Bilsteinklippen

Bilsteinklippen, Kassel

The Brasselsberg mountain close to Kassel, Germany, is full of rock formations of volcanic origin. There were different volcanoes and over time erosion washed weaker material out and left bizarre rocks throughout the mountains. Some are better known as they are located next to frequently used hiking paths (like the Porta Lapidaria) and some are very special like the Teufelsmauer and facilities like protective huts have been created next to them. A rather unknown beauty are the Bilsteinklippen, a collection of large volcanic rocks near the Bismarckturm.

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Hirzstein

View from Hirzstein, Kassel

When you’re hiking within the Habichtswald near Kassel, Germany you might find signs leading you to the Hirzstein – a 500 meters high rock formation with a nature preserve. Access is possible from the Teufelseck near the Teufelsmauer. It is just a one kilometre long way along the mountain through beautiful forest until you reach a viewing platform. Here you will find benches and very good views on Baunatal and Schauenburg. A detour is absolutely worth to take!

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Söhrebahn

Söhrebahn, Wellerode, Söhrewald

The Söhrebahn was a railway leading from the city quarter Bettenhausen of Kassel, Germany, to the forest behind the village Wellerode (passing Eisenhammer, Lohfelden and Vollmarshausen). It was built in normal width (1435 mm), more than 10 kilometres long and opened in 1912. Within the Söhre brown coal had been found and it was transported from there to Kassel – but also other companies along the track started to use it and connecting tracks where built. The railway track was also used to transport persons and its existence connected the Söhre closely to Kassel. Many villages along the way grew and people used the trains to commute to the city.

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Gläserne Stadt

Gläserne Stadt, Kassel

The Gläserne Stadt (vitreous city) is a beautiful artwork that was hidden in the underground: it was created in 1968 by artist Dieter von Andrian for the one and only underground tramway stop of Kassel, Germany – located underneath the main railway station (Hauptbahnhof, now Kulturbahnhof). It is 14 meters long and 2.5 meters high and shows a detailed map of Kassel, from the Unterneustadt, the river Fulda and the Karlsaue up to the Bergpark. You can easily spot the Königsplatz and the Wilhelmshöher Allee as the main (but broken) axis through the city. The artwork is illuminated in the evening, and it is most beautiful to visit it in the evening hours.

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Atombunker

Hidden entrance, Hauptbahnhof, Kassel

When you arrive at the main railway station of Kassel, Germany (not to be confused with Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe) and leave the main building you might wonder that there is a large unused space in front of it. The answer is hard to find and located under ground: from 1941 to 1943 the railway company of the Deutsches Reich (the Reichsbahn) invested a lot of money to create an underground air-raid shelter in front of the station. It was supposed to protect travellers that arrive at Kassel during an attack.

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Schlachthof

Les Barbeaux, Kulturzentrum Schlachthof, Kassel

Within Kassel, Germany, you will find different smaller concert venues which give you the chance to listen to a wide range of bands – newcomers and bands with a smaller audience. One of them is the Schlachthof in the city quarter Nord-Holland close to the university. At this location, there was once the slaughterhouse of the city until it was moved to Waldau in 1973. The buildings have been destructed and the Elisabeth-Knipping-Schule, a school providing vocational education, was built. Only the gatehouses remained and are now the home of the community centre and concert hall.

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Bunker

Reichsbahnbunker / Kulturbunker, Kassel

Sometimes you don’t have to travel far to find interesting places. And sometimes they are hidden just around the corner and you’ve passed them many times without noticing. I had this experience with two air-raid shelters (in German often called ‚bunker‘) and a beer-cooling cellar north of the city centre of Kassel, Germany. In the city quarter ‘Vorderer Westen‘ you can find a mountain called Kratzenberg consisting of shell limestone. During the time of the dinosaurs, the area was under water and the remains of shellfish sank down and created this limestone. Within this material many breweries created cellars later.

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Goldgrube

Fortuna Ehrenfeld, Goldgrube, Kassel

The Goldgrube is an alternative music club at Kassel, Germany. It can be found in the north of the city in a street called Eisenschmiede (iron forge). The club was opened in 2014 as a stage for bands that not yet fill the big music halls. I must admit that I would have never gone inside if I hadn’t bought a ticket in advance. When standing in front you wouldn’t expect what to find underground.

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Unused waterfall

Neuer Wasserfall, Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe, Kassel

It is a lost place within the Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe at Kassel, Germany: the Neuer Wasserfall (new waterfall). During the ancient water show the water runs from down from the Herkules monument to the Steinhöfer Wasserfall. It passes the Teufelsbrücke and the Aquädukt ruin before a large fountain starts. But there was another section that was added in 1826 – another waterfall. It was last in operation in 1943 before it was hit by bombs. It hasn’t been destroyed much but it can’t be used until today and most people don’t know about it.

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Up and down

View from the northern tower of the Martinskirche, Kassel

The city center of Kassel, Germany was largely destroyed during World War II (80 %). Before 1943 it must have been a wonderful place with many half-timbered houses. Today it feels like there is not much to show on a guided tour; tourists normally book art tours during documenta times or visit the Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe with guides. But yet there are some hidden gems and fortunately a club of history enthusiasts offers special tours.

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