Top 5 Things to See in Kassel, Germany

  1. Orangerie

Built in the early 1700s, the Orangerie of Kassel sits in Karlsue park. The beautiful baroque building functions as an astronomy and physical cabinet and features as astronomical garden. It took on its current role after being partially damaged and rebuilt during the turmoil of World War II.

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Lowenburg Castle, 2013. c. Leah Putz

  1. Lowenburg Castle

If you want to see what a quintessential Medieval knight’s castle looks like, head over to Lowenburg Castle. Though it’s construction was in the 18th century, it was built following the style of the Middle Ages on the exterior and has a baroque interior. There were lion statues decorating the castle- an ode to it’s name which stands for ‘lion castle.’ Today it stands as a museum, allowing visitors a glimpse into 18th century life in Germany.

Lions in Lowenburg Castle feat. me, 2013. c. Leah Putz

 

  1. Bruder Grimm-Museum

Fairy tales lovers must check out the Burder-Grimm Museum in Kassel. This is a powerhouse for all things related to the brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm and the fairy tales they collected and published in 1812. The exhibit here houses art installations, original copies of the fairy tales, hands-on activities, and more!

 

Collection of photos in Bergpark Wilhelmshohe, 2013. c. Leah Putz

  1. Schloss Wilhelmshohe

Schloss Wilhelmshohe, which today operates as a museum and art gallery, is an immaculate example of Neoclassical architecture. It’s location on a large and beautiful park lands to its striking appearance. My journey throughout the ‘Bergpark Wilhelmshohe’ was one my favorite parts of being in Germany! This park is one of the most beautiful parks I’ve ever seen- if not the most beautiful!

Herkules Monument, 2013. c. Leah Putz

  1. Herkules Monument

Kassel’s very own UNESCO World Heritage site! A copper statue of Greek God Herakles (German Herkules) stand on top of a pyramid, which is on top of an octagon, which is on top of a large hill overlooking all of Kassel! The view from here is astonishing, and well worth the long climb up!

View of Kassel from the Herkules Monument, 2013. c. Leah Putz

Schloss Heidelberg

Nestled into the hills of Western Germany sits the medieval town of Heidelberg. The town is home to Germany’s oldest university, Heidelberg University, which was founded in 1386, and is a popular tourist destination as well. Tourist flock to the Altstadt (aka the Old town) to admire the baroque architecture, wander through the cobble-stoned streets, and see the imposing Heidelberg Castle.

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Me delighting in what I called a ‘Hobbit door’ in the Altstadt, 2013. c. Leah Putz

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View of Schloss Heidlelberg from the Altstadt, 2013. c. Leah Putz

For me, the castle was the main attraction. Heidelberg Castle is situation high on a bluff, overlooking the town, and has stood there since the 1200s. Throughout the hundreds of years it has existed, it’s been damaged and rebuilt many times by fire, weather, and war, but has ultimately stood the test of time.

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Powder Tower, destroyed in 1689 by the French, 2013. c. Leah Putz

The castle ruins are actually comprised of two different castles, the latter being an expansion built nearly a hundred years after the construction of the first castle. The joint castles were turned into a proper fortress in 1401, when King Ruprecht became king of Germany.

The view of Heidelberg Altstadt from the castle, 2013. c. Leah Putz

Due to the length of time the castle has stood and how often sections had to be rebuilt, there are varying forms of architecture that meld together beautiful. The castle maintains a cohesive look due to the various sections are all built using the same color stone, which gives it a unique red-toned look. Germany’s history is also displayed in the castle, as some of the main buildings in the interior have countless statues depicting many of Germany’s past kings and rulers.

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Wall of Schloss Heidelberg and statues of kings, 2013. c. Leah Putz

To this day, I think Heidelberg Castle is the most majestic structure I’ve had the pleasure of exploring. There is an overwhelming sense of beauty and history in this ancient structure, and if you find yourself in West Germany, I highly recommend making a stop in the captivating city of Heidelberg.

6 Reasons a Fairy-Tale Fan Should Visit Germany

As a lover of the Grimm Fairy Tales, my time spent in Germany was wrapped up in imagining I was inside one of their stories. Marburg and Kassel are to this day some of my favorite cities I have visited, and I look forward to going back to Germany one day to explore more of the places I’ve compiled on this list. Without further ado, here I present 6 reasons that a Grimm Fairy Tale fan must travel to Germany!

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Marburg, 2013. c. Leah Putz

 

  1. Neuschwanstein Castle

If Neuschwanstein Castle looks familiar to you it’s not surprising, as Disney used the castle for inspiration when building Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty castle. The castle’s opulence, as well as its high position overlooking the beautiful countryside, make it easy to imagine you’re inside a fairy-tale! If you don’t have a chance to visit Neuschwanstein specifically, it’s okay. West Germany is covered in castles, and any one of them is a magical experience to tour.

  1. Marburg

Nestled in West-Central Germany sits Marburg, the city where the Grimm brothers collected many of their stories. Both Marburg and the brothers left a lasting impression on one another. Jacob and Wilhelm studied at Marburg University, where their appetite for literature and culture was awakened.

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Me in Marburg, 2013. c. Leah Putz

 

  1. Rapunzel’s Tower

Jouney to Trendelburg to stay at Hotel Burg and see Rapunzel’s Tower! Rumor is that Rapunzel was locked away in the very tower that stands connected to Trendelburg Castle today, and you can climb to the top and catch a far-reaching view of the German countryside. The castle doubles as a hotel as well, complete with a restaraunt and spa, making it a complete package of all you could ever want!

 

  1. “Talking Mirror” in Lohr am Main

“Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?” Any fairy tale fan would recognize this signature line from ‘Snow White.’ According to legend, the story of ‘Snow White’ stems from the real-life relationship between Maria Sophia Margaretha Catherina von und zu Erthal and her strained relationship with her ‘wicked’ step-mother, Claudia Elizabeth con Reichenstein. Claudia owned an ornate mirror from Lohr, who’s mirror’s have the reputation of always speaking the truth. The mirror worked it’s way into ‘Snow White’ as the magic mirror on the wall. This mirror, known as the “Talking Mirror,” is available to be seen at the Spessart Museum in Lohr am Main.

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Kassel, 2013. c. Leah Putz

 

  1. Kassel

Kassel is the epicenter of all things Grimm. The brothers lived there and worked at the Hessen State Library for many years. Today, there are many reminders in Kassel marking the city as the Grimm hometown, including a Brothers Grimm Monument, guided Grimm and fairy-tale tours, and the Bruder Grimm Museum, which houses an original copy of the Fairy-Tales, which is annotated by Jacob and Wilhelm.
1.Fairy-Tale Road Trip

Rent a car and hop onto the road to follow a 370 mile route running from Hanau, Germany to Bremen, Germany, covering a large chunk of Western Germany. The route is dappled with historic sites from the lives of Jacob and Wilhem Grimm, as well as sites that may have served as inspiration for their collection of Fairy-Tales. If you coast along this path, you’ll be able to see not only the fairytale gems on this list and many more, but the beauty of the German countryside as well!

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Kassel, 2013. c. Leah Putz