Cities & Culture

Kassel: a city of fairytales and works of art

Kassel: Schloss Wilhelmshöhe ©Getty Images (Sina Ettmer / EyeEm)

Kassel, the city that became the hub of the contemporary art world with its documenta exhibition, also owes much of its cultural renown to the legacy of the Brothers Grimm. It is also home to one of Europe's most palatial gardens, the Wilhelmshöhe Park UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Once upon a time... namely 200 years ago, there were two brothers who lived in Kassel and penned timeless classics such as their collection of Children's and Household Tales. As they became so famous the world over, the Brothers Grimm are still commemorated in Kassel to this day at the GRIMM WORLD museum, as well as at anniversary celebrations and exhibitions. One of the most important stops along the 600-km German Fairy Tale Route is in Kassel. A different institution entirely showcases the very latest trends on a regular basis: documenta is the world's leading contemporary art exhibition, an occasion of great distinction and a showcase for the latest trends in international art. The venue for the exhibition has been the Fridericianum since 1955, while outdoor exhibits are a firm fixture at the documenta, with some of the most spectacular among them now forming part of the cityscape.

Kassel also has one of the most traditional theatre scenes in Germany. Alongside Wilhelmshöhe Palace with its spectacular Rembrandt collection, the range of museums is also impeccable, as is the 240 hectare Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe. The work of art combining nature, architecture and landscape design is arranged in the style of an English landscape garden. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Europe's largest hillside park. And when it comes to works of art, you'll soon realise that they are everywhere you turn in Kassel.

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