Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe

Bad Wilhelmshöhe, Germany

Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe is a unique landscape park in Kassel. The area of the park is 2.4 square kilometres, making it the largest European hillside park, and second largest park on a mountain slope in the world. Descending a long hill dominated by a giant statue of Hercules, the monumental water displays of Wilhelmshöhe were begun by Landgrave Carl of Hesse-Kassel in 1689 around an east-west axis and were developed further into the 19th century. Reservoirs and channels behind the Hercules Monument supply water to a complex system of hydro-pneumatic devices that supply the site’s large Baroque water theatre, grotto, fountains and 350-metre long Grand Cascade. Beyond this, channels and waterways wind across the axis, feeding a series of dramatic waterfalls and wild rapids, the geyser-like Grand Fountain which leaps 50m high, the lake and secluded ponds that enliven the Romantic garden created in the 18th century by Carl’s great-grandson, Elector Wilhelm I. The great size of the park and its waterworks along with the towering Hercules statue constitute an expression of the ideals of absolutist Monarchy while the ensemble is a remarkable testimony to the aesthetics of the Baroque and Romantic periods.

Schloss Wilhelmshöhe was damaged by Allied bombs in World War II. From 1968 to 1974, it was rebuilt as an art museum. It houses a wallpaper collection, a collection of Graeco-Roman antiques, and a gallery of Old Masters paintings. The collection focuses on the 16th and 17th century, containing masterpieces by German, Italian, French and Spanish painters. It comprises the second-largest collection of Rembrandts in Germany. Rembrandt's famous 'Saskia' and 'The Man with the Slouch Hat' by Frans Hals are among them.

On 23 June 2013 Wilhelmshöhe was proclaimed as a World Heritage Site during the UNESCO meeting in Phnom Penh.



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Founded: 1689
Historical period: Thirty Years War & Rise of Prussia (Germany)


4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Marcin K (8 months ago)
Crazy fantastic for everyone. You have to see. You need 4 hours minimum. Very good place for family walk, also for running and bike ride. Incredible huge oaks and others ?.
Roland Vaandrager (9 months ago)
This is a very beautiful park, really worth visiting. Everything is very well maintained, walking routes are clearly marked. Keep in mind that the path to the Hercules monument is really steep.
Jumana Jaber (11 months ago)
Beautiful place. Definitely you will enjoy. Tip: if you are planning to walk all to the way up then go when the weather is somehow cool and not hot and humid ? because there are a lot of stairs and you will reach sweating as hell
Richard Ashcroft (12 months ago)
The vast hillside park is a peculiar blend of Italianate and English landscaping with diabolically kitsch Romantic-Classical features on a colossal scale, the vision of a megalomaniac with the funds and contacts to transmute the labor of vast populations crushed by religion and poverty into astounding but empty status symbols. Many of the features flowed from the financial partnership between the Landgrave of Kassel and the founding father of the Rothschild dynasty, producing plenty of spare cash for these ego projects. Nowadays the park is easily accessible to everyone and makes a great day out.
Neelabja Chatterjee (13 months ago)
Fantastic place for a Sunny day hike. Amazing view from the top. And it is really "go - easy walking upward".
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