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 statue of Hercules Kassel Wilhelmshöhe firm and can’t move. We are being pushed. Down the stairs. And these are steep. 539 steps from the top of Karlsberg along the Great Cascade and always squeezed between rock slabs that limit the path to the left and right. Driven by thousands of visitors who want the same thing we do. See the Kassel water features in the Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe.
First of all, we are shocked! We do not see anything from the water that pours down the mountain from the pipes just centimeters away, nor from the view of the city of Kassel, which lies below us. Crowds in front of and next to us prevent this. And it doesn't look like that will change, because reversing is impossible.
In the Kassel mountain park
We have no choice but to let ourselves drift. Therefore, we descend in the crowd of visitors to the Neptune plateau. The stairs end here. The number and amount of them shot me pretty hard in the legs up to this stop. My knees are shaking as I stand in front of the baroque part of the fountain with its faun and centaur. I can hear the roar of the water from their horns. Here I see the water correctly for the first time.
The water, which is collected in reservoirs on the mountain, seeks the way down into the valley via steps. It is rainwater that is collected for this spectacle. Therefore, the water games only take place twice a week. Every Wednesday and Sunday and public holiday at 14.30:1 p.m. between May 3st and October XNUMXrd. In between, the water supply has to be replenished in order to start the Hercules water features on the way to Wilhelmshöhe Castle.
Baroque Water Park Hesse
Instead of a palace, as many of his prince colleagues had built during the absolutist era, Landgrave Carl had a water garden built on Karlsberg in Kassel Wilhelmshöhe. The architect Giovanni Francesco Guerniero from Italy created the upper part of the water park until 1714 and completed it with the erection of the statue of Hercules on the octagon at the top of the Karlsberg. A landscape axis opens below the Neptune plateau and extends into the city of Kassel. An outlook that is second to none! Then for a generation there was an end to the expansion of the water features. 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 Friedrich II who opened the central axis, which continues into Wilhelmshöher Allee into the city.
Visiting the water features is exhausting
We now follow the crowds of visitors a little more leisurely, because the paths are wider 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 again. We 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 and fills channels that carry it further down.
You need that for a visit
- Comfortable shoes*where you can safely walk on stairs and forest floor.
- A Water bottle *, because it gets very hot in summer and there is no way to buy something to drink
- A Backpack*where you put everything you need for two hours
- Picnic accessories *, because on the meadow below the waterfalls you can relax after the water games
This time we take the chance and line up in front of the majority of the visitors on our way to the Teufelsbrücke, which in its arch shape is reminiscent of a bridge in the Alps that bears the same name. Below that, the water masses plummet ten meters.
This section of the park is already a legacy of Landgrave Wilhelm IX, the son of Frederick II and later Elector Wilhelm I. The English Garden and Landscape Park in Kassel Wilhelmshöhe was created under him. The nature of the park is included in the design, and a second water supply is needed to operate this part of the water features.
Bergpark - the Dehio cascade
Particularly beautiful, because it looks natural, we find the Dehio cascade, which leads the water down steps and boulders into the valley. Surrounded by deciduous trees, it splashes down the mountain like a stream. However, this vision of a stream is interrupted shortly afterwards by a waterfall over the demolition of the aqueduct. The water plunges thirty meters down here and offers a sight that takes your breath away.
The highlight is the fountain
All of the water gathers in the fountain pond behind the castle, where it brings about the high point of the fountains in Kassel Wilhelmshöhe via a complex system: the most powerful fountain in a garden in Europe that shoots up to 50 meters without any technical aids. The cheers of the audience gathered by the pond three centuries ago still pay tribute to the garden architects for a masterpiece of baroque horticultural art. The tension that has built up over almost two hours is discharged 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 water features 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.
You can get help here
- 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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