The Hercules monument located in the Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe (Wilhelmshöhe Mountainpark) in northern Hesse, Germany., in the north of the federal state of Hesse, 5 kilometers west of the city center of Kassel. Wilhelmshohe Park is the largest mountain park in Europe.
The park is particularly known for the water features in it, the Hercules with the statue of the same name, Wilhelmshöhe Castle and the artificial ruins of Löwenburg.
On the top of the mountain, an octagonal Baroque palace Oktogon was built, on the top of which they decided to install a statue of Hercules – a hero of ancient Greek mythology who had extraordinary strength and performed feats , the statue was installed and since then Hercules has become the symbol of the city of Kassel.
Under the leadership of the Italian landscape architect Giovanni Francesco Guerniero, a grandiose ensemble of cascades of waterfalls, fountains, pools, artificial reservoirs was created in the park, as well as an aqueduct, Devil’s Bridge, pavilions, gazebos and a pyramidal tower, on which a huge statue of Hercules is installed – the symbol and the main landmark of the city of Kassel.
On June 23, 2013, the park and Hercules were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site during the 37th session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee.
Access : Coordinates: 51.316, 9.393 / Location : in the north of the federal state of Hesse, 5 kilometers west of the city center of Kassel. / By public transportation : tram number 1 runs from Kassel to the park. But, if you want to see exactly the water cascade, then it is better to use tram number 3, then bus number 43, to go up to the palace with Hercules (Hercules) towering on it.
- The statue of Hercules weighs 3 tons, is 8.25 meters high and consists of a metal frame covered with copper sheets.
- There is an observation deck near the statue of Hercules, which can be reached by a steep spiral staircase. From here there is a beautiful view of the panorama of the city of Kassel, you can see the mountain forests of Northern Hesse.
- In the lower part of Wilhelmshee Park is the Landgrave Knight’s Castle, erected at the end of the 18th century. It was built at the behest of the Elector of Hesse-Kassel Wilhelm I in the form of “romantic ruins”, with majestic towers, a moat and a drawbridge across it.
- At an altitude of 530 meters, at the base of the Octagon, the cascade of waterfalls originates, which first started working in June 1714. The cascade is a huge staircase of 24 steps, 350 meters long and 9 meters wide. At each level of the cascade, reservoirs are created, after filling which, water from the upper level begins to flow to the lower level.
- the stream of the water cascade “Hercules” rushes from a height of 10 meters into the “Hell’s Pond” – the uppermost of the pools (and there are only three of them) and into the Pluto grotto.
- The Devil’s Bridge was first built from wood in 1798 – 1799. In 1826 it was replaced with a cast iron one.
- The introductory show at the Hercules Cascade is held for an hour only during the summer period from May to October, twice a week on Wednesdays and Sundays, as well as on holidays. The start of water start-up is at 14:30.
Opening hours: * Wilhelmshohe Mountain Park is open all year round
* Cascade fountains are open from May 1 to October 3 – on Wednesdays, Sundays and holidays from 14:30
Activities : sightseeing / photo opportunities / Long distance walking.
Go next : Lion’s Castle in Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe / Palace Wilhelmshöhe in Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe / Ottoneum – Museum of Natural Science / Friedericianum at the Friedrichsplatz.