Only in Kassel, there’s a whole park, Wilhelmshöhe Bergpark (or Mountain Park) that’s enlisted today as a UNESCO World heritage: Lowenburg or The Lion’s Castle, The Oldest Public Museum in the world and Hercule’s Monument are all here, and all worth visiting.
If you read my previous blog posts about our trip in Germany from this Spring, you easily noted that I had a purpose: to see castles! because Germany, well, is just covered with them. So, here we were again, on the road again, with Google navigation set to Kassel town, because I had my thoughts on it’s Lion’s Castle.
If you’re interested in other articles about Germany, please check:
Lowenburg or the Lion’s Castle, not so medieval as it first appears
This castle, located in the park Wilhelmshöhe Bergpark, although has a medieval aspect, is in reality quite young, only over 2 centuries old, being build without any military purpose, but just to fulfill some fantasies of the local prince.
It’s quite small in size and unfortunately, it was half in renovation because during WWII was greatly damaged. We had this luck! Almost half of the castles we saw in this trip in Germany were in renovation.
Of course the prince did not own only the Lion’s Castle, but the whole hill was his backyard. So he transformed some parts of it into a park, building fountains, and a famous one is the Steinhofer Waterfall, that celebrates the power of water.
From one of the tourists signs, this is the schedule of the fountain:
During the operation of water displays, on Wednesdays, Sundays and public holidays from 1 May to 3 October, the Steinhofer Waterfall will be flooded with water for approximately 10 minutes, starting at 3.05 pm.
But how about the next fountain? The Hercules’s statue is marking the highest point in the park, and in summer time everything down from it fills with water. And from up there, you see the whole town, and yes, you kinda’ feel like a strong Hercules, with the whole world lying at your feet.
At the bottom of the hill, but in line with the imposing Hercule’s Monument and fountain, there is another imposing site. The Wilhelmshohe Palace, who became in the 18th century the first public museum in the world, is housing today one of Rembrandt’s largest art collections.
Otherwise, I must say that Kassel is not your typical German town: an industrial town, crowded, not very neat, a lot of constructions on the roads and without a historic town center. What was that again??? what German town does not have a cute historic square? Well, Kassel is one of them! So the truth be told, my partner, who always seeks perfection, was not that impressed about this place, but my romantic and poetic spirit liked it. The UNESCO Mountain Park is really beautiful, and I’m sure, in warmer and sunnier days it’s a pleasure to spend some time here and see those impressive and gorgeous fountains splashing cold water.
Kassel – The Fairy Tale Lane Capital
But Kassel is also called the Capital of The Fairy Tale Route – this lane that unites many German towns that are related to fairy-tale stories. It was the residence of Brothers Grim, and there is here a museum dedicated to them and their work. I’m so sad we did not have the time to visit it as I’m sure it would have been a lovely experience.
Visited March 2017