Postcard from... Kassel
Kassel’s 17th century Wilhelmshöhe “mountain water park” in central Germany is about as close as you can get to a Baroque Disneyland. It boasts an imposing Hercules statue which towers above a massive 350-yard-long man-made waterfall, a fairytale castle, romantic gardens and a geyser-like “Grand Fountain”, which relies on water pressure alone to spurt a 150-foot high jet into the air.
The complex, which the Landgrave of Hesse started building in 1689, has been described as the “most grandiose combination of landscape and architecture that Baroque ever dared”, yet many in Kassel, located about 250km north-east of Cologne, used to complain that Europe’s largest hillside park had not been afforded the kind of recognition that it deserved. Germany’s ill-fated Kaiser Wilhelm II was the last person to give the park any kudos when he made its castle his official summer residence at the turn of the 20th century before plunging Europe into the catastrophe of the Great War.
UNESCO has now come to the rescue: on 23 June the park was put on the list of the organisation’s world heritage sites where it now ranks alongside Sicily’s Mount Etna and Japan’s Mount Fiji as place of global cultural importance. The accolade has come as a welcome boost to Kassel, which used to rely mainly on it famous Documenta contemporary art shows to attract visitors – yet they only take place every five years.
Kassel is now covered in posters celebrating the park’s new status. Even the city’s mayor, Bertram Hilgen, describes it as the “crowing recognition” of the park’s architectural worth.
- 1 VMAs 2015: Was Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus' awkward acceptance put-down real or staged?
- 2 If you're not already angry about the migrant crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
- 3 Rules on 5p plastic bags likely to lead to arguments at the check-out
- 4 I like Corbyn, but let's face it: we don't need another white man at the head of a political party
- 5 Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
VMAs 2015: Was Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus' awkward acceptance put-down real or staged?
Bank Holiday Monday opening times: Are Tesco, Asda and other supermarkets open today?
Rules on 5p plastic bags likely to lead to arguments at the check-out
The nine most warmongering countries in the world revealed
VMAs 2015: Kanye West runs for president, Nicki Minaj calls out Miley Cyrus and the list of winners in full
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will be working with a 8 st...
£8000 - £12000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A unique opportunity has arisen ...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An exceptional opportunity has arisen for a pa...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This provider of designer kitch...