Thanks to the many creative minds that have lived and worked in Hessen, the state's cultural landscape is broadly diversified. Monuments from bygone eras bear witness to the fascinating history that is reappraised in museums, while worlds of experience enchant visitors with sensory games and invite them on scientific exploration tours. Sounds exciting? We think so too! That's why we're introducing you to one highlight in each of ten different cities in this impressive state.

Haus zur Goldenen Waage (Frankfurt a.M.)

Freudenberg Castle (Wiesbaden)

Room shape for Fulda (Fulda)

Philippsruhe Castle (Hanau)

Weather park (Offenbach)

Mathildenhöhe (Darmstadt)

GRIMMWELT (Kassel)

Papius Palace (Wetzlar)

Historic City Hall (Marburg)

Mathematikum (Giessen)

1

Frankfurt am Main: The House of the Golden Scales

What is it?

One of the most beautiful and oldest half-timbered houses in downtown Frankfurt from the early Middle Ages, lovingly and authentically rebuilt and preserved.

What is the cultural significance of the Haus zur Goldenen Waage for Hesse?

Our journey through the highlights of the diverse cultural landscape begins in the Middle Ages. The first documents in which the historic building was mentioned date from this era. Its present appearance, however, was significantly shaped by the van Hamel family, who bought the house in 1605. Abraham van Hamel was a confectioner and spice trader - and fortunately this tradition has been preserved. Today, the Goldene Waage offers delicious treats (such as Frankfurter Kränzchen) as a coffee house - and of course they taste all the better in authentic surroundings. Strengthened, we then go on an exploration tour through the house, where there are many historical exhibits to admire. 

Here in the video you get a taster tour of the Haus zur Goldenen Waage:

Do not miss!

A trip to the "roof terrace" of the house, the affectionately named Belvederchen. A fascinating place of contrasts, where old architecture meets the modernity of downtown Frankfurt. 

You can find more information about Frankfurt here: A perfect weekend in Frankfurt am Main

2

Wiesbaden: Freudenberg Castle

What is it?

Once a representative villa in a park, then an officer's mess, later a place of work for the United Pentecoastal Church and finally, since 1993, a field of experience for the development of the senses and thinking, which is open to curious visitors. 

What is the cultural significance of Freudenberg Castle for Hesse?

Since the initiative of Matthias Schenk and Beatrice Dastis Schenk, the society Natur & Kunst gemeinnütziger e.V. has taken over the castle and the park, something great and truly unique has developed here. The idea is to let the child within play and explore - no matter what age. The entire grounds and the castle are continuously being redesigned and renovated, and everywhere there are opportunities to encounter all the senses - with oneself, the environment or others. There is no right or wrong here, only pure curiosity and fun in exploring, feeling and playing. A concept that has attracted attention worldwide and prompted a rethink. 

Here in the video you get a first impression of Freudenberg Castle:

Do not miss!

There is a forest kiosk on the premises, where delicious crepes are offered. And those who still have some time, stay until the kiosk turns into a flying circus in the evening. Colorful lights, fireflies, wine, beer, guitar music - and all in the best company. 

You can find more information about Wiesbaden here: Wiesbaden: A hot place

3

Fulda: Room shape for Fulda

What is it? 

The Raumform für Fulda is not a special place, a museum or a monument. Rather, it is an artistic installation that inspires viewers to explore the former monastery district of Fulda with a new perspective.

What is the cultural significance of the spatial form for Fulda for Hesse?

The spatial form for Fulda was created by the respected artist Franz Erhard Walther - and with the utmost conviction. Five type plates are to be found here. Recipients decide how to read them, where to direct their gaze, and so the artwork is based on the interplay of space, place, time, duration and the given terms. 

With the installation Raumform für Fulda, visitors experience the palace garden and the abbey district in a completely different way than they are used to © HA Hessen Tourismus/Florian Trykowski

Do not miss!

On the bastion wall next to the collegiate church is another work by Franz Erhard Walther: the four words "The Wholeness of the Fragment," which invite those interested to form their own thoughts and interpret the work in their own way. 

4

Hanau: Philippsruhe Castle

What is it?


Philippsruhe Palace is often called the "little Versailles on the Main". It is the oldest Baroque palace east of the Rhine, built on the French model. 

What is the cultural significance of Philippsruhe Palace for Hesse?

On the one hand, Philippsruhe Palace is very imposing. Its rich ornamentation and magnificent halls invite you on a journey to years long past - and this journey is worthwhile, the history of the castle is rich. Particularly noteworthy: it once belonged to Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, who eventually generously left it to his sister Pauline. She, in turn, sold it and wrote an advertisement for it in a Paris newspaper, which made it possible to reconstruct the castle's interior very well. In addition, there are many testimonies of the later owners Count Frederick William and his wife Anna.

Do not miss!

The castle also has a lot to offer in terms of cuisine. Delicious regional dishes are served in the vaulted cellar - and in summer it's worth taking a trip to the castle terrace, where you can enjoy the view of the Main River while sipping delicious drinks.

5

Offenbach: Weather park

What is it?

A theme park and open-air museum where visitors can learn and experience how weather phenomena are created.

What is the cultural significance of the Wetterpark for Hesse?

Offenbach is the weather capital of Germany. This is where the German Weather Service (DWD) is located, and the weather park is just the right place to learn about the interaction of sun, air and water. In the theme park, for example, you can create a tornado with your own hands. 

The visitor center is embedded in the Buchhügel recreation area, which can be explored by bike or on foot. Whether in the fresh air or in the museum rooms - you're in the right place if you've always wanted to know which way the wind blows. 

Do not miss!

Every year, the Wetterpark hosts the Blue Hour, an open-air festival that surprises visitors with a changing program. 

6

Darmstadt: Mathildenhöhe

What is it?

The Mathildenhöhe in Darmstadt is an ensemble of impressive architecture and art, which was significantly shaped by the artists creating in the artists' colony. 

What is the cultural significance of Mathildenhöhe for Hesse?

Mathildenhöhe is an internationally admired place of art and culture. At the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century, distinctive buildings were created here, where many universal artists and members of the Darmstadt Artists' Colony worked on their works. The exhibits of the Art Nouveau era created here had a great influence on the development of future designs in Germany. 

This is particularly noticeable in the first house of the architect Peter Behrens. After he had furnished it, he opened it as an exhibition to inspire visitors with his designs in 1901. 

Do not miss!

A visit to the Wedding Tower on Mathildenhöhe - the landmark of Darmstadt. It was designed by the architect Joseph Maria Olbrich and is also called the "five-finger tower" because of its special shape. Today, lovers still say "I do" here. The registry office is located in the former prince's room of the wedding tower.

7

Kassel: GRIMMWELT

What is it?

A museum where everything revolves around the creation and life of the famous fairy tale writers Brothers Grimm.

What is the cultural significance of the GRIMMWELT for Hesse?

The Brothers Grimm had an enormous influence on Germany in terms of cultural history. On the one hand, as avid letter writers, they were important networkers of their time, and on the other hand, they entertained broad masses with their Children's and Household Tales. Hand copies of their works with handwritten commentaries are on display in the GRIMMWELT Kassel, among other places. In addition, testimonies of their work on the German dictionary, which they started in Kassel, and a playful world of experience. 

Do not miss!

Always take a look at the special exhibitions. The GRIMMWELT Kassel inspires with its great ideas, sometimes the staff transforms the exhibition rooms into a fairy tale world where you become part of the story yourself. Exciting!

8

Wetzlar: Papius Palace

What is it?

Once a noble palace, today a museum where European residential culture from the Renaissance and Baroque periods is authentically presented. 

What is the cultural significance of Palais Papius for Hesse?

The Palais in the heart of Wetzlar is a unique exhibition space where, thanks to the collecting passion of honorary citizen and former pediatrician Dr. Irmgard von Lemmers-Danforth, exhibits of upscale living culture from the 16th to 18th centuries are displayed in an authentic atmosphere. Here, visitors get an impression of how the well-off sections of society lived in the days when emperors and kings still ruled. An interesting potpourri of furniture, small crafts, ceramics, sculptures and tapestries.

In the video you can get a glimpse of the Palais Papius:

Do not miss!

In the banquet hall there is a selection of cabinet cabinets - a special piece of furniture in which objects from nature were collected at that time to present them to guests and friends during a conversation. 

9

Marburg: Historic City Hall

What is it?

A beautiful town hall with many lovely details on the busy market square of Marburg. 

What is the cultural significance of the town hall for Hesse?

Marburg's town hall dates back to the 16th century and is a picture-perfect testimony of times gone by in the heart of the Hessian city. The Gothic building with richly decorated Renaissance tower stands on the market square of the upper town, surrounded by picturesque half-timbered houses. A really beautiful photo motif! 

Marburg's town hall still forms the center of urban life in this city of 80,000 inhabitants in Hesse © HA Hessen Tourismus/Florian Trykowski

Do not miss!

Come to the Historic Town Hall on the hour. There is a rooster perched above the historic town hall clock, which beats its wings as soon as the big hand is at 0. 

10

Giessen: Mathematikum

What is it?

The Mathematikum in Giessen is the world's first mathematical experience museum.

What is the cultural significance of the Mathematikum for Hesse?

We all know how reluctant the general public is to engage with mathematics. The Mathematikum in Giessen is different - visitors beam from ear to ear as they stroll through the halls, eager to experiment. This is most likely due to the fact that the focus here is not on formulas or equations, but on phenomena that can be experienced first-hand. Build a pyramid out of two blocks that seem unsuitable at first glance or wrap yourself in an oversized soap bubble. Really sounds like fun, doesn't it? "Mathematics makes you happy," it says on the carpet in the entrance area - and obviously there's a lot to it.  

Do not miss!

If you want to take away your children's fear of mathematics, take a trip to the Mini-Mathematikum. Here, the smallest ones can puzzle, experiment and feel in a colorful and child-friendly atmosphere - and slowly and playfully approach the subject. 

Cover photo: With Philippsruhe Palace, Hanau has a baroque gem © HA Hessen Tourismus/Florian Trykowski

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