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Germany’s 16 states: Hesse

  • 10 reasons to love Hesse

    Exquisite timber-framed houses

    There are some 400,000 timber-framed buildings in Hesse. A lot is done to preserve them. Their facades are the workmanship of medieval craftsmen, who with wood and clay created something sustainable and durable. Visitors can spend an idyllic night in some timber-framed houses like the Guild building on the market of Fritzlar.

  • 10 reasons to love Hesse

    Grimm’s Fairytale

    Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm are known the world over for their collection of 86 children’s stories, like “Little Red Riding Hood” or “Sleeping Beauty”. Born in Hanau, they later, as students in Marburg, developed an interest for linguistics and for the 1848 Revolution. In Kassel they concentrated on their effort on releasing standard setting works on German grammar and a German dictionary.

  • 10 reasons to love Hesse

    Art for everyone

    Every five years Kassel hosts the world’s most important contemporary art exhibition, the Documenta. Every time the town on the Fulda river purchases a work of art, like this bronze sculpture, featuring a large granite boulder. This man-made tree by Guiseppe Penone is located on the edge of the Karlsaue, one of the most attractive inner-city parks in Germany.

  • 10 reasons to love Hesse

    Baroque water features

    Powered by gravity as much as 350, 000 liters of water run down the cascades, and visitors can walk along side the flow. In 2013 the Bergpark Kassel Wilhelmshöhe was awarded World Heritage status by UNESCO. The landscape park with the water features and Hercules statue was created at the beginning of the 18th century.

  • 10 reasons to love Hesse

    Enjoy Hesse’s landscapes

    Green countryside is always close by. Primeval forests grow here, like the nature park Kellerwald-Edersee in northern Hesse. A century ago one of the biggest reservoir lakes in Germany measuring an impressive 27 kilometers (16 mi) was created here. Other landscapes worth visiting are the Odenwald in the south, and to the east the Rhön with Hesse’s highest peak the 950 meter (3116 ft) Wasserkuppe.

  • 10 reasons to love Hesse

    All the world’s a stage

    Stiftsruine Bad Hersfeld is regarded as the biggest Romanesque monastery ruin in the world. Every summer it is turned into an open-air stage to host a theatre festival. Architect Frei Otto, famous for his roof construction in Munich’s Olympic Stadium, built a mobile roof for the church ruin. Deployed in a matter of minutes, the 1600 strong audience is always protected from any wind or weather.

  • 10 reasons to love Hesse

    An art noveau marriage

    On the Mathildenhöhe in Darmstadt the so-called Hochzeitsturm or Wedding Tower reaches into the sky like a hand. Around 1900 Darmstadt became a center of the Art Noveau movement. To this day the “Wedding Tower” landmark is dedicated to the art movement’s patron, Ernest Louis, Grand Duke of Hesse. Some 500 weddings still take place every year in this church.

  • 10 reasons to love Hesse

    Be pampered in style

    The state capital Wiesbaden due to its many hot mineral springs has been a renowned spa town since the 19th century. Russian aristocracy in particular used to like to mill around the Kurhaus or spa house which also boasts Europe’s longest colonnade. The Russian orthodox Saint Elizabeth church in was built on Wiesbaden’s Neroberg hill around this time.

  • 10 reasons to love Hesse

    Frankfurt Skyline

    Frankfurt’s skyline comprises hundreds of skyscrapers. One that stands out from the crowd is the headquarters of the European Central Bank. For critics, it’s a monstrosity representing the follies of capitalism. Others consider it a proud hallmark of Hesse’s largest city.

  • 10 reasons to love Hesse

    Original and digital Goethe

    Frankfurt’s Städel Museum celebrated recently its 200th anniversary. The institution doesn’t just boast a rich history however; it’s also fully embraced the digital age. You can admire many masterpieces of the museum online. One of its most prized paintings, “Goethe in the Roman Campagna” by Johann Tischbein will be among the digital collection.

    Author: Ille Simon


Hesse lies in the middle of Germany and is a state of contrasts: idyllic towns with half-timbered houses in northern and southern Hesse on the one hand, and, on the other, the famous skyline of skyscrapers in Frankfurt. You don’t have to be an architectural expert to be inspired by both worlds.

Frankfurt’s new Old Town 

Destroyed by bombing during World War II, Frankfurt’s old town center reappeared in 2018: the narrow lanes were reconstructed, with quaint facades to the left and right, behind which faithfully rebuilt old townhouses alternate with new buildings designed with a historical look. There are many museums and shops along the route from the Römer to the cathedral, which kings and emperors trod on the way to their coronations. 

  • Frankfurt: Old town, my foot!

    The heart of the city

    In addition to historical reconstructions of the medieval buildings that once stood between Römerberg square and Frankfurt Cathedral,  modern buildings have erected.  Frankfurt has revived its new old town center, including narrow lanes, fountains, timber-frame buildings and gold highlights.  .

  • Frankfurt: Old town, my foot!

    Come in!

    Frankfurt’s new old town consists of 35 buildings, among them 15 reconstructions and 20 new builds. The mixture of old and new is based on old city maps and ground plans. In the narrow lanes, visitors find shops, restaurants, cafes and museums.

  • Frankfurt: Old town, my foot!

    Frankfurt Old Town, 1945

    Before its destruction during World War II, Frankfurt’s city center was one of the largest and loveliest historical districts in Germany. It was marked by buildings from a wide variety of eras, among them the Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Neoclassical. Its reconstruction has cost about 200 million euros.

  • Frankfurt: Old town, my foot!

    Old Coronation Route

    Now visitors can once again stroll along the historical Coronation Route between Frankfurt Cathedral, officially the Imperial Cathedral of St. Bartholomew, and the Römer, Frankfurt’s famous town hall. In the past, the new kings and emperors were hailed as they walked this route after being crowned in the cathedral.

  • Frankfurt: Old town, my foot!

    House of the Golden Scales

    In 2005, when discussion began on which historical buildings should be reconstructed, the House of the Golden Scales was near the top of the list. This magnificent merchant’s house was built in 1618/19 opposite the cathedral, at the beginning of the Coronation Route.

  • Frankfurt: Old town, my foot!

    Reconstruction down to the last detail

    Abraham van Hamel had it built. A wealthy confectioner and spice trader, he spent a great deal to build his business and home in the very finest location. Present-day builders also dug deep into their pockets to reconstruct it: the House of the Golden Scales is the most expensive in Frankfurt’s new old town, and certainly also one of the most beautiful.

  • Frankfurt: Old town, my foot!

    The Hühnermarkt

    This small square, whose name means Chicken Market, is the heart of the new Frankfurt old town. The houses on it have such prosaic names as “Eichhorn” (squirrel) and “Goldene Schere” (golden scissors). The young Goethe was fascinated by the bustling activity on this square. He watched them from the window of his aunt, who lived here on the Hühnermarkt.

  • Frankfurt: Old town, my foot!

    The return of the Stoltze Fountain

    The fountain on the Hühnermarkt is, however, dedicated to another writer, Friedrich Stoltze (1816 -1891), who wrote poetry in Frankfurt dialect. The house where he was born stood nearby. After the bombings in 1944, the fountain was removed from the damaged square and erected elsewhere. Now it has returned to its original location.

  • Frankfurt: Old town, my foot!

    The merchant house “Goldenes Lämmchen”

    Frankfurt has been a trade fair city since the 13th century, and its residents were active and successful traders. In the past, especially magnificent trade fair buildings stood on the lane known as “Hinter dem Lämmchen.” The most beautiful of them is again the “Goldenes Lämmchen” (golden lambkin). The history of its construction reaches back to the 14th century.

  • Frankfurt: Old town, my foot!

    The new popular favorite

    After six years of building, the reconstructed old town opened to the public in May, 2018, and since then tourists have been flocking to the new DomRömer Quarter, as the project is officially called. Visitors from the Far East in particular are enthusiastic about the flair of the new old town in Frankfurt’s city center.

  • Frankfurt: Old town, my foot!

    The town hall on Römerberg Square

    The town hall on Römerberg Square, called the Römer for short, was and remains a major landmark in the city. The building with three medieval gables was destroyed in World War II, but rebuilt as early as the 1950s. The Römer is a great place to start exploring Frankfurt’s new old town.

    Author: Kerstin Schmidt (ms)


Active holidays on the River Lahn

The Lahn is a tributary of the Rhine that is very popular with people who like to holiday on the water. An especially lovely section lies in southern Hesse, according to DW’s travel magazine Check-in host, Nicole Frölich: the romantic Lahn valley. 

Grimm World in Kassel

The Brothers Grimm collected many of the folk tales for which they became known worldwide in northern Hesse around the city of Kassel. The city has devoted an entire world to their work. 

Braunfels Castle

A medieval castle with many towers and bay windows sits on a basalt hilltop high above the town of Braunfels. Over the centuries, its enthusiastic owners kept adding new Baroque and Gothic revival elements, creating a distinctive fairy tale castle in the Middle Hesse region. 

Your trip to Germany

Are you looking for recommendations for your visit to Germany? We’ve got them: Tips for Germany – state by state.

Article source: https://www.dw.com/en/germany-s-16-states-hesse/a-45215340?maca=en-rss-en-ger-1023-xml-atom