Covering 240 hectares in the north Hessen city of Kassel, baroque Wilhelmshöhe Park is designed in the style of an English landscape garden and is Europe’s largest hillside park. Together with Wilhelmshöhe Palace, it forms a unique whole that combines culture, nature and landscape architecture in perfect harmony.
Kassel’s Wilhelmshöhe Park is a baroque creation in which developments in the art, technology and landscape design movements of the time can be discerned. The 300-year-old topography exemplifies the coming of age of landscape architecture in absolutist Europe. It dates from 1696 when Landgrave Karl of Hesse-Kassel aimed to elevate the Kassel princes over the other ruling houses of the day.
In 1701 Italian master builder Giovanni Francesco Guerniero added large parts of the water features, which in 1717 were crowned with a statue of Hercules that dominates all it surveys. This mighty copper figure is designed to symbolise the virtues of a wise and just ruler and the omnipotence of the Landgrave himself. At the foot of the 70-metre plinth a unique spectacle is played out.
Over 750,000 litres of water rush down a total of twelve kilometres of water features towards the Grand Fountain in the Palace Pond, where the water jets 52 metres into the air under the force of natural pressure. Lit up in the evenings, the cascades and fountains between the Hercules monument and Wilhelmshöhe Palace are a sight to behold. Significant art can also be found in the palace itself.
Severely damaged in the Second World War, the building was restored as a museum and opened to the public in 1974. With its old masters gallery, antiquities collection and collection of prints and drawings, it is one of the main attractions at Wilhelmshöhe Park.
UNESCO World Heritage since 2013
From the selection criteria
The Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe is a unique Baroque work of art, where different trends in garden architecture, art history and the history of technology can
still be traced unaltered to this day.
The over 300-years-old cultural landscape with its unique water features is an authentic example of the landscape
architecture of European absolutism.
Information and Contact
Museumslandschaft Hessen Kassel
Tel. +49 561-316 80 0
Fax +49 561-316 80 111
Kassel Marketing GmbH
Obere Königsstraße 15, 34117 Kassel
Tel. +49 561-7077 07
Fax +49 561-7077 200