Darmstadt Things to Do

  • Haus Deiters, Darmstadt
    Haus Deiters, Darmstadt
    by antistar
  • Platanenhain, Darmstadt
    Platanenhain, Darmstadt
    by antistar
  • History House, Darmstadt
    History House, Darmstadt
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Best Rated Things to Do in Darmstadt

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    Russian Chapel, Darmstadt's link to the last Tzar

    by Trekki Updated Oct 10, 2013

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    The cupola cross of Russian Chapel
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    Russian Tzar Nicholas II married princess Princess Alix of Hesse (Alexandra Feodorovna) on November 26, 1894. Because he did not want to miss attending Orthodox services during his visits at Alix' family, he had commissioned the building of this chapel. Between 1897 and 1899 it was constructed by Leontij Nikolajewitsch Nebnois (Louis N. Benois), architect from St. Petersburg and grandfather of Peter Ustinov. The chapel is devoted to Mary Magdalene, with a big mosaic of her above the entrance portal.

    But the chapel is not just remains of the days of Tzar Nicholas and Alexandra’s visits. It is still the religious centre of Darmstadt’s Orthodox people. Service is held regularly. It is possible to visit the church, but it is expected to give a small donation for restoring. Given the magnificent interior and exterior, minimum 2-3 Euro is considered appropriate. A lot of the exterior has been renovated over the years. I remember to have seen it in 1989, when I first came to Darmstadt; these days it looked not as splendid as today. And today a blue sky lets the golden cupola with the crosses gleam like liquid gold.

    Photography inside is not allowed. But the website below shows the marvellous interior in detailed photos. It shall go without saying that these photos are copyright protected although there seems to be no mentioning of this.

    Interesting side note:
    Princess Alix was a granddaughter of Queen Victoria of England. After her marriage, she changed her name into Alexandra Fjodorowna and was the last Tsarina of Russia.

    Directions:
    Mathildenhöhe is located northeast of Darmstadt’s city centre.
    By car: drive direction Dieburg (which is east of Darmstadt) and follow the brown signs to “Mathildenhöhe”. But be aware that parking up there can be a nightmare.
    By public transport: at Luisenplatz, take bus “F” and exit at Mathildenhöhe.

    Location of Russian Chapel on Google Maps

    © Ingrid D., 2006; update October 2013: wording only.

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    St. Ludwig – the most amazing church

    by Trekki Updated Oct 16, 2013

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    Inside St. Ludwig Church
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    Of all the churches in Darmstadt, St. Ludwig is the one that shall not be missed! It is Darmstadt's main Catholic Church; centrally located with five minutes walk from Luisenplatz, the city’s main square.

    The church was built early 19th century as the first roman-catholic church in Darmstadt after reformation. Which is almost 150 years later and shows how Protestant religion was dominating Darmstadt. Grand duke Ludwig I had it built by his master builder Georg Moller, who took Panthenon in Rome as archetype. In the last days of WW II, most of Darmstadt's historical town was destroyed; also St. Ludwig Church: only the walls remained. But after 1945, it was reconstructed, however, not to the old grandeur. But still: the result is amazing!

    Moller constructed the church according to the divine proportion: 35 metres in height and 43 metres in diametre. The 28 pillars end in Corinthian capitals and are covered with marble. The only light source of the rotunda is a small opening of 8 m at its apex, with the symbols of Trinity (God's eye, Christ's cross and pigeon). The cupola is painted in light blue, which really gives the illusion of an open sky. In contrast, the walls are painted in dark red, in smear technique. The only decorations are 18 stations of the Way of the Cross and a wood carving of Maria in the rear, set into the walls.

    The whole interior is very simple, which adds to the magic feeling being inside; a good place to sit down for a while in serenity and peace.

    Location of St. Ludwig church on Google Maps

    © Ingrid D., 2006; update October 2013: wording only.

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    Prinz Georg Palais: finest porcelain collection

    by Trekki Updated Oct 16, 2013

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    Prinz Georg Palais - Porzellanschl����chen
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    Inside Prince Georg Rococo Garden a little house is located. It is called Prince Georg Palais and was built by Louis Remy de la Fosse as a summer palace for Landgrave Ernst Ludwig in 1710.

    Since 1899, the palais exhibits the porcelain collection of the Grand Dukes of Hesse and Rhine. It was always a private collection by the Duke's family and comprises unique examples from every step in historical development of court porcelain, bone china and faïence art, since early 18th century. Therefore, almost every stylistic development of porcelain can be seen in the museum. The collection is unique in another sense as well: a large number of objects are on display, which were gifts to the Dukes’ family through their dynastic and diplomatic ties to Russia and England.
    All of the most important porcelain manufactures are represented: Meissen, Frankenthal, Nymphenburg, Ludwigsburg, Vienna, St. Petersburg, Wedgewood and Sèvres. The core of the collection however is of Kelsterbach manufacture, which was founded by Landgrave Ludwig VIII of Hesse-Darmstadt in 1761.

    The collection is on display on the two floors of Prince-Georg-Palais, nicely arranged in the bright rooms. The early years of the collection are dedicated to Rococo and Baroque figurines of music, painting and hunting scenes and scenes of daily life. The later years are more of tableware and vases. Information next to the collection pieces explains the different manufactures history and their changing logos over the years, however in German only.

    Photography is not allowed inside.

    Opening hours: Fridays to Sundays: 10:00 – 17:00; closed from November 4th to March 31st.
    Admission fee: 4,00 € (Kids and holder of Darmstadt Card: 2,50 €); prices as of October 2013.

    Make sure you also visit the little teahouses and aviaries which were once part of the whole ensemble during the dukes’ days.

    Location of Prinz Georg Palais on Google Maps

    © Ingrid D., 2006; update October 2013: wording only.

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    Waldspirale - Hundertwasser house

    by Trekki Updated Oct 16, 2013

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    Hundertwasserhaus - Waldspirale, Darmstadt
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    Yes, Friedensreich Hundertwasser also built one of his typical houses here. It is called Waldspirale (translates into something like forest spiral). It is said to be the 7th building in Germany by Friedensreich Hundertwasser and it was completed in 2000 with 105 appartments, playground for kids, an artificial lake and some restaurants and bars. When it was opened, it looked quite naked, but now, after several years, the plants and shrubs have grown also on walls and stairs. None of the 1000 windows is identical, no straight lines are used. It has three onion domes, and at the highest point 12 floors. Well, to be precise, it is not a spiral, but more a hairpin shape. But does that matter?

    The little restaurant on the southwestern side served, excellent Caffee Latte (for 2,50 €, mid 2007) and it was nice to sit on their terrace and look at every tiny detail.
    And there was also a little shop that sold everything of Hundertwasser style, like photos, books, calendars etc.

    Update August 2010:
    The cafè is gone, deteriorating. Same for the shop. Sad. I really hope that new tenants decide to open up their businesses here.

    Other houses of Hundertwasser, shown by VTers are:
    Mira's page about Bad Blumau, Austria, a whole resort made by Hundertwasser,
    Christine's newest page about Lutherstadt Wittenberg and the Hundertwasser school.

    Directions:
    By car: A5, exit Weiterstadt, follow the signs for Kranichstein, and at the crossings of Frankfurter Str. with Carl Schenck Ring, follow the signs for Waldspirale.
    By tram: from Luisenplatz, tram 7/8 or 6, and exit at Rhoenring. Turn right after the Esso gas station.

    Location of Waldspirale on Google Maps

    © Ingrid D., 2006; update October 2013: wording only.

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    Luisenplatz - Darmstadt's main square

    by Trekki Updated May 4, 2014

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    Luisenplatz could be called Darmstadt's “heart”. The square is free of car traffic since many years. However, it is still the main public transport junction in town, because most of the street cars stop here, hence it is ideal to change street car lines. Usually it is crammed with people, street trains and busses and non-locals should be extra careful not to be run over by one the busses or street cards (and yes, I am serious here).

    The name of this square derives from Princess Louise, wife of Grand Duke Ludwig I of Hesse. The monument in the middle of the square was erected in honour of Ludwig I, but only in 1844, after his death. Darmstadt locals call the monument affectionately “Langer Lui” (referring to the tall monument; lang = long, tall).

    Slightly older is the collegiate building on the northern part of the square (of 1780).
    Like the majority of the town centre it was destroyed in WWII, but rebuilt according to the original. Today it houses the regional council.

    Directions:
    You can't miss it; it is where all street car lines stop and cross. It is visible from almost anywhere, especially when approaching the city from the west (= from the motorway).

    Location of Luisenplatz on Google Maps

    (No website link. Sadly, Darmstadt City Marketing changes its website once every year and removed the English part already many years ago).

    © Ingrid D., 2006; update October 2013: wording only, update May 2014: photo exchange.

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    Hessisches Landesmuseum: still closed (renovation)

    by Trekki Updated Oct 10, 2013

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    Main entrance of County Museum (Messel Bau)
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    Darmstadt’s Landesmuseum is an excellent museum – in theory. In practice it is closed for renovation since… yes, since 2007, which makes it now 6 years of closure up to now. The sad part is that it should be closed for four years but each year I looked on their website, there was another postponing. The current status is that it shall open again in spring 2014. We will see.

    I was inside only once, luckily just before it closed. The idea behind the collections is to combine science and art. The science section - geology, palaeontology and zoology - was marvellous, especially with respect to UNESCO listed Messel Pit close by. It also had quite nice information and explanation about nearby Odenwald GEO Nature Park’s geological history.

    On another floor I saw magnificent medieval ivory carvings, religious wooden sculptures and technical instruments of 18-19th century, such as microscopes, scales, globes, etc.

    When I was there end of 2006 they had no leaflet with floor layouts and a suggested visitor’s path through the museum. I definitely missed a kind of timeline or a logical sequence of the individual arrangements. Especially because each of the exhibits has a story and a context to it. Maybe this will change when the museum might open one day.

    The website, however, is quite good, and can serve as a kind of guide, but… it is unfortunately only in German. This was the same for most of the descriptive signs inside of the museum. Maybe this will also be improved once it might be open again.

    Following my visit in 2006 I have added some details about several exhibits I found interesting to my local customs section. If these exhibits will still be there after renovation… I don’t know.

    In 2006 entrance fees and opening hours were as follows:
    Entrance fee: 2,50 Euro
    Opening hours: Tue-Sat: 10-17, Wed: 10-20, Sun: 11-17
    (I am curious how much they charge after renovation. But by then I won’t live in Darmstadt anymore to see this. Hopefully someone else will report about the new look and exhibitions).

    Directions:
    By car: exit Darmstadt centre, and then drive east, direction Aschaffenburg. This will lead you through the city tunnel. After having alighted from the tunnel, turn left, and “halfway around” the Residence Castle, which is to your left. The museum is opposite of the castle. Parking is in the basement, however costs quite much (it is one of the hefty fee parking garages in the city).
    By streetcar/tram: take a tram that stops on Luisenplatz. Walk east, direction Residence Castle and turn left before you reach the castle. The museum is in front of you then.

    Location of Hessisches Landesmuseum on Google Maps

    © Ingrid D., 2006; update October 2013: wording only.

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    Rosenhöhe - the most charming garden

    by Trekki Updated Oct 15, 2013

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    Rosenh��he, Rosendom in late spring
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    Well - what to tell you about this magic place? Room is not enough to describe this magnificent place east of Mathildenhöhe and Artists’ Colony. When I was here first it was on a grey winter day without sun. But my imagination told me how magic it must be here in spring, summer and autumn. I came more often, during all seasons and it proved to be a magic place, throughout any season. Almost every month you can find different plants and flowers growing and blossoming here. However the loveliest season for me is spring: when the apple orchard is in full bloom (photo 3), late spring (when the wisteria are in full bloom) and summer (when the roses are intoxicating the air with their odour).

    Rosenhöhe (translates into something like rose heights) was built early 19th century by Princess Wilhelmine as an English landscape garden, hence many old and party exotic trees can still be found here. In early 20th century, Rosarium (rose garden, photo 1) was added: a separate garden, dedicated to roses of all kind. Today the “rose dome” is the landmark of this beautiful park. The roses are in bloom from May to November.

    But inside the park you can not only find roses. It is an exotic combination of fruit trees (big orchards in the eastern section of the park), redwood trees and other rare species. Scattered within the park are buildings, like a little teahouse, pavilions and a small house where grand duchess Wilhelmine lived in summer. Tucked in a corner and hidden behind large and dense trees is another specific part of the garden: the graveyard of the grand ducal family. Only shortly after his death in October 1937 most of Ernst-Ludwig’s family died in a plane crash in Ostende. They are buried here.

    The park’s main entrance in the west, which connects the park to Mathildenhöhe. It is framed by six brick pillars with lion statues on the top (photo 5), work of Darmstadt's architect Albin Müller and sculptor Bernhard Hoetger, both once part of the Artists’ Colony. But there is another charming entrance to the south (near Darmstadt’s Eastern Train Station) with a beautiful gatehouse (photo 4). This entrance was used by the duke family’s relatives, when they travelled back to their home in Russia.

    On a side note: Rosenhöhe is described in German Wikipedia (=> here). No English version, but a Russian version is available – showing again the significance, Darmstadt once had for Russians.

    Directions:
    Mathildenhöhe is located northeast of Darmstadt’s city centre.
    By car: drive direction Dieburg (which is east of Darmstadt) and follow the brown signs to “Mathildenhöhe”. But be aware that parking up there can be a nightmare.
    By public transport: at Luisenplatz, take bus “F” and exit at Mathildenhöhe.

    Location of Rosenhöhe (rose dome) on Google Maps

    © Ingrid D., 2006; update October 2013: wording only.

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    Amazingly beautiful Rococo garden

    by Trekki Updated Oct 16, 2013

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    Prettlack'sches Gartenhaus, detail
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    Prinz Georg Rococo Garden is maybe one of the most unexpected beautiful spots in Darmstadt. I did not trust my eyes when I discovered the little entrance gate (photo 3) on my walk through Herrngarten. The little Prinz-Georg-Garten is said to have been the former herb and vegetable garden of the count’s family in 16th century and, to be precise – it is still herb and vegetable garden. But what a magnificent one. It is laid out geometrically with all kinds of vegetables planted in the different beds, depending on the season. Herbs are growing along the sides. The intersections of the paths are decorated with fountains and sundials. But the most charming fountain is the one shaped like a shamrock, on the way to the very colourful building to the east. This building (photo 1 and 2), called Prettlacksches Gartenhaus, is also quite remarkable. Once it was gardener’s house and now houses a public library. The most interesting aspect of this library is that no one oversees it; it is all based on trust. So in summer the park nice place: grab a good book and recess on one of the benches or in the lovely niche (photo 3 in the background). The building itself is amazing, too. It is painted with royal and gardening symbols in trompe d’oeil technique (detail in photo 1).

    Guided tours are being offered in summer (from mid April to end October, each Sunday at 11 a.m., for a fee of 4 €). And the little nursery is for public use: fresh home grown vegetables can be bought here.

    Location of Prinz Georg Garten on Google Maps

    © Ingrid D., 2007; update October 2013: wording only.

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    A Church to Dream On

    by scottishvisitor Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Stunning Details
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    St. Maria Magdalena - Russische Kapelle = even the name conjures up distant images for me. Known locally as the Russian Chaple - this great beauty was built in 1897 - 1899 the architect Louis Benois must have been a very gifted person to create such a masterpiece. Tzar Nikolaus ll married Alexandra a German Princess from Darmstadt and wanted a Church built here so he would have some place familiar to worship when he visited Darmstadt. I could have stayed seated on the little bench forever, transfixed as if caught in a spell, absolutely charmed and enchanted by the magnificent detail. The Chaple for me seemed to jump staight out of a story book and will remain a fairy tale memory in my heart.

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    Ernst-Ludwig Haus – Art Nouveau collection

    by Trekki Updated Oct 10, 2013

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    Ernst-Ludwig Haus - pompous old entrance
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    Ernst-Ludwig-Haus is an impressive building on Darmstadt’s Mathildenhöhe and houses a museum with Art Nouveau collections of the heydays during Ernst-Ludwig’s regnancy. It was built around 1900 by architect Olbrich on the occasion of one of the Art Nouveau exhibitions taking place here. The building itself is quite simple on the northern side, where main entrance is located,, but on the southern side it looks magnificent. Broad stairs lead up to the entrance portal which is flanked by two huge statues – man and woman in the typical style of Art Nouveau. The portal itself is symmetrically decorated with two interesting figurines and lovely ornaments (detail photo 2).

    Inside the museum the Art Nouveau exhibits are distributed on the main floor. Most of the time there is another exhibition with changing themes in the basement. The Art Nouveau exhibits range from furniture to dishware and other typical objects, mostly manufactured by the colony’s artists. In addition, some models show how Mathildenhöhe looked during its heyday and other models are of houses which no longer exist (which were bombed during WW II).

    Would I recommend a visit to the museum? Yes, but only if you are really an Art Nouveau lover, of objects that is. All the fine Art Nouveau architecture outside on Mathildenhöhe is for free, and believe me, even after several visits here, I still discover new details. But back to the museum: what I don’t like is the sort of spacey attitude of the museum responsible personnel: while the entrance fee sign and the website (now sadly gone) clearly said combination ticket (for this museum and the other one next to the Wedding Tower) is 6 Euro, they will charge 9 Euro (this was in 2007). Addressing this will simply result in “Oh, sorry dear, we didn’t manage to change this yet”. They don’t mean it as a rip-off; it is just their thoughtless attitude.
    I smiled when I saw several reviews on Tripadvisor complaining about just this: thoughtless and unfriendly museum personnel. So it is not only me and my … not overly happy perception of Darmstadt’s visitor friendliness.

    To avoid misunderstandings: this museum is called “Museum Künstlerkolonie” in Ernst-Ludwig-Haus. Next to the wedding tower is another museum, which is mostly exhibiting changing modern art. This one is more expensive, 12 Euro as far as I remember. I was there only once, in 2009.

    Opening hours: Tuesday - Sunday: 11:00 – 18:00,
    Entrance fee (only this museum, as of October 2013): 5 Euro – but well, I wouldn’t be surprised if it is 5 € and they say “Oh, sorry dear….”

    Directions:
    Mathildenhöhe is located northeast of Darmstadt’s city centre.
    By car: drive direction Dieburg (which is east of Darmstadt) and follow the brown signs to “Mathildenhöhe”. But be aware that parking up there can be a nightmare.
    By public transport: at Luisenplatz, take bus “F” and exit at Mathildenhöhe.

    Location of Ernst Ludwig Haus (Museum) on Google Maps

    © Ingrid D., 2007; update October 2013: wording only.

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    Mathildenhöhe & Artists’ Colony

    by Trekki Updated Oct 10, 2013

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    Wedding Tower in spring
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    Without doubt, Mathildenhöhe and circumjacent Artists’ Colony is Darmstadt’s most famous sight. Longtime pleasure garden for the local dukes, it was transformed into an English landscape garden in 1833. The name derives from Princess Mathilde Caroline of Bavaria, daughter of King Ludwig I of Bavaria (hence she was aunt of famous King Ludwig II of Bavaria, the king who commissioned Neuschwanstein Castle). [On a side note: it is really fun to become aware of all these connections!]

    Mathildenhöhe came to its fame when Ernst Ludwig, Grand Duke of Hesse founded the artists’ colony end of 19th century on the hill: he called for Art Nouveau artists to build houses and work on other artisan objects for daily use. Centre of the colony is Ernst Ludwig Haus, a museum exhibiting artefacts of these days. Surrounding it are several houses designed and built by the Art Nouveau artists who lived and worked here: Joseph Maria Olbrich, Peter Behrens, Albin Müller, Hans Christiansen and Ludwig Habich.

    During the Artists’ Colony’s heydays four exhibitions took place, to promote views of modern architecture, decoration and interior design: 1901 “A Document of German Art”, 1904 “Three Houses Group”, 1908 “Hessen State Exhibition for the Fine and Applied Art” and 1914 one, which was devoted to state of the art tenements.

    But it is not only the houses of Artists’ Colony that makes Mathildenhöhe worth a visit. It is also the Wedding Tower, nowadays symbol of Darmstadt, the Russian Chapel, the Sycamore Grove, and another museum, the Municipal Exhibition Building, which houses constantly changing art exhibitions (see separate reviews). This especially in spring when the wisteria trees are in full bloom (see my main photo for Darmstadt).

    Museums and Wedding Tower require entrance fees. It is not possible to visit the artists’ houses because they are private homes or belong to institutions today. But it is worthwhile to just wandering around and take in views and atmosphere.

    Directions:
    Mathildenhöhe is located northeast of Darmstadt’s city centre.
    By car: drive direction Dieburg (which is east of Darmstadt) and follow the brown signs to “Mathildenhöhe”. But be aware that parking up there can be a nightmare.
    By public transport: at Luisenplatz, take bus “F” and exit at Mathildenhöhe.

    Location of Mathildenhöhe and Artists’ Colony on Google Maps

    © Ingrid D., 2006; update October 2013: wording only.

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    Wedding Tower – tribute to the duke

    by Trekki Updated Oct 10, 2013

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    Mathildenhoehe - Wedding Tower
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    The Wedding Tower was a gift of Darmstadt's citizen to Ernst Ludwig, Grand Duke of Hesse when he married Elenore von Solm-Hohensolms-Lich in 1905. Its architect was Joseph Maria Olbrich (1867-1908), who has designed the tower according to the echeloned gables of Gothic brick buildings in northern Germany. The finished building, however, is of Expressionism style. The tower has a height of 48 metres and is separated into three parts: a grey base with the entrance portal, the almost windowless tower body, made of dark-red clinker, and the five pinnacles on the top covered with copper foil.

    On top of the entrance, sculptor Heinrich Jobst (1874-1943) has created a relief, which shows the four virtues of rulers: strength, wisdom, fairness and benevolence. The inscription below mentions the marriage and is flanked by Darmstadt’s coat of arms, the lion.

    The wedding tower is open to the public and I highly recommend getting up to the top. The tower is built on the highest elevation of Darmstadt which grants magnificent views of the city and surroundings in good weather (see photo 3, taken in winter). On good days I could see as far as Frankfurt. One can walk on top or take the elevator. Nevertheless I recommend walking back at least to get views of the two rooms inside, one for the duke and one for his wife (photos 4 and 5).

    Opening hours (status October 2013):
    March to October: Tuesday - Sunday: 10:00 – 18:00, November – February: Friday - Sunday: 10:00 – 17:00;
    Admission fee:
    Adults: 3 Euro, kids younger than 12 years can visit free of charge.

    In case you are interested in the details: I wrote separately about the architectural details and weddings in the tower

    Directions:
    Mathildenhöhe is located northeast of Darmstadt’s city centre.
    By car: drive direction Dieburg (which is east of Darmstadt) and follow the brown signs to “Mathildenhöhe”. But be aware that parking up there can be a nightmare.
    By public transport: at Luisenplatz, take bus “F” and exit at Mathildenhöhe.

    Location of Wedding Tower on Google Maps

    © Ingrid D., 2006; update October 2013: wording only.

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    The White Tower - guards the city, somehow

    by Trekki Updated Oct 8, 2013

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    White Tower, Darmstadt
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    Originally, Weisser Turm (White Tower) was part of Darmstadt's town wall in 14th century, which was built by the town founders, dukes of Katzenelnbogen. The tower was much smaller than it is today. It also served as defence tower and once had pinnacles. In early 18th century it was enlarged, to the height we see today. It is said that it once had some secret passages used quite frequently by the dukes to leave the castle and do whatever they wanted to do secretly.

    In the course of time the tower was bell tower, dungeon, and treasure chamber for the county's archive. During the bombing night of September 11, 1944 in WWII, it was heavily bombed, however reconstructed in the Fifties of last century. Today it houses a little museum with exhibitions from time to time. And it is also one of Darmstadt's main meeting points :-)

    Guided tours are available. The tower is open Wednesday 15:00-19:00 and Saturday 13:00-17:00.
    [According to the information on their website, I would assume that it is only open from April 17 – October 5 (in 2013, and slightly different days in the following years)]

    Directions:
    Walk east from Luisenplatz, direction castle. It is to your right, just next to “Kaufhof” department store.

    Location of Weisser Turm/White Tower on Google Maps

    © Ingrid D., 2006; update October 2013: wording only.

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    Marktplatz - market square

    by Trekki Updated Jan 10, 2014

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    Town Hall - Rathaus and beer garden
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    Marktplatz (market square) is another square in the town centre, but located opposite of the main entrance of Residenzschloß (Residence Castle). Fruit and vegetable market is being held here on Saturdays, where mostly local produces are being sold. However, compared with other cities like Mannheim, the market here in Darmstadt is nothing to write home about. Maybe the city officials don’t encourage our farmers to come and sell or, maybe the rent for stalls is too high.

    But there is another market, held on Wednesdays, at Riegerplatz in the northern part of town. There really good and fresh produces can be bought from 07:00 to 14:00.
    Another alternative for fresh produces, especially eggs, vegetables and fruit, is the cooperative Hofgut Oberfeld in the east of town. They make fresh bread every day, bake the most delicious cakes and have suppliers for vegetables from all over nearby Odenwald. They have obtained the label “Demeter” which means highest quality, ecological farming and genetically modified-free.

    But back to the market square. It exists since mid 14th century, after Darmstadt received its “city rights”. This gave permission to hold weekly and yearly markets.

    On the opposite site of the castle is the town’s Rathaus, the town hall, which is of late renaissance (built 1588-90), but was rebuilt in it’s original style after WW II bombing. It houses some municipal departments and the civil registration office. But most famous is the restaurant “Ratskeller” (english menu here => click), which serves Bavarian snacks and has its own brewery (Export and Pils and Maibock in the season). It is open daily from 10 a.m. to midnight.

    Location of Darmstadt’s market square on Google Maps

    And its alternatives:
    Location of Riegerplatz & market on Google Maps,
    Location of Hofgut Oberfeld on Google Maps.

    © Ingrid D., 2006; update October 2013: wording only.

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    Herrngarten – Darmstadt’s large “green lung"

    by Trekki Updated Oct 16, 2013

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    Herrngarten - ideal place to flee from the city
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    Yes, of course there is Rosenhöhe, the biggest park in town, but Herrngarten is closer to the city centre and thus easier to reach. But it does not have the beauty and charme of Rosenhöhe, because it is a park with mainly large trees and lawns. It was laid out in 16th century and expanded later by Countess Caroline, a friend of Goethe, who visited Darmstadt quite often. A little monument was erected in her honour. It is easily overlooked because it is surrounded by bushes, but you can find it directly behind the Old Theatre (photo 5). There is also a monument in honour to Goethe (photos 3 and 4).

    Herrngarten is quite popular for the locals, especially in summer when everyone sits on the lawns for picnics, reading or sunbathing. But be careful: don’t walk here in evenings; it is a hot spot for “druggies”.

    There is a little restaurant in the park, close to the little lake, where snacks and drinks are being served.

    Directions:
    From Luisenplatz, walk towards the castle and turn left at the end of the shopping galleries. Cross the road and walk across the State Museum until you reach the park.

    Location of Herrngarten on Google Maps

    © Ingrid D., 2006; update October 2013: wording only.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Budget Travel
    • Theme Park Trips

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