Cities & Culture

Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt

Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig of Hesse founded the Darmstadt Artists' Colony with the aim of reforming the arts and crafts. The result was a magnificent work of art made up of spectacular buildings and stunning gardens.

Art buff Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig founded an artists' colony in Mathildenhöhe in Darmstadt back in 1899 with the aim of promoting the arts and crafts in the Hesse region, which soon attracted 23 artists as members. As part of four exhibitions, a series of innovative buildings was constructed by 1914, complete with everything from furniture to cutlery and crockery and surrounded by parkland with sculptures, fountains and garden pavilions. The artists had created living spaces that could be accessed as impressive works of art in their own right.

The Ernst Ludwig Museum in Mathildenhöhe's old studio building is a new addition to this incredible example of Art Nouveau design. It is famous for its striking omega-shaped gateway. The museum exhibition documents the history of the colony between 1899 and 1914 as well as providing an overview of artistic trends of the era and showcasing some exceptional examples. The display includes furniture, interior design, glass, ceramics, textiles, goldsmith craftsmanship, prints, paintings, sculptures and architectural models. Opening times: Tuesday to Sunday: 11 am–6 pm

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