Darmstadt’s green side

Darmstadt offers many green areas and listed parks. The city is also surrounded by a forest belt that covers 49% of the municipal area. This makes Darmstadt one of the most forested cities in Germany.

Sieben-Hügel-Steig (Seven-Hills hiking trail)

The 13 km long route with slight inclines starts from the Ostbahnhof, with seven hills lined up south of Darmstadt.

Rosehnhöhe: 186 m

Dachsberg: 258 m

Dommerberg: 264

Herrgottsbberg: 227

Ludwigshöhe: 242 m

Marienhöhe: 235 m

Prinzenberg: 241 m

 

A detailed description of the route to the Sieben-Hügel-Steig can be found on the Bergstraße-Odenwald website.

Forest Art Trail

The Verein für Internationale Waldkunst e.V. has been organising the "International Forest Art Trail" in Darmstadt every two years since 2002, each with a different theme. It extends in the Darmstadt forest district for 3.3 km from the Böllenfalltor to the Ludwigshöhe, past the Goethefelsen, Goethe pond and Ludwigshöhturm.

The path through the forest can be viewed as a forest adventure path in order to promote the character of scouting and exploration by the visitor. With the means of art, the forest is brought to the attention of the visitors in a new way.

Starting point: parking lot at Herrgottsbrunnen Weg (Klappacher Str. 145, next to the police headquarters)

Overview of Darmstadt's parks and gardens

Herrgottsberg

Herrgottsberg

Even Goethe and his followers appreciated the wooded climb up the Herrgottsberg, the peace and quiet and the experience of nature. The fact that there have been inns, plantings and benches since the 19th century is a sign of the enduring enthusiasm for the mountain. Even today, it is a popular destination for excursions; between the barbecue and children's playground, nature can still be experienced undisturbed.

Alter Friedhof – the Old Cemetry

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Alter Friedhof – the Old Cemetry

Known today as the "Alter Friedhof“, Darmstadt’s old cemetry between the Nieder-Ramstaedter-Straße and Herdweg dates back to 1828. Originally rectangular in shape, additions in 1848, 1873 and 1894 have led to its current form. The oldest tombstones are to be found in the northern part of the cemetry.

 

Darmstadt’s oldest graveyard was around the parish church (Stadtkirche) and was used until 1739. But soon there was no more space there and the Kapellplatz became the new cemetry. By the start of the 19th century, this too had no more room for burials. As a result, the city opted for a new cemetry in the Nieder-Ramstaedter-Strasse. In 1847, the cemetry on the Kapellplatz was turned into a public park.

Ludwigshöhe

Ludwigshöhe

The Ludwigshöhe, also called Bessunger Hausberg, is a popular excursion destination in the south of Darmstadt.

Discovered as a destination at the beginning of the 19th century, the flow of visitors increased from year to year. After the construction of a small wooden temple, a massive inn was built in 1838, which was constantly rebuilt and expanded over the years. The excursion destination was crowned by the construction of a 27.5 m high lookout tower, the Ludwigsturm

Waldfriedhof

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Waldfriedhof

The 80 acre cemetry in the woods (Waldfriehof) is Darmstadt’s largest cemetry. It was opened in 1914. The architect was the head of Darmstadt’s city planning, August Buxbaum. The cemetry was designed in the shape of a horse-shoe. In the middle, a north-south pathway runs from the south entrance to the more recent additions to the cemetry. The city crematorium can be found in the Waldfriedhof.

Grube Prinz von Hessen

Grube Prinz von Hessen

The bathing lake known as the "pit" is not a natural body of water– lignite was mined here between 1908 and 1921. After the plant had to close in 1924, the pit filled with water, was used as a reservoir for it, and always (illegally) also as a bathing place. Since 1974, the banks have been flattened and planted - and Darmstadt has one more open-air swimming pool!

 

Today, the "pit" is still a popular destination for young and old, for swimming, taking a walk, oder fishing. Situated away from the city, it can be reached by bike or by taking the FU bus line.

Planet Trail on the Ludwigshöhe

Planet Trail on the Ludwigshöhe

The planet trail deals with the closer cosmic environment of our earth and informs about the most important objects of our solar system. Starting from the sun, one walks through the solar system on a scale of 1 to 1 billion - every meter walked corresponds to 1 million kilometers in the solar system.

 

The distance of the path is 2.8 km and can be done in 1.5 to 2 hours. More information about the planet path on the website of the Geo-Naturpark Bergstraße-Odenwald.

Vortex Garden

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Vortex Garden

The Vortex Garden with a villa on Mathildenhöhe is Darmstadt's only public park in private ownership.

Designed according to the principles of permaculture and the balance of natural eco-systems, the owner would like to make the garden accessible as a "place of vitality, renewal and recreation". On request, the design and the idea of the garden are explained to interested visitors.

 

From 9 am to 9 pm the garden is open for visitors free of charge.

 

The "Haus Martinus" (formerly "Haus Hubertus") was designed in 1921 by the architect Jan Hubert Pinand.

Akaziengarten

Akaziengarten

The garden between Eschollbrücker Straße and Schepp Allee was laid out in 1817, still far outside the city, at the instigation of Grand Duke Ludewig I on a property that belonged to his daughter-in-law, Hereditary Princess Wilhelmine. Eight paths radiated through the garden from an octagonal central square. Due to the poor sandy soil, it was planted with acacias and therefore got its name.

Since 1986 the garden and the perimeter buildings have been listed as an ensemble.

Botanic Garden of the Technical University Darmstadt

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Botanic Garden of the Technical University Darmstadt

The botanic garden of the Technical University Darmstadt dates back to 1874. Visitors can experience hundred year old exotic trees, winding paths by the local stream as well as heather and alpine gardens and swampland. Between eight and nine thousand different varieties of plant can be found in more than 10 acres of open land and about 1300 square metres of greenhouse, many times more than the number of indigenous plants.

Forest Art Trail

Forest Art Trail

The Verein für Internationale Waldkunst e.V. has been organising the "International Forest Art Trail" in Darmstadt every two years since 2002, each with a different theme. It extends in the Darmstadt forest district for 3.3 km from the Böllenfalltor to the Ludwigshöhe, past the Goethefelsen, Goethe pond and Ludwigshöhturm.

 

The path through the forest can be viewed as a forest adventure path in order to promote the character of scouting and exploration by the visitor. With the means of art, the forest is brought to the attention of the visitors in a new way.

Steinbruecker Teich / Oberwaldhaus

Steinbruecker Teich / Oberwaldhaus

The former forest of Darmstadt's nobility surrounding the large "Steinbruecker Teich" lake is a much-loved recreational area just outside the gates of the city. Mini-golf, pony rides, pedal boots and a playground for children with and without handicaps all await the vistor.

 

Since 1901, the café-restaurant Oberwaldhaus offers refreshments, a beergarden and also rooms for overnight guests.

 

Pony riding Oberwaldhaus: www.ponyhof-oberwaldhaus.de

Pony riding: for children from 3 to 5 years

Take a pony walk (a pony without a rider!): from 6 years

from March to October: Saturday / Sunday / Holidays: 12 pm to 6 pm

Only in dry weather, without registration.

Rosenhoehe

The rose garden (Rosarium) with its enormous variety of roses is the centre of attention on the Rosenhoehe, which came into being under Landgrave Ernst Ludwig. The hill became a park as early as 1810, when Grand Duchess Wilhelmine created a landscaped garden, with pavilions, swings and a tea house. The Rosenhoehe, with its old and new mausoleums, is also the final resting place of the families of the grand dukes.

Herrngarten

Herrngarten

Initially laid out as a large vegetable garden, the Herrngarten became a baroque pleasure garden in the 17th century und later, in the 18th century under Countess Caroline, an English-style park. To the north-east, it borders on Prinz-Georgs-Garten, a Rococo-style complex in which fruit and vegetables can be found in between the trees and shrubs.

Prinz-Georg-Garden

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Prinz-Georg-Garden

In 1764, Ludwig VIII gave the former Prettlackschen Garden to his son, Prince Georg Wilhelm. The garden, which bears his name, was of a closed geometric shape. Today the baroque garden house is home to the porcelain collection of the grand duchy. A free public library can be found in the prettily painted and renovated Prettlackschen garden house. The basic structure of the garden has remained unchanged over the centuries.

Orangerie

In 1716 Count Ernst Ludwig established a baroque orangery garden in Bessungen. His architect Louis Remy de la Fosse planned a small castle to be used as winter quarters for the valuable citrus trees. Lack of money meant that only the west wing and a greenhouse were built. These buildings are used today as a restaurant and as a venue for various events.

Scheftheim Meadows and Menhir Site

Scheftheim Meadows and Menhir Site

The nature reserve "Scheftheimer Wiesen" was established in 1993. On 166.7 hectares there are protected wetland biotopes, burial mounds and the menhir complex, a formation of erected granite blocks. Here, history and nature combine in a very special way!

Plane Tree Grove

Plane Tree Grove

On the occasion of the exhibition of the Artists’s Colony in 1914, the Platanenhain, a grove of plane trees planted in the 1830’s, was decorated by the sculptor Bernhard Hoetger with a row of sculptures and reliefs, which symbolise the circle of life.

Lincoln Wall

Lincoln Wall

With a length of almost 700 metres, the "Lincoln Wall" is Hesse's largest legal graffiti wall: the soundproof wall on the B3 brings street artists from all over the world to Darmstadt.

 

Over the years, the so-called "Lincoln Wall" has become a kind of outdoor art gallery: well over 100 graffiti the once grey concrete structure.

 

A walk along the 700-metre-long wall is worthwhile to discover new motifs again and again.

Alnatura-Campus

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Alnatura-Campus

The new Alnatura Campus was built on a former barracks site in the southwest of Darmstadt. The heart of the 55,000 square meter site is the Alnatura working environment. It is the largest office building in Europe with an external façade made of clay.

 

The Alnatura campus is freely accessible. A discovery trail across the site shows how a former military site finds its way back to its origins as a natural landscape and how it is developed into a sustainably cultivated landscape.

Großer Woog - Naturfreibad

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Großer Woog - Naturfreibad

The popular bathing lake is located in the center of the town and nevertheless forms an island of peace and seclusion. The "Großer Woog" is not only a place of rest and bathing pleasure. The nature paradise is also a meeting place for many waterfowl, such as Stockenten, Gießhühner and Great Blue Heron. The beautiful spacious park invites you to rest and linger.

 

The Woog was probably created as a quenching pond in the middle of the 16th century. Around the year 1820 he was first mentioned as a public bathing pond.

 

The entire ensemble, consisting of "family bath" and "island", is under monument protection. The functional building on the family pool side was rebuilt following the example of the "Frauenbad" ("womens' bath"), which was created in 1927/28, and was handed over to the public in 1994.

 

Swimming pool "Family Bath"

Landgraf-Georg-Str.121

 

Swimming pool "Island"

Heinrich-Fuhr-Str.20

 

The summer season for the Woog swimming pool is mid May to September.

 

 

 

Partner of the DARMSTADT CARD:

reduced admission

Dianaburg

The Dianaburg was built in 1765 as a hunting lodge and was also actively used for this purpose. Gradually, however, the building fell into disrepair as interest in hunting and pleasure palaces waned. Until it was restored in 2004 by an association founded for this purpose, youth groups had used it for camps and group work. Today, citizens of the districts of Arheilgen, Kranichstein and Wixhausen can get married here.

 

Located close to the "Kalkofen" inn, it is still worth taking a trip to the former castle and the fish pond within walking distance.

Darmstadt sculpture garden

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Darmstadt sculpture garden

The Darmstadt sculpture garden is a place of diverse encounters for art and garden lovers. Guests get an insight into the specific features of the artist's garden, which has been created on Ludwigshöhe in the past eighteen years: sculptures, sculptures, objects, installations, natural sculptures, found and collectibles with the surrounding ambience develop into a total work of art on a 4,000 m2 forest area.

 

 

Guided tours

The sculpture garden can only be visited with a tour. The tours serve to better understand the art project and its public appreciation.

 

Sunday tours from 20. June 20 to 14. November 2021

Sundays / public holidays, without registration

Prinz-Emil Garden

Prinz-Emil Garden

This intimate garden, with tiny castle, pond and wrought-iron pavilion originally contained late baroque elements, but around 1900 it was completely turned into a landscaped garden. From the terrace of the castle, the former owner and finance minister Karl Friedrich von Moser enjoyed an uninterrupted view stretching as far as the Rhine river. The water basin enhanced the impression of distance.

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UNESCO World Heritage in the region of Darmstadt

Darmstadt ist part of the Geo-Naturpark Bergstraße-Odenwald, which, since 2015, is part of the "International Geoscience & Geoparks Programm" of UNESCO and thus bears the label  "UNESCO Global Geopark".

The Geopark extends between the rivers Rhine, Main and Neckar on more than 3,500 km², with a spacious landscape with diverse nature and geology, worth protecting.

The Messel Fossil Pit was added in 1995 as the first German natural monument in the list of UNESCO World Heritage. It uniquely sheds light on the early evolution of mammals and documents the history of earth's evolution 48 million years ago, when explosive changes in the flora and fauna took place after the end of the dinosaur age.

 

From the Mathildenhöhe to the Messel Fossil Pit:
Take bus line FU from stop "Mathildenhöhe" (on Dieburger Str.) to stop "Grube Messel - Besucherzentrum Grube Messel" on Landesstrasse 3317. The walk to the visitor centre is then around 500 meters.

 

Tip:

The Messel Pit and the Museum Künstlerkolonie Darmstadt are partners of the Darmstadt Card.

The Lorsch Abbey was a Benedictine abbey. It was founded in 764 and was a power, intellectual and cultural centre until the high Middle Ages. The Lorsch King's Hall is the architectural highlight of the UNESCO World Heritage. The building with its antique and early medieval facade decoration is one of the best preserved examples of Carolingian architecture.