Mühlenplatz

Mühlenplatz, Gieselwerder

If you want to feel like a giant you need to get to Gieselwerder belonging to Wesertal, Germany. Close to the village, you will find the place where once a mill was standing and the small stream Lumbach running down the hill. Today it is an outdoor exhibition with hand-made miniature buildings named ‘Der Mühlenplatz’ which started as a hobby in 1969. In the centre of the 3,000 m2 large area, there are several small mills which are powered with water taking from the Lumbach. Surrounding it you can see copies of castles, town halls and churches of the region – and some well-known from further away.

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Optical illusion

Wasser bergauf, Gieselwerder

Of course, water can only float down a hill due to gravity – but at Gieselwerder belonging to Wesertal, Germany, it looks like it is running up the hill. Close to the town you can find the Mühlenplatz where formerly a mill was located (today it is an open-air museum with miniature buildings). Above this place, there are water channels that brought the water to the mill in earlier days. Next to these channels a road can be found (the L763) which is pretty steep – it has an inclination of 10 % over 3 km (the pure horror, if you ride a bicycle). Because of that, the water seems to conquer gravity; a phenomenon called ‘Wasser bergauf‘ (water uphill).

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Goetheanlage

Goetheanlage, Kassel

It is beloved and hated at the same time: the Goetheanlage in the city quarter Vorderer Westen of Kassel, Germany. A strictly geometric park where people meet to play, chat and to have a barbecue. It was opened in 1933 in the valley of the small river Drusel which still today ruins underneath in a drain. To create the park the place was filled with trash and soil. People living around were often annoyed by others having parties in the park – therefore since 2011 drinking alcohol is prohibited between 10 pm and 8 am.

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Traumschiff

Traumschiff Tante Olga, Kassel

As children, we all created planes and ships by folding paper. Later in life, the ships were used to protect our hair while painting the ceiling. And maybe all of us have thought once in a while how it would be to travel within such a ship. The artist Anatol brought this idea onto another level: for the art exhibition documenta 6 in 1977, he built such a ship (from a stronger material than paper, of course) and travelled from Dangast, Germany, via the rivers Weser and Fulda to the exhibition opening in Kassel.

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Dorothea-Viehmann-Park

Dorothea-Viehmann-Park, Kassel

Maybe it is only a long-stretched park in the city quarter Oberzwehren of Kassel, Germany – but it is a nice place to relax and it has a special character. The Dorothea-Viehmann-Park is named after the woman living at Knallhütte (today mostly known for a local brewery) close to one of the major roads leading into Kassel. She retrieved fairytales from people of various countries and collected them – later she became the most important source for the Brothers Grimm.

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Kasseler Hafen

Hafen, Kassel

Most people might not even know that Kassel, Germany, has a harbour. It is not far away from the city centre but a little bit set aside. And since 1977 it is only used for yachting. If you get there you’ll immediately see that it had other purposes in the past – there are still large warehouses and train tracks that lead directly to the water. The harbour was opened in 1895 and used to transport goods from the North Sea via the rivers Weser und Fulda to Kassel. The opening ceremony included a group of ships travelling the Fulda up from Hann. Münden.

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Fuldaseilbahn

Seilfähre Beiseförth-Binsförth, Malsfeld

When travelling by bike there are different options to cross a river like the Fulda. The most often used and most boring are obviously bridges. My most favourite one are ferries like the nice Weserfähre between Hemeln and Veckerhagen. But there is also a rather exotic one south of Melsungen, Germany: a manually operated funicular. It is connecting the two villages Beiseförth and Binsförth. Never heard of? Don’t worry.

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Cute small town

Historic city center, Melsungen

While the historic city centre of Kassel, Germany has been fully destroyed during World War II there are some nice old cities around it. The most obvious is for sure Hann. Münden in the north, but there is also Melsungen in the south which is worth a visit. It was mentioned first in the year 802 CE, is located at the river Fulda and contains many beautiful half-timbered houses. A very good example of this is the historic town hall. Worth visiting are also the castle and the Stadtkirche; most iconic is the Bartenwetzerbrücke next to the city centre.

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Edermündung

Edermündung, Edermünde

The Eder is a 176 kilometres long river – the longest that flows into river Fulda. It originates from the Rothaargebirge in North Rhine-Westphalia and is best known for the artificial lake Edersee with many touristic attractions next to it – like Schloß Waldeck, the Wildtierpark and a treetop walk. The river Eder ends close to Kassel, Germany. It runs into the Fulda near a village called Grifte belonging to Edermünde. This geographical situation became a problem in 1943 when during the British Operation Chastise the dam of the lake was bombed and a massive flood wave reached Kassel via the Eder.

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Autobahn

Unused motorway bridge, Söhrewald

German motorways are known throughout the world as you can drive on them as fast as you want. Whether this makes sense and how often you can really go fast (because of speed limits and massive construction works) are other discussions. A common myth is also that the Autobahn is a legacy of Adolf Hitler – in fact the motorways were planned before his time and his regime only accelerated the construction works. On the other hand, his war also stopped the construction of different parts of the motorway network – a good example is the Strecke 78 which should have connected Kassel to Eisenach and Erfurt. A road that doesn’t exist even today.

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