Cities & Culture

Darmstadt: a city of poets, thinkers and space explorers

Darmstadt: Youth meeting place at the Russian Chapel St. Mary Magdalene ©DZT (Francesco Carovillano)

If German cities were schoolchildren, Darmstadt would be top of the class. Highly educated, cultivated and with a range of interests – through science, literature, art and architecture, Darmstadt has developed a wholly unique appeal that has earned it much acclaim.

The establishment of the Mathildenhöhe Artists' Colony more than 100 years ago played its part in raising Darmstadt to prominence. Still to this day, the magnificent Art Nouveau buildings give the muses' hill an unmistakable character. The city has long been known for its publishing houses, internationally acclaimed institutes for literature, art and music, the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) and the technical university. The Hessian State Museum, home to the world's largest Joseph Beuys collection, the Kunsthalle art museum, the State Theatre, a vibrant music and entertainment scene and the city's many art galleries all have their own unique cultural flair.

Centralstation, a heritage-listed former power station, is now a venue for theatre productions, readings, exhibitions, concerts and club nights. But that's not all. Other attractions include the Old Town Hall, the palace on the Marktplatz square, the octagonal house and the orangery, as well as the Russian Orthodox church with its enchanting grove of plane trees. Not forgetting the Messel Pit Fossil Site, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that unearths our planet's early history. The annual Heinerfest festival is the ultimate proof that the erudite people of Darmstadt aren't afraid to let their hair down, especially when in good company.

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