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.



Your name

Website (optional)


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


4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

MariaLuisa Beibinha (19 months ago)
It was beautifully cold outside !!! The Hércules statue is nice and the waterfalls were frozen but really nice to see. I ordered a hot chocolate of course!
Joy Lorenz (19 months ago)
Beautiful Castle, but at that time we cannot go inside or going up, because it's under renovation. We're planning to go back here again. Take note, when you want to see the Water Features you must go there on Wednesday or Sunday. Make sure to wear Rubber Shoes
Henrik Fey (19 months ago)
Such a stunning place. Have been here countless times with friends from America and myself for a walk or a jog. Great paths up to the Herkules and stunning water games. Also a very big park with lots of pathways and hiking trips.
Johannes Rosemann (2 years ago)
Beautiful Park with lots of trails for walking, hiking or strolling with your loved ones. From Mai through September on Wednesday's and Sunday's there are terrific water games that start at the Herkules Statue and run down the hill towards the castle, a must see.
Adrienn Faklya-Schmitz (2 years ago)
Beautiful. If you're around definitely go and walk around. It is good for running and dog walking as well. It is so clean. I have no idea how the Germans keep the whole country so clean. Amazing.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Narikala Castle

Narikala is an ancient fortress overlooking Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, and the Kura River. The fortress consists of two walled sections on a steep hill between the sulphur baths and the botanical gardens of Tbilisi. On the lower court there is the recently restored St Nicholas church. Newly built in 1996–1997, it replaces the original 13th-century church that was destroyed in a fire. The new church is of 'prescribed cross' type, having doors on three sides. The internal part of the church is decorated with the frescos showing scenes both from the Bible and history of Georgia.

The fortress was established in the 4th century and it was a Persian citadel. It was considerably expanded by the Umayyads in the 7th century and later, by king David the Builder (1089–1125). Most of extant fortifications date from the 16th and 17th centuries. In 1827, parts of the fortress were damaged by an earthquake and demolished.