Mathildenhöhe

Darmstadt, Germany

The Darmstadt Artists’ Colony on Mathildenhöhe, the highest elevation above the city of Darmstadt in west-central Germany, was established in 1897 by Ernst Ludwig, Grand Duke of Hesse, as a centre for emerging reform movements in architecture, arts and crafts. The buildings of the colony were created by its artist members as experimental early modernist living and working environments. The colony was expanded during successive international exhibitions in 1901, 1904, 1908 and 1914.

Today, it offers a testimony to early modern architecture, urban planning and landscape design, all of which were influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement and the Vienna Secession. The serial property consists of two component parts including 23 elements, such as the Wedding Tower (1908), the Exhibition Hall (1908), the Plane Tree Grove (1833, 1904-14), the Russian Chapel of St. Maria Magdalena (1897-99), the Lily Basin, the Gottfried Schwab Memorial (1905), the Pergola and Garden (1914), the “Swan Temple” Garden Pavilion (1914), the Ernst Ludwig Fountain, and the 13 houses and artists’ studios that were built for the Darmstadt Artists’ Colony and for the international exhibitions. A Three House Group, built for the 1904 exhibition is an additional component.

UNESCO has recognized the Mathildenhöhe artists' colony in Darmstadt as a world heritage site in 2021.

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