World Heritage "Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt"

In July 2021, the "Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt" was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is an outstanding example of experimental architecture of the early 20th century consisting of the Wedding Tower, Exhibition Hall, Artists' Colony Museum, plane tree grove and artists' houses.

 

The Mathildenhöhe area was laid out as early as the 19th century as the garden of the grand ducal court and named after Mathilde Karoline Friederike von Wittelsbach, the wife of Grand Duke Ludwig III. Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig founded the Artists' Colony on Mathildenhöhe in 1899, which made Darmstadt a focal point of Art Nouveau and European art development. Created with the aim of reforming art and life, the work of the artists' colony expressed the dawn of modernity through experimental architecture, new spatial art and pioneering design.

 

In the wake of four exhibitions (1901, 1904, 1908 and 1914), a series of trend-setting buildings with furnishings ranging from furniture to tableware were erected on Mathildenhöhe, embedded in a park with sculptures, fountains and garden pavilions. By the outbreak of the First World War, a total of 23 artists had worked on the Mathildenhöhe, including such renowned personalities as Joseph Maria Olbrich, Peter Behrens and Hans Christiansen.

 

Short brochure "Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt": Download

Further information on the artists and buildings on Mathildenhöhe can be found on www.mathildenhoehe-darmstadt.de.

 

Tip: The 48 meter high Wedding Tower offers a great view over the whole city to Frankfurt.

Note: The Exhibition Hall remains closed due to general renovation.

Discover the Mathildenhöhe

Darmstadt Marketing offers numerous guided tours on the Mathildenhöhe. In addition to the general tour "Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt" also tours of the Museum Artists' Colony Darmstadt, guided tours in the Russian Chapel or costumed tours of the area are on offer.

In addition to public appointments, for which individuals can purchase tickets online and in the Darmstadt Shop, all tours can also be booked individually for groups.

 

Public guided tour:

Saturday, 2 pm, tour "Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt - UNESCO World Heritage (English Tour)". Further information and booking on "guided tours".

Artists' Colony Museum Darmstadt

The Ernst Ludwig House was designed as a studio building by Joseph Maria Olbrich. Since 1990, the Artists' Colony Museum exhibits here the work of all 23 artists who worked on the Mathildenhoehe between 1899 and 1914. Downhill from the museum lie seven of the eight artists‘ houses, which were show-cased during the first exhibition in 1901 (three further exhibitions were held in 1904, 1908 and 1914).

Free shuttle bus Mathildenhöhe

World Heritage shuttle bus - free of charge - between the city centre and Mathildenhöhe.

 

Daily between 10:45 am and 5:15 pmm every 30 minutes, starting at the bus stop darmstadtium/Kongresszentrum. On the way to Mathildenhöhe it stops at the stop Pützerstraße and at the Ostbahnhof. Return trips from Mathildenhöhe to the city centre every 30 minutes between 11:02 am and 5:32 pm from the Olbrichweg stop (Museum Artists' Colony), on its way back to the city centre stopping at the Ostbahnhof and at the Jugendstilbad (Art Nouveau Swimming Bath).

 

Timetable with stops: timetable Welterbe-Shuttle

Exhibition at the Artists' Colony Museum Darmstadt

26.6.2022 - 4.12.2022

Manzil Monde - NADIRA HUSAIN

Until 4. December, the Institut Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt will be presenting a solo exhibition of the artist Nadira Husain (*1980, lives and works in Berlin, Paris and Hyderabad). In her works, she interweaves figures, symbols and ornaments from different cultures into complex visual worlds that reflect the artist’s own multicultural experience.

In favor of a harmonious and yet dynamic coexistence of all elements, Husain’s work equally incorporates painting, drawing and printing processes, as well as traditional craft techniques and various materials, including textiles and ceramics. For the presentation in the Museum Künstlerkolonie (Artists’ Colony Museum), the artist has created a new site-specific installation that questions phenomena of cultural and economic globalization as well as their conventions of representation.

Map of Mathildenhöhe

Map with the most important buildings on Mathildenhöhe.

Click on the picture to download the map as pdf file.

 

Short brochure "Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt": Download

Buildings on Mathildenhöhe

Wedding Tower

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Wedding Tower

The Hochzeitsturm (Wedding Tower), with its famous five fingers profile, was a wedding present from the city of Darmstadt to Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig and Princess Eleonore von Solms-Hohensolms-Lich in 1905. It is a viewing platform and, since 1993, also a branch of the Darmstadt registry office. It has become a symbol of the Darmstadt City of Science.

 

The observation deck offers a panoramic view of the city.

 

The Wedding Tower has an elevator, which can be reached via a few steps.

 

Model of the Wedding Tower:

A touching model of the Wedding Tower can be found in front of the tower at the staircase in the plane grove.

 

 

Partner of the DARMSTADT CARD:

reduced admission

Ernst-Neufert-Bau (Ledigenwohnheim)

Ernst-Neufert-Bau (Ledigenwohnheim)

The "Ledigenwohnheim“, a hostel for single people, was built to the plans of Ernst Neufer in 1954/5 and is one of the five completed "Meisterbauten“ on the Mathildenhoehe in Darmstadt. Neufert’s plans were used in a slightly changed form by the "Bauverein“ for working class accomodation. The result was a six-storey apartment block with 156 small apartments, which was originally intended as homes for single people. In the building was also a laundry, a shop and a restaurant. At the start of the 21st century the building was completely renovated under the management of Ramona Buxbaum, whereby a number of larger apartments were created. The electric wiring and plumbing were modernised. Since it is a listed building, some apartments had to retain their original form.

Upper Hessian House

Upper Hessian House

The "Hessian State Exhibition of Fine and Applied Arts“ took place on the Mathildenhoehe in 1908. Olbrich designed the “Oberhessisches Haus“ for the occasion and it is still in good condition today. The little pavilion in the garden was designed by Jakob Krug, one of Olbrich‘s former colleagues. Today it is the home of the Mathildenhoehe institute.

Behrens House

Behrens House

Peter Behrehs, painter and craftsman, built with his first work an architectural monument. For the first exhibition of the Artists‘ Colony in 1901, he designed his own home with complete interior fittings – an example for the "Gesamtkunstwerk“ concept (complete work of art) propagated by the Jugendstil movement. The house was severely damaged in 1944, but its exterior was largely restored to the original design. Behrens, who was a member of the Artists‘ Colony from 1899 until 1903, is seen today as having paved the way for modern industrial construction.

Exhibition Hall on the Mathildenhöhe

Exhibition Hall on the Mathildenhöhe

The Exhibition Hall on Mathildenhöhe, which opened in 1908 together with the Hochzeitsturm, is the venue for outstanding special exhibitions of international contemporary art as well as art and culture around 1900. The tension between contemporary presentations and cultural-historical positions of the turn of the century results in an extraordinary and vital programme in which utopias and a spirit of departure meet a striking sense of form and reality.

 

The Exhibition Hall remains closed due to general renovation.

 

 

The "Hochzeitsturm“ (Wedding Tower) and the Exhibition Hall (1907-1908) were the work of Joseph Maria Olbrich. Hidden under the hall is the fascinating vault of a walled water reservoir, a technical masterpiece.

 

The reservoir was built between 1877 and 1880 to the plans of the engineer Otto Lueger at the highest point of the Mathildenhoehe – and at the time fed the city’s water supply network.

Studio building

Studio building

Albin Müller, director of the last artists' colony exhibition in 1914, designed the complex of the "Miethäusergruppe" consisting of eight residential buildings. As a cohesive ensemble of buildings, it was intended to shield the Mathildenhöhe from the brewery buildings to the north-east, which were considered unsightly.

 

The studio building is the only surviving wing of the large-scale architecture, which once consisted of a total of eight houses. Today, it is used by the Design Department of the Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences.

Darmstadt Artists' Colony Museum

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Darmstadt Artists' Colony Museum

The Artists' Colony Museum in the Ernst Ludwig House built in 1901, documents the history of the Darmstadt Artists' Colony (1899-1914) on the Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2021.

 

The museum provides a comprehensive overview of the creative work of universal artists such as Joseph Maria Olbrich and Peter Behrens. The idea of the Gesamtkunstwerk as the ideal of the Art Nouveau movement is brought to life in spatial ensembles. The museum's sculpture studios, built in 1904, host special exhibitions from the 19th century to the present.

 

Downhill from the museum lie seven of the eight artists‘ houses, which were show-cased during the first exhibition in 1901 (three further exhibitions were held in 1904, 1908 and 1914).

 

 

The Artists' Colony Museum is certified for accessibility in the "Reisen für Alle" project.

The detailed information can be found here: www.reisen-fuer-alle.de

 

 

Partner of the DARMSTADT CARD:

reduced admission

Deiters Haus

Deiters Haus

In 1902, Olbrich built for Wilhelm Deiters, director of the first exhibition of the Artists‘ Colony, the house with the distinctive corner tower at the east entrance to the Mathildenhoehe. With a surface area of 8.9 by 9.5 metres, Haus Deiters was the smallest of the seven homes which Olbrich had designed for the exhibition "A Document of German Art“ in 1901.

Small Glückert House

Small Glückert House

Olbrich had actually designed the house in 1901 for the sculptor Rudolf Bosselt, one of the first seven artists of the Artists‘ Colony, who was however unable to finance its completion. The furniture maker Julius Glueckert took over responsibility for the building in addition to his exhibition house, the Large Glückert House, and furnished it as his own residential home.

Lily Basin

Lily Basin

The fountain in front of the Russian Chapel was built for the fourth exhibition of the Darmstadt Artists‘ Colony in 1914. It was designed by Albin Mueller, following the death of Joseph Maria Olbrich, leader of the artists‘ colony. The floor tiles were completely renewed in 1993.

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.

Russian Chapel

Russian Chapel

In 1894, Czar Nikolaus II of Russia married Princess Alix, the youngest sister of Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig, who commissioned the building of the Russian Chapel. It was inaugurated in 1899 and was used by the family of the Czar whenever they visited. The architect was Louis Benois of St. Petersburg. Today, it is the church of the Russian orthodox community in Darmstadt.

Swan Temple

Swan Temple

The Swan Temple with its 8 double pillars and dark glazed ceramic tiles was designed by Albin Mueller for the exhibition of the Artists‘ Colony in 1914 as a ceramic garden pavillion. A special feature is the acoustic: if you stand in the middle and speak, the little temple becomes a whispering gallery.

Ostermann House

Ostermann House

The villa on the edge of the Mathildenhoehe was built in 1908 for Paul Ostermann, the director of the collection of the grand duchy, by Alfred Messel, the architect of the state museum. The classsical style of the villa bears no relation to the Art Nouveau of the neighbouring Artists‘ Colony. Today Ostermann House, also known as Alfred-Messel-House, is the home of "Hessen Design“.

Habich House

Habich House

House Habich was the residential home with studio of the Darmstadt sculptor Ludwig Habich, designed by Joseph Maria Olbrich for the exhibition in 1901. Destroyed in the war, it was re-built in 1951 in a somewhat simplified manner but in its original basic form.

Olbrich House

Olbrich House

The residence of the architect Olbrich was built in 1901. It was damaged in the second world war and in a much simpler form, re-built in 1950/1. Today, only the blue and white tiles on the facade remind one of the original house. Joseph Maria Olbrich lived here until his premature death in 1908. Today the building is home to the German-Polish Institute. The white marble fountain at the edge of the property depicting a young boy drinking was created by the sculptor Ludwig Habich.

Large Glückert House

Large Glückert House

The "Large Glückert House“, designed in 1901 by Joseph Maria Olbrich for the furniture maker Glueckert, served him as an exhibition room until the break-up of the Artists‘ Colony. Since 1971, the Large Glückert House has been the home of the German Academy for Language and Literature.

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.

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Directions to Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt

Arrival by bus & train
From Darmstadt main station with the bus F towards Oberwaldhaus (stop on the west side of the main station, rear exit) to stop "Mathildenhöhe". From here about 200 m to the Mathildenhöhe.

From the Ostbahnhof Darmstadt (including the Odenwaldbahn stop) it is approx. 550 m on foot. The World Heritage shuttle bus also stops here.

 

Current timetable information for buses and trains on www.heagmobilo.de and www.dadina.de.


Arrival by car
There are no parking spaces on the Mathildenhöhe. Parking spaces within walking distance:
- Jugendstilbad, Mercksplatz 1: parking spaces for cars and 2 coaches. Approx. 800 m to Mathildenhöhe.
- Parking garage darmstadtium, Alexanderstraße (opposite house no. 2). Approx. 800 m to Mathildenhöhe.
- Parking garage Schlossgarage/Karolinenplatz, online reservation possible, Friedensplatz 4. Approx. 1 km to Mathildenhöhe.

 

>> At darmstadtium/Residential Palace, you can change to the free World Heritage shuttle bus.

 

Disabled parking spaces: Two parking spaces are available at Olbrichweg 10, in front of the Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences.

Directions to Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt - for coaches

For coaches

Buses can only stop for drop off and pickinig up of passengers. Parking is available at Rosenhöhe in Wolfskehlstraße (address: Bernhard-Sälzer-Platz). From there approx. 500 m on foot to the Mathildenhöhe. Or change to the free World Heritage shuttle bus at the Ostbahnhof (approx. 100 m from the bus parking spaces).

 

Further parking possibilities for buses are at the Jugendstilbad (Mercksplatz, public WC), at the Nordbad in der Alsfelder Straße and at the Böllenfalltor stadium.

 

City map (PDF 4,3 MB)

You will find an overview of all stopping and parking facilities on our arrival page.

Public toilet: Wedding Tower

On the square in front of the wedding tower there are public toilets for women and men on the left facing the "Platanenhain".

The toilets are open all day.

 

A barrier-free toilet is located in the Museum Artists' Colony.

Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt

With the Mathildenhöhe App you can go on a journey through time on Mathildenhöhe. Historical views are superimposed with current images and illustrate how the Mathildenhöhe developed during and after the Artists' Colony.

 

For viewing the web-version and the direct links to the AppStore and Google Play, please click here.

 

How's Mathildenhöhe looking right now?

With  the webcam of "Darmstadt im Herzen" you can have a look at Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt everytime you like.

Online shop of Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt

Mathildenhöhe colouring pages

The colouring pages of the Hochzeitsturm (Wedding Tower) and Mathildenhöhe can be downloaded as a PDF and printed.

Malvorlage Hochzeitsturm

Malvorlage Mathildenhöhe

360°-walk over Mathildenhöhe

Discover the Mathildenhöhe with a virtual panoramic tour.


With 360°-degree images, you can move independently "over the Mathildenhöhe", jump on to the Rosenhöhe or walk past the Fraunhofer Institute down into the city.


Click here for the Mathildenhöhe tour from watch-my-city.

What does UNESCO-World Heritage mean?

The UNESCO World Heritage title is awarded to outstanding sites that have an "exceptional, universal value". More then 1,100 sites in 167 countries are listed as UNESCO World Heritage. Germany is represented with 51 sites on the list.

Have a look at all German UNESCO sites on the website of UNESCO-Welterbestätten Deutschland e.V.

UNESCO World Heritage in the region of Darmstadt

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.

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.

Impressions: Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt - Celebrating the World Heritage Titel (2. + 3. October 2021)

Impressions: Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt - Celebrating the World Heritage Titel (2. + 3. October 2021)

©Darmstadt Marketing/Rüdiger Dunker