When the Museum of Hessian History was inaugurated in 1913 on the occasion of the celebration of Cassel’s 1000-year anniversary, it inherited the now 'royally' named Fridericianum Museum. Landgrave Friedrich II (reign 1760–1785), who took a pioneering step in founding the encyclopaedic museum dedicated to the Enlightenment in 1779, broke with his strict order under Prussian rule. While the building’s library grew steadily, individual collections were separated in the new gallery building on the Schöne Aussicht and the Ottoneum. The former inventories were first partially reunited in 1913. The Museum of Hessian History was to keep with the tradition of the Fridericianum while setting new accents in focussing more on the cultural history of the state.
The construction is a visible expression of this museum concept. Instead of reiterating the Early Classicism of the Fridericianum, the historic draft of Theodor Fischer (1862–1938) was oriented with the Hessian architectural monuments of the Late Renaissance. In its exposed location within the city, though the museum marks the starting point for the 6 km long Wilhelmshöher Allee with the Palace at the other end, it is oriented towards the city. The building occupies the widely visible terminal point of the main shopping street, the Obere Königsstraße. Apart from the central tower that predominates the facade, the construction features a traditional floor plan typical of an art museum on the basis of Schinkel’s model: A complex comprising five wings, which enclose two inner courtyards. In addition to the presentation of the Collections of Antiques, Prehistory and Early History, the Cabinet of Astronomy and Physics and an extensive Collection of Applied Arts, this functional construction also enabled the presentation of Hessian Folklore. As this was the only museum building to survive World War II with relatively minor damages, it also accommodated the Old Masters Picture Gallery in the early post-war period. The collections were first rearranged with the rebuilding of the New Gallery and Palace Wilhelmshöhe in the 1970’s.
The museum is closed for renovation until 2015.
|Phone:||+49 (561) 31680-0|
|Fax:||+49 (561) 31680111|
|City map:||Location in city map|