Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index


Kassel (formerly Cassel) is a city in the north of the state of Hesse in western-central Germany. Kassel is the capital of the Kassel administrative region (Regierungsbezirk) and of the district of the same name. The city of Kassel has 201,000 inhabitants (1999), and covers an area of 106.77 square kilometers. Geographic location 51° 18' North, 9° 30' East.

Table of contents
1 History
2 Sights
3 Miscellaneous


Kassel is first mentioned in 913 as the place where two deeds had been signed by king Conrad I of Germany. The place was called Chasella and was a fortification at a bridge crossing the river Fulda. A deed from the year 1189 certifies that Kassel had city rights. The exact date of their grant is not known.

In 1558 the first German observatory was built in Kassel, followed in 1604 by the Ottoneum, the first permanent theatre building, and in 1779 by Europe's first public museum, named the Museum Fridericianum after its founder.

During World War II, on the night of October 22/23, 1943, British bombers destroyed 90% of the city centre: some 10,000 people died in the raid. In 1949 Kassel failed to become provisional capital of the Federal Republic of Germany, losing out to Bonn.


Kassel is scene of the Documenta, an international exhibition of modern and contemporary art. Museums: Wilhelmshöhe Palace (Antiquities Collection and Old Masters' Art Gallery: Albrecht Dürer, Rubens, Rembrandt, Franz Hals, Antoon van Dyck), New Gallery (Tischbein Family, Joseph Beuys).


Famous inhabitants of Kassel include Jerome Bonaparte, brother of Napoleon Bonaparte; the Brothers Grimm; Paul Reuter; and Napoleon III.