At 590 acres, Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe is Europe’s largest hillside park. It’s located just west of the city center of Kassel, Germany.
The Baroque “bergpark,” meaning “mountain park,” was started in 1696. It is most interesting for its waterworks. 92,000 gallons flow through the 300-year-old hydro-pneumatic devices that are connected to reservoirs and channels. The water starts at the stunning 350-meter-long Grand Cascade that descends from an octagon-shaped building surmounted by a pyramid topped with a giant statue of Hercules.
From there, the water bounds through waterfalls and water rapids all the way to the Grand Fountain that is more of a geyser shooting up 50 meters. There are also follies like faux ruins, a Chinese pagoda, and a Roman aqueduct decorating the park.
The park was designated an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013.
Know Before You Go
From the City take Tram #1 to Wilhelmshöhe. As of August 2017, the Grand Cascade and Lowenburg Castle are covered in scaffold and cranes for repairs. Also note the Water Features only happen between 1 May & 3 October on Wednesdays, Sundays & public holidays starting at the Hercules Monument at 2:30pm (one time per day). Admission is free.