Kassel water games in the Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe: what you should know
We visit the Kassel water features in Hesse. It mumbles, bubbles and splashes around us! In the midst of crowds we are just a few meters below the monumental statue of Hercules Kassel Wilhelmshöhe firm and can no longer move on our own. We are pushed. Down the steep stairs. 539 steps from the top of the Karlsberg along the Great Cascade and always wedged between rough rocks that border the left and right. Moved forward by thousands of visitors who want the same as us. See the Kassel water features in Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe. First of all we are shocked! We do not see anything of the water pouring out of the pipes just a few inches away from us, nor of the view of the city of Kassel below us. Crowds in front of and next to us prevent this. And it does not look like it's changing that fast, because reversing is impossible.
The Hercules water games in the Bergpark Kassel
We have no choice but to let ourselves drift, and so we descend in the crowd of visitors down to the Neptune Plateau. Here the stairs end. Their number and height shot me up to this intermediate station quite in the legs. With trembling knees I stand in front of the baroque part of the water games with his faun and centaur. From the horns of the water masses sound deafening tones. Here I see the rippling water right for the first time. Over steps, the water, which is accumulated in reservoirs on the mountain, the way to the valley. It is rainwater collected for this spectacle. Therefore, the water games take place only twice a week. Every Wednesday and Sunday and public holiday at 14.30 pm between the 1. May and the 3. October. In between, the water supply has to fill up again in order to set in motion the Hercules water games on the way to Schloss Wilhelmshöhe.
Baroque Water Park Hesse
Instead of a monumental castle, as many of his princely colleagues were able to build at the time of absolutism, Landgrave Carl had a baroque water garden on Karlsberg in Kassel Wilhelmshöhe create. The Italian architect Giovanni Francesco Guerniero laid the upper part of the water park up to 1714 and completed it with the construction of the statue of Hercules on the octagon on the summit of the Karlsberg. Below the Neptune Plateau, a landscape axis opens up into the city of Kassel. A terrific view! Then, once for a generation, the end of the expansion of the water features was over. Only Carl's grandson Landgrave Friedrich II continued the work. Under his reign, the landscape garden was created, which adjoins below the plateau. It was Frederick II who opened the central axis, which continues into Wilhelmshöher Allee into the city.
Visiting the Kassel Hercules water games is exhausting
We are now following the crowds of visitors a little more leisurely, because we have wider routes available from here. We still have to hurry, because the water flows through each element of the water features in Kassel Wilhelmshöhe for only about ten minutes before it dries up until the next appointment a few days later. We make a short stop at the romantic water features and watch over the heads of the other visitors how the water slowly flows out of the - artificially created - rock in numerous places and fills channels that transport it further down.
This time we take the chance and join in front of the majority of visitors on our way to the Devil's Bridge, which in its arch shape reminds of a bridge of the same name in the Alps. Underneath, the masses of water plung ten meters into the depths.
This section of the park is already a legacy of Landgrave Wilhelm IX, the son of Frederick II and later Elector Wilhelm I. Under him, the English Garden and Landscape Park in Kassel Wilhelmshöhe. The natural features of the park are incorporated in the design, and a second water supply is needed to operate the lower part of the water features.
Bergpark water games - the Dehio cascade
Especially beautiful, because it looks natural, we find the Dehio cascade, which leads the water over steps and boulders into the valley. Surrounded by deciduous trees, it splashes down the mountain like a natural stream. However, only a few steps later, this vision of a brook is dramatically interrupted by a massive fall of water over the demolition of the aqueduct. Thirty meters, the water plunges here in depth and offers a spectacular sight.
The highlight is the fountain
All the water collects in the fountain pond behind the castle, where it brings about a complex system the highlight of the water games in Kassel Wilhelmshöhe: the most powerful fountain in a European garden, which shoots without technical aids up to 50 meters in the air. The cheers of the spectators gathered at the pond pay tribute to the great garden architects three centuries ago until today to a grand masterpiece of Baroque horticultural art. The tension, which has built up over almost two hours, discharges in enthusiastic applause.
And after two exhausting hours in which the water has driven us down the mountain, we realize that you simply have to experience the water features to appreciate the masterpieces of these architects. Even the landgraves and electors who had them built, always opened them to the common people. It should participate in these games. The fascination with this has not changed to this day.
You should know this, before you look at the Kassel water games in Bad Wilhelmshöhe:
- You walk with the water that comes out of each attraction for about ten minutes. Comfortable shoes are highly recommended.
- It is best to go to the Neptune Plateau before opening the watercourses at 14.30, waiting for the water to run
- Afterwards it is best to go straight to the “romantic waterfalls” and wait for the water to come. It will take some time, but you have the best view of the gushing water.
- Who gets problems on the way (because exhausting is the whole thing), can turn to a park supervision. They have radio and can call for help if necessary. Mobile phones do not work in many places on the mountainside. During our visit, we heard several times the ambulance transporting people with fainting spells.
- You easily lose yourself in the crowds. Therefore, you should arrange a meeting place before the start of the water games, where you meet again, in case you should be separated on the way.
- Guided tours are offered explaining the development of the landscape garden. These are chargeable. You can also watch the water games on your own (free) and just run after the crowds. However, the individual attractions are not all in a straight line behind and among each other, but here you have to know where to go.
- We had our car at the parking lot (fee) at the Herkules terraces and after the water games with the bus 23 (departure about 750 m footpath below the castle Kassel Wilhelmshöhe) drove back to pick it up. The bus ride is free with the My Card Plus.
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Before the start of the water games you can have a good lunch break in this restaurant. The view of Kassel is worth the visit alone. However, if you plan to, you should reserve a table, because on the days of the water games, the restaurant is filled to the last seat. Alternatively, it's worth it Brotzeit im backpack .
We stayed at the three star hotel
Wilhelmshoeher Allee 288
The hotel is conveniently located below the Bergpark Kassel Wilhelmshöhe at Wilhelmshöher Allee. It is a modern business hotel with large, pleasantly bright and practical rooms with Wi-Fi, which could be a bit more powerful. A hotel parking lot is available (fee required). Breakfast buffet is offered. And for dinner, we recommend a short walk in an old part of Kassel, in which there are still many half-timbered houses.
In this hotel you get the
My Card Plus
This leisure card is a gift of the participating hotels and includes admission to all participating leisure facilities in the GrimmHeimat, as well as free travel on the buses and trains in the North Hessian transport network.
Travel Tips for Hesse
- Three tips for bon vivants in Bad Wildungen
- A culinary trip through Hessen
- Where to eat in Kassel?
- Three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kassel
- Kellerwald Edersee Nature Park - UNESCO World Heritage Site and fairytale home
Arrival by train or bus
Lufthansa and many other airlines fly to Frankfurt or Hanover. Possible is the journey by train to Kassel. Conveniently located the ICE station Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe. information about local transport links is here. Also drive Long-distance buses * to Kassel.
Hotels in Kassel:
Hotels in Kassel * You can book through our partner booking.com at this link.
Op Jück gives Tips for a weekend in Kassel
Source: own research on site. We thank you for the friendly invitation from GrimmHeimat Nordhessen. Our opinion remains our own.
Text: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Photos: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Monika Fuchs and Petar Fuchs are the publishers of the Trips to Savor and Slow Travel Blog TravelWorldOnline Traveler , They have been publishing this blog since 2005. TravelWorldOnline is online since 2001.
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Monika Fuchs has been working in tourism since 1990. She has been a tour guide on four continents for 17 years and has accompanied high-class trips through North and Central America, Australia, southern Africa and Europe. Since 2001 she has been a writer and photographer for TravelWorldOnline and writes as a freelance journalist for DIE ZEIT Online and travel magazines such as 360 ° Medien, TRIVAGO, Expedia, travador, etc. She also writes travel guides about destinations and enjoyment destinations all over the world. Your guide about Canada's east was released in 2020. Petar Fuchs produced the videos on this blog as well YouTube.
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