documenta" exhibitions), the Marble Baths, a sumptuous structure built in 1720 to the design of the sculptor Pierre Etienne Monot, and the flower-covered island of Siebenbergen. To the east extends Fulda-Aue, a popular recreation area (bathing and wind-surfing; regatta course).
In Kassel's Brüder-Grimm-Platz, at the end of the Obere Königsstrasse, is the Torwache (now used for exhibitions), the home from 1814 to 1822 of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, world-famed for their collection of folk tales and fairy tales and for their great German dictionary (completed only in 1971).
Hessian Provincial Museum
On the south side of Kassel's Brüder-Grimm-Platz are the Hessian Provincial Museum (medieval tapestries, applied and decorative art, etc.) and the German Wallpaper Museum (Tapetenmuseum).
Hessian Provincial Library
Behind the Landesmuseum in Kassel, to the southeast, can be found the Hessian Provincial Library, which counts among its treasures a manuscript of the medieval "Hildebrandslied", written in Fulda monastery about 800.
Grimm Brothers Museum
A little way east east of the Provincial Library in Kassel, at Schöne Aussicht 2, stands the Palais Bellevue, with a museum devoted to the Grimm brothers (working copies of the fairy tales, scholarly works, letters, translations of the tales into many languages). Facing it, to the southwest, is the Neue Galerie (painting and sculpture since 1750).
From the Town Hall in Kassel, Friedrichstrasse (pedestrian zone) runs northwest to the long narrow Ständeplatz, with the Municipal Museum (Stadtmuseum) and a number of modern high-rise blocks.
The main shopping and business street of Kassel is the Obere Königsstrasse (pedestrian zone), which runs southwest from Königsplatz, past Friedrichsplatz, to Brüder-Grimm-Platz. Near the southwest end of the street is the Town Hall (Rathaus; 1905-09).
In Oberkaufungen, 11km/7mi east of Kassel, can be seen a church which belonged to a Benedictine convent founded in 1017 by the Empress Kunigunde, wife of Henry II.
25km/15mi southwest of Kassel lies the town of Fritzlar (pop. 15,000), situated above the left bank of the Eder.With some 450 half-timbered buildings, Fritzlar has preserved much of its medieval aspect. In the Hochzeitshaus (Marriage House; c. 1580) is a Regional Museum (prehistoric antiquities, history of the town, collection of stoves).On the highest point in the town stands the twin-towered Cathedral of St Peter (12th-14th C.). In the crypt is the Late Gothic tomb of St Wigbert, first abbot of Fritzlar. Also of interest are the 14th century cloister, the rich Treasury, the Cathedral Museum and the Cathedral Library (manuscripts of the eighth-17th centuries, incunabula).
Some 23km/14mi north of Kassel on the Deutsche Märchenstrasse (German Fairy Tale Route) is Hofgeismar (pop. 15,000).The old town with its handsome half-timbered houses is still largely surrounded by its ring of walls. The Romanesque and Gothic Altstädter Kirche (Old Town Church) has a beautiful Passion Altar (c. 1335). In the Town Hall is the Municipal Museum (prehistory and the early historical period, history of the town and garrison, treasury of silver, ceramics). Nearby, in Apothekenstrasse, is the Pharmacy Museum (Apothekenmuseum).In the former Kurpark, northeast of the town, are the Gesundbrunnen, a chalybeate mineral spring housed in a classical temple, and the little neo-classical Schloss Schönburg.The Fairy Tale Route continues northeast through the Reinhardswald to the outlying district of Sababurg. On a basalt cone can be seen the ruins of a hunting lodge built in the late 15th C., which is famed as the setting of one of the Grimm brothers' fairy tales. Below it is a game park, with a Museum of Forestry and Hunting.
Sleeping Beauty, Sababurg
The small town of Sababurg is home of the Briar Rose Castle which is best known for being the home of 'Sleeping Beauty' from the tales of the Brothers' Grimm. Today, the castle is home to a theater, concert hall and gallery within a respected castle hotel.
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