Kassel (German pronunciation: [ˈkasl̩] (listen); spelled Cassel until 1928) is a city located on the Fulda River in northern Hesse, Germany. It is the administrative seat of the Regierungsbezirk Kassel and the district of the same name and had 200,507 inhabitants in December 2015. The former capital of the state of Hesse-Kassel has many palaces and parks, including the Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Kassel is also known for the documenta exhibitions of contemporary art. Kassel has a public university with 25,000 students (2018) and a multicultural population (39% of the citizens in 2017 had a migration background).
Coat of arms
Location of Kassel
|• Mayor||Christian Geselle (SPD)|
|• City||107 km2 (41 sq mi)|
|Elevation||167 m (548 ft)|
|• Density||1,900/km2 (4,900/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)|
Kassel was first mentioned in 913 AD, as the place where two deeds were signed by King Conrad I. The place was called Chasella or Chassalla and was a fortification at a bridge crossing the Fulda river. There are several - yet unproven - assumptions of the name's origin. It could be derived from the ancient Castellum Cattorum, a castle of the Chatti, a German tribe that had lived in the area since Roman times. Another assumption is a portmanteau from Frankonian "cas" - valley or recess and "sali" - hall or service building, which can be interpreted as (town)hall in a valley.
A deed from 1189 certifies that Cassel had city rights, but the date when they were granted is not known.
In 1567, the Landgraviate of Hesse, until then centered in Marburg, was divided among four sons, with Hesse-Kassel (or Hesse-Cassel) becoming one of its successor states. Kassel was its capital and became a centre of Calvinist Protestantism in Germany. Strong fortifications were built to protect the Protestant stronghold against Catholic enemies. Secret societies, such as Rosicrucianism flourished, with Christian Rosenkreutz’s work Fama Fraternitis first published in 1617. In 1685, Kassel became a refuge for 1,700 Huguenots who found shelter in the newly established borough of Oberneustadt. Landgrave Charles, who was responsible for this humanitarian act, also ordered the construction of the Oktagon and of the Orangerie. In the late 18th Century, Hesse-Kassel became infamous for selling mercenaries (Hessians) to the British crown to help suppress the American Revolution and to finance the construction of palaces and the Landgrave’s opulent lifestyle.
In the early 19th century, the Brothers Grimm lived in Kassel. They collected and wrote most of their fairy tales there. At that time, around 1803, the Landgraviate was elevated to a Principality and its ruler to Prince-elector. Shortly after, it was annexed by Napoleon and in 1807 it became the capital of the short-lived Kingdom of Westphalia under Napoleon's brother Jérôme. The Electorate was restored in 1813.
Having sided with Austria in the Austro-Prussian War to gain supremacy in Germany, the principality was annexed by Prussia in 1866. The Prussian administration united Nassau, Frankfurt and Hesse-Kassel into the new Prussian province of Hesse-Nassau. Kassel ceased to be a princely residence, but soon developed into a major industrial centre, as well as a major railway junction. Henschel & Son, the largest railway locomotive manufacturer in Germany at the end of the nineteenth century, was based in Kassel.
In 1870, after the Battle of Sedan, Napoleon III was sent as a prisoner to the Wilhelmshöhe Palace above the city. During World War I the German military headquarters were located in the Wilhelmshöhe Palace. In the late 1930s Nazis destroyed Heinrich Hübsch's Kassel Synagogue.
During World War II, Kassel was the headquarters for Germany's Wehrkreis IX, and a local subcamp of Dachau concentration camp provided forced labour for the Henschel facilities, which included tank production plants. The most severe bombing of Kassel in World War II destroyed 90% of the downtown area, some 10,000 people were killed, and 150,000 were made homeless. Most of the casualties were civilians or wounded soldiers recuperating in local hospitals, whereas factories survived the attack generally undamaged. Karl Gerland replaced the regional Gauleiter, Karl Weinrich, soon after the raid.
The Allied ground advance into Germany reached Kassel at the beginning of April 1945. The US 80th Infantry Division captured Kassel in bitter house-to-house fighting during 2–4 April 1945, which included numerous German panzer-grenadier counterattacks, and resulted in further widespread devastation to bombed and unbombed structures alike.
Post-war, most of the ancient buildings were not restored, and large parts of the city area were completely rebuilt in the style of the 1950s. A few historic buildings, however, such as the Museum Fridericianum (see below), were restored. In 1949, the interim parliament ("Parlamentarischer Rat") eliminated Kassel in the first round as a city to become the provisional capital of the Federal Republic of Germany (Bonn won). In 1964, the town hosted the fourth Hessentag state festival (again in 2013). In 1972 the Chancellor of West Germany Willy Brandt and the Prime Minister of the German Democratic Republic Willy Stoph met in Wilhelmshöhe Palace for negotiations between the two German states. In 1991 the central rail station moved from "Hauptbahnhof" (English: main station) (today only used for regional trains) to "Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe". The city had a dynamic economic and social development in the recent years reducing the unemployement rate by half and attracting many new citizens so that the population has grown constantly. Several international operating companies have factories or headquarters in the city (Volkswagen, Mercedes Benz, SMA, Wintershall, Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, Rheinmetall, Bombardier). The city is home of several hospitals, the public Klinikum Kassel is one of the largest hospitals in the federal state offering a wide range of health services.
In 1558, the first German observatory was built in Kassel, followed in 1604 by the Ottoneum, the first permanent German theatre building. The old building is today the Natural History Museum, and the now-called Staatstheater Kassel is located in a nearby building that was constructed in the 1950s. Since 1927, Kassel has been home to Bärenreiter, one of the world's most important music publishers.
Since 1955 the Documenta, an international exhibition of modern and contemporary art, has been held regularly in Kassel. The Documenta now takes place every 5 years. The most recent exhibition, documenta 14 is being held from June to September, 2017. As a result of the Documenta 6 (1977), Kassel became the first town in the world to be illuminated by laser beams at night (Laserscape, by artist Horst H. Baumann). This laser installation is nowadays still visible at weekends. Other Documenta remnants (mainly sculptures) can be found in many places in Kassel; among those the "7000 Oaks", a work of land art by the German artist Joseph Beuys.All over the city are art pieces from former Documenta exhibitions. Currently the city plans to construct a Documenta institute connected to the university.
Kassel experiences an oceanic climate (Köppen: Cfb), but not so far from marine climates with a more notable continental influence as Berlin. Using the 1961-1990 normal and 0 °C isotherm, the city already had a humid continental climate (Dfb).
|11||Bosnia and Herzegovina||748|
The bombing raids of 1943 destroyed 90% of the city center. The city was almost completely rebuilt during the 1950s and is a combination of renovated or reconstructed old buildings and architecture of the 1950s. Outside the city center, the suburbs are dominated by 19th-century architecture. The oldest monument is the Druselturm; the Brüderkirche and the Martinskirche are also, in part, of medieval origin. The towers of the Martinskirche are from the 1950s.
The complex includes Wilhelmshöhe Palace (with the Antiquities Collection and Old Masters), the Hercules monument, and the Lions Castle. Wilhelmshöhe Palace above the city, was built in 1786 by landgrave Wilhelm IX of Hesse-Kassel. The palace is now a museum and houses an important collection of Graeco-Roman antiques and a fine gallery of paintings comprising the second largest collection of Rembrandts in Germany. It is surrounded by the beautiful Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe with many appealing sights. The complex was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013.
The Hercules monument is a huge octagonal stone structure carrying a giant replica of Hercules "Farnese" (now at Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Naples, Italy). From its base down to Wilhelmshöhe Palace runs a long set of artificial cascades which delight visitors during the summer months. Every Sunday and Wednesday afternoon at 14:30 (from May until October) the famous water features take place. They start at the Oktagon and during a one-hour walk through the park visitors can follow the water's way until they reach the lake of the Wilhelmshöhe Palace, where a fountain of about 50 metres (160 ft) marks the end of the spectacle.
The Löwenburg ("Lions Castle") is a replica of a medieval castle, also built during the reign of Wilhelm IX. After the Franco-Prussian War of 1870/71 Napoléon III was imprisoned in Wilhelmshöhe. In 1918 Wilhelmshöhe became the seat of the German Army High Command (OHL): it was there that the military commanders Hindenburg and Ludendorff prepared the German capitulation.
Another large park and also part of the European Garden Heritage Network is the Karlsaue along the Fulda River. Established in the 16th century, it is famous for the Orangerie, a palace built in 1710 as a summer residence for the landgraves. Today, the Orangerie contains the Museum of Astronomy and Technology, with a scale model of the Solar System spanning the entire park and beyond. In addition, the Park Schönfeld contains a small, municipal botanical garden, the Botanischer Garten Kassel.
Europe's first public museum, the Museum Fridericianum was founded in 1779. By the end of the 19th century the museum held one of the largest collections in the world of watches and clocks. Other art museums in Kassel include:
Hessen Kassel is the football club in the city, who plays in the Hessenliga after being relegated from the Regionalliga Südwest in the 2017/2018 season. The city's own football stadium, the Auestadion was built in 1953 and is able to hold 18,737 people. It is located in the south of Kassel at the quarter Südstadt, next to the Karlsaue.
Kassel has a long ice hockey tradition. The team, the Kassel Huskies, was active from 1977 to 2010. They were founding members of the DEL in 1994, belonging to the league from 1994-2006 and again from 2008-2010. In 1997, they were runners-up in the championship play-offs, losing to Adler Mannheim and reached the semi-finals on three more occasions. The Huskies ran into financial difficulties and dissolved in 2010. The "Young Huskies", which is a junior and youth hockey club, decided to enter a men's team in the Hessenliga. This is the fifth division and the lowest men's competition in the state of Hesse. The new club was expecting no more than 3,000 supporters for the first home game in the Hessenliga. However, they had over 5,000 supporters come to watch.
Kassel has seven tram lines (1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8), with trams arriving usually every 15 minutes. The city also operates a light rail Stadtbahn network called RegioTram using Regio Citadis low-floor trams which run on both tram and main line railway tracks with three lines (RT1, RT4, RT5). Moreover, a number of low-floor buses complete the Kassel public transport system. The introduction of low-floor buses led to the development of the Kassel kerb which improves the accessibility at bus stops.
The city is connected to the national rail network at two stations, Kassel Central, and Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe. The traditional central station (Hauptbahnhof) has been reduced to the status of a regional station since the opening of the Hanover-Würzburg high-speed rail line in 1991 and its station (Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe) on the high-speed line at which the InterCityExpress (ICE) and InterCity services call.
The city is served by Kassel Calden Airport.
The University of Kassel is a public higher education institution and was founded in 1971 as a so-called reform university offering new and innovative models of teaching. It is the newest university in the state of Hessen and has an urban and lively inner-city campus between the city center and the Northern city district, a typical working-class area with a multicultural population. 25,000 students were enrolled at the university in 2018, 3381 of them non-Germans. 224 students obtained their doctorate from the university in 2017.
The University offers a wide range of study programs from organic agriculture to social work. Furthermore it offers several English master's programs as well as two short-term international programs, the Summer University and the Winter University. The Kunsthochschule Kassel (University of Fine Arts) is also part of the university with a satellite campus directly at the Karlsaue park in the Southern city district.
Several courts are located in Kassel, including:
Kassel is twinned with:
The Kassel World War II bombings were a set of Allied strategic bombing attacks which took place from February 1942 to March 1945. In a single deadliest raid on 22–23 October 1943, 150,000 inhabitants were bombed-out, at least 10,000 people died, the vast majority of the city center was destroyed, and the fire of the most severe air raid burned for seven days. The US First Army captured Kassel on 3 April 1945, where only 50,000 inhabitants remained, versus 236,000 in 1939.Documenta
documenta is an exhibition of contemporary art which takes place every five years in Kassel, Germany. It was founded by artist, teacher and curator Arnold Bode in 1955 as part of the Bundesgartenschau (Federal Horticultural Show) which took place in Kassel at that time, and was an attempt to bring Germany up to speed with modern art, both banishing and repressing the cultural darkness of Nazism. This first documenta featured many artists who are generally considered to have had a significant influence on modern art (such as Picasso and Kandinsky). The more recent documentas feature art from all continents; nonetheless most of it is site-specific.
Every documenta is limited to 100 days of exhibition, which is why it is often referred to as the "museum of 100 days". Documenta is not a selling exhibition. It rarely coincides with the three other major art world events: the Venice Biennale, Art Basel and Skulptur Projekte Münster, but in 2017, all four were open simultaneously.Electorate of Hesse
The Electorate of Hesse (German: Kurfürstentum Hessen), also known as Hesse-Kassel or Kurhessen, was a state elevated by Napoleon in 1803 from the Landgraviate of Hesse-Kassel. When the Holy Roman Empire was abolished in 1806, the Prince-Elector of Hesse chose to remain an Elector, even though there was no longer an Emperor to elect. In 1807, with the Treaties of Tilsit, the area was annexed to the Kingdom of Westphalia, but in 1814, the Congress of Vienna restored the electorate.
The state was the only electorate within the German Confederation. It consisted of several detached territories to the north of Frankfurt, which survived until the state was annexed by Prussia in 1866 following the Austro-Prussian War. It comprised a total land area of 3,699 square miles (9,580 km2), and its population in 1864 was 745,063.Frederick I of Sweden
Frederick I (Swedish: Fredrik I; 28 April 1676 – 5 April 1751) was prince consort of Sweden from 1718 to 1720, and King of Sweden from 1720 until his death and (as Frederick I) also Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel from 1730. He ascended the throne following the death of his brother-in-law absolutist Charles XII in the Great Northern War, and the abdication of his wife, Charles's sister and successor Ulrika Eleonora, after she had to relinquish most powers to the Riksdag of the Estates and thus chose to abdicate. His powerless reign saw his family's elimination from the line of succession after the parliamentary government dominated by pro-revanchist Hat Party politicians ventured into a war with Russia, which ended in defeat and the Russian tsarina Elizabeth demanding Adolph Frederick of Holstein-Gottorp to be instated following the death of the king.Hesse
Hesse () or Hessia (German: Hessen [ˈhɛsn̩], Hessian dialect: Hesse [ˈhɛzə]), officially the State of Hesse (German: Land Hessen), is a federal state (Land) of the Federal Republic of Germany, with just over six million inhabitants. The state capital is Wiesbaden; the largest city is Frankfurt am Main.
As a cultural region, Hesse also includes the area known as Rhenish Hesse (Rheinhessen) in the neighbouring state of Rhineland-Palatinate.House of Hesse
The House of Hesse is a European dynasty, directly descended from the House of Brabant. It ruled the region of Hesse, with one branch as prince-electors until 1866, and another branch as grand dukes until 1918.KSV Hessen Kassel
KSV Hessen Kassel is a German association football club based in Kassel, Hesse. The club was founded as FC Union 93 Kassel in 1893 and just two years later joined FC Hassia 93 Cassel to form Casseler FV 95. In 1919, fusion with VfK Kassel created SV Kurhessen Kassel.Kassel (region)
Kassel is one of the three Regierungsbezirke of Hesse, Germany, located in the north of the state. It was created in 1866 when Prussia annexed the area to form the new province Hesse-Nassau. Altogether it consists of 138 municipalities.Kassel Airport
Kassel Airport (formerly Kassel-Calden Airport, German Flughafen Kassel) (IATA: KSF, ICAO: EDVK) is a minor international airport serving the German city of Kassel in the state of Hesse. It is located 1.9 km (1.2 mi) west of Calden, 16.7 km (10.4 mi) northwest of Kassel and is mainly used for business and general aviation. There is also a flight school, an ultralight flying school, and a parachuting school based on site.Kassel Huskies
The Kassel Huskies are a professional ice hockey team based in Kassel, Hesse, Germany. They played the majority of their seasons in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga.
The club was founded as ESG Kassel in 1977 and was renamed into EC Kassel in 1987. Since 1994, the professional crew of the club had been outsourced into a company with limited liability and belonged as Kassel Huskies to the founding members of the DEL.
It was announced 27 August 2010, that the club had folded from the DEL due to bankruptcy.Following the bankruptcy the club was relegated to the fifth tier Hessenliga.
In 2011 the Huskies finished first in the Hessenliga and were promoted to the third tier Oberliga.
In 2014 the Huskies finished second in the qualification round for the second tier DEL2.
In 2016 they won the DEL2-Championship after sweeping the reigning DEL2 champion Bietigheim Steelers.Kassel kerb
A bus stop kerb is a special kerb (curb in US English) designed for low-floor buses that serve an elevated bus stop platform. The usage spread after good experiences with the Kassel kerb featuring a concave-section that allows for an easier alignment for buses which was first introduced in the German city of Kassel.Landgraviate of Hesse-Kassel
The Landgraviate of Hesse-Kassel (German: Landgrafschaft Hessen-Kassel), spelled Hesse-Cassel during its entire existence, was a state in the Holy Roman Empire that was directly subject to the Emperor. The state was created in 1567 when the Landgraviate of Hesse was divided upon the death of Philip I, Landgrave of Hesse. His eldest son William IV inherited the northern half of the Landgraviate and the capital of Kassel. The other sons received the Landgraviate of Hesse-Marburg, the Landgraviate of Hesse-Rheinfels and the Landgraviate of Hesse-Darmstadt.
During the Napoleonic reorganisation of the Empire in 1803, the Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel was elevated to an Electorate and Landgrave William IX became an Imperial Elector. Many members of the Hesse-Kassel House served in the Danish military gaining high ranks and power in the Oldenburg realm due to the fact that they were a cadet branch of the Oldenburg dynasty members of the family who have been known to serve Denmark-Norway are Prince Frederik of Hesse-Kassel, Prince Frederick of Hesse-Kassel, Prince Charles of Hesse-Kassel. It was later occupied by French troops and became part of the Kingdom of Westphalia, a French satellite state. The Electorate of Hesse was restored at the end of the Napoleonic Wars, though by that time there was no longer an emperor to elect.Louise of Hesse-Kassel
Louise of Hesse-Kassel (German: Luise Wilhelmine Friederike Caroline Auguste Julie von Hessen-Kassel, Danish: Louise Wilhelmine Frederikke Caroline Auguste Julie; 7 September 1817 – 29 September 1898) was Queen of Denmark by marriage to King Christian IX of Denmark.Peace of Basel
The Peace of Basel of 1795 consists of three peace treaties involving France during the French Revolution (represented by François de Barthélemy).
The first was with Prussia (represented by Karl August von Hardenberg) on 5 April;
The second was with Spain (represented by Domingo d'Yriarte) on 22 July, ending the War of the Pyrenees; and
The third was with the Landgraviate of Hesse-Kassel (represented by Friedrich Sigismund Waitz von Eschen) on 28 August, concluding the stage of the French Revolutionary Wars against the First Coalition.Prince William of Hesse-Kassel
Prince William of Hesse-Kassel (24 December 1787 – 5 September 1867), was the first son of Prince Frederick of Hesse-Kassel and Princess Caroline of Nassau-Usingen.Princess Augusta of Hesse-Kassel
Princess Augusta of Hesse-Kassel (Auguste Wilhelmine Luise; 25 July 1797 – 6 April 1889) was the wife of Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge, the tenth-born child, and seventh son, of George III of the United Kingdom and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. The longest-lived daughter-in-law of George III, she was the maternal grandmother of Mary of Teck, wife of George V.Princess Charlotte of Denmark
Princess Louise Charlotte of Denmark (Danish: Charlotte af Danmark; 30 October 1789 – 28 March 1864) was a Danish princess, and a princess of Hesse-Kassel by marriage to Prince William of Hesse-Kassel. She played an important role in the succession crisis in Denmark in the first half of the 19th century.Princess Louise Caroline of Hesse-Kassel
Princess Louise Caroline of Hesse-Kassel (German: Luise Karoline von Hessen-Kassel; 28 September 1789 – 13 March 1867) was the consort of Friedrich Wilhelm, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg and the matriarch of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, which would eventually become the ruling house of the kingdoms of Denmark, Greece, Norway, and, barring unforeseen circumstances, the United Kingdom.University of Kassel
The University of Kassel (German: Universität Kassel) is a university founded in 1971 located in Kassel, Hessen, in Germany. As of October 2013 it had about 23,000 students and more than 2,600 staff, including 307 professors.International summer universities, intensive German language courses and orientation programmes for international students and students come from over 115 countries.
Each academic year, more than 100 visiting scholars pursue research projects in cooperation with colleagues from the University of Kassel, making a valuable contribution to the academic and cultural life. The newly established International House is located on the campus. It offers hostels for international guests and is available for meetings, conferences, and cultural events.
|Climate data for Kassel (~5 km from the downtown), elevation: 231 m, 1971-2000 normals|
|Average high °C (°F)||2.8
|Daily mean °C (°F)||0.7
|Average low °C (°F)||−1.5
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||53.5
|Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)||10.7||8.4||11.3||9.3||9.8||11.0||9.2||8.8||9.3||9.3||10.9||12.5||120.5|
|Climate data for Kassel (Süsterfeld-Helleböhn), elevation: 233 m, 1961-1990 normals and extremes|
|Record high °C (°F)||13.3
|Average high °C (°F)||1.8
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−0.2
|Average low °C (°F)||−2.4
|Record low °C (°F)||−19.7
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||55.0
|Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)||12.0||9.0||12.0||10.0||11.0||11.0||10.0||10.0||9.0||9.0||11.0||13.0||127|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||38.5||72.3||109.9||149.7||194.1||190.3||195.7||187.7||135.1||98.7||45.2||31.2||1,448.4|
Places adjacent to Kassel
Cities in Germany by population
Urban and rural districts in the state of Hesse in Germany