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.

 

Map of "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".
Public guided tours in German take place Saturdays and Sundays at 2 pm and 3 pm.
Further information and booking on "guided tours Mathildenhöhe".

Infopoint Mathildenhöhe

The "Infopoint Mathildenhöhe" is open every Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm.

 

In addition to information about the "Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt" World Heritage Site, tickets for guided tours of the Mathildenhöhe and the Mathildenhöhe Card are also available here.

 

The Infopoint is located in Olbrichweg, on the north side of the exhibition building (rear), between the Wedding Tower and the Darmstadt h_da University of Applied Sciences.

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).

Opening weekend Exhibition Hall Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt

20. until 22. September 2024

Good things come to those who wait - in this case very good indeed!
 

We are delighted to announce the official opening date of the exhibition building at the Mathildenhöhe World Heritage Site.
 

On Friday, 20 September 2024, the halls will open their doors. An exhibition by the Mathildenhöhe Institute with exhibits from the municipal art collection on the subject of the city's history will be on display. You can already look forward to a great weekend of celebrations!

Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt reopening weekend


Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt has been a World Heritage Site since 2021. In May 2023, Darmstadt received the official certificate of designation from the Federal Foreign Office. With the completion of the Exhibition Building, the Mathildenhöhe will celebrate its reopening from 20 to 22 September 2024.

 

In addition to the exhibition "4-3-2-1 Darmstadt" by the Institute Mathildenhöhe in the renovated Exhibition Building, the Mathildenhöhe will be atmospherically illuminated on Friday and Saturday. The Museum Artists' Colony and the Wedding Tower will be open until midnight on the weekend (Fri. and Sat.) and various guided tours of the grounds and the Artists' Houses will provide insights into the development of the Artists' Colony and the lives of the artists at the beginning of the 20th century. An extensive music programme, arts and crafts market, gastronomic offerings and a special family programme on Sunday round off the opening weekend.

 

Further information on the event will follow shortly.

 

 

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

Ernst Ludwig Fountain

Ernst Ludwig Fountain

In place of the so-called "Villa in Rosen" stands today a modern fountain by the sculptor Karl Hartung. The city of Darmstadt bought this work at the World's Fair in Brussels in 1958, in order to place it again on the Mathildenhöhe in 1959. However, the fountain was not officially consecrated to the name "Ernst Ludwig Fountain" until 1965, when a plaque was placed in honor of the last reigning Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine. We see here a relief wall laid out in a semicircle, surrounding a stepped water basin. This fountain originally stood under a "floating" pavilion designed by Otto Bartning, where the German spas advertised their springs.

Vortex Garden

open

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Sutter House

Sutter House

The Sutter House was built in 1908. Inspired by the traditionalist style, the variously broken and richly decorated structure, as well as the entire interior, was designed by the architect Conrad Sutter. Sutter was also the builder of the villa.

 

Villa Haus Sutter was the last in a series of three individual houses built by private clients for the "Hessian State Exhibition" in 1908. According to the exhibition catalog, the houses were exhibited under the architect's own artistic responsibility, against the protest of the jury.

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.

Beaulieu house

Beaulieu house

The villa "Beaulieu" planned by Olbrich was built in 1901 not as an artists' house but for the private owner Georg Keller. On two floors, decorative art objects from Darmstadt workshops could be viewed and purchased during the exhibition "A Document of German Art".

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.

Group of three houses

Group of three houses

As the only residential building in the 1904 exhibition of the artists' colony, an ensemble consisting of three houses was built on the corner of Stiftstraße and Prinz-Christians-Weg. Here, too, the client was Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig, and the group of houses was designed by the architect Joseph Maria Olbrich as an example of artistically designed homes "for the not overly wealthy citizen". The "Blue House" and the "Wooden Gable House", were for sale after completion, the "Gray House" served as a servant apartment for the court preacher Hermann Count Keyserling, who established his "School of Wisdom" there.

 

The residential buildings, separated from each other on the inside and each with a separate entrance, were placed next to each other on the irregularly cut plot of land in such a way that they formed a whole from the outside, but were clearly distinguished from each other by the different originally designed gables.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Wedding Tower

closes at 08:00 PM

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.

 

 

Info:

On wedding days, access to the Wedding Tower is restricted. For the exact opening hours on these days, please call 06151 / 701 90 87.

 

 

Partner of the DARMSTADT CARD:

reduced admission

Gottfried-Schwab-Monument

Gottfried-Schwab-Monument

The Gottfried Schwab Monument commemorates the poet Gottfried Schwab. In 1905 the monument, created by the sculptor Ludwig Habich, was inaugurated.

 

In the center of the U-shaped monument stands a life-size bronze figure of a youth with raised arms and upward gaze in the ancient gesture of prayer. The pedestal of the monument bears a bronze portrait of the poet on the front side. On the back of the pedestal there is a medallion-like relief carved into the stone. Poems by Schwab were engraved into the sides of the monument's base.

 

A low, semicircular bench encloses the niche facing the rising slope of Mathildenhöhe. The cheeks of the bench each bear a bronze relief. The relief on the left side shows a Nordic dragon boat. The relief on the right side shows a horse.

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“.

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.

Darmstadt Artists' Colony Museum

closed

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

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Directions to Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt

Arrival by bus & train
From Darmstadt main station with the bus F/FM towards Oberwaldhaus (departure at place 4 in front of the main portal) to stop "Lucasweg/Hochzeitsturm". From here about 200 m to the Mathildenhöhe.

 

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:
- Parking garage Alice-Hospital, Dieburger Straße 31.
- Parking garage Rewe, Dieburger Straße 24.
- 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.

 

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

Bicycle parking facilities on Mathildenhöhe

  • Dieburger Straße, corner Stiftstraße
  • Stiftstraße at the corner Erbacher Straße / Prinz-Christians-Weg
  • Lucasweg, side walk (near Wedding Tower)
  • Alexandraweg, Heinrich-Jobst-Treppe (House Olbrich)
  • Eugen-Bracht-Weg / Prinz-Christians-Weg (opposite Hessen Design)

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.

 

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.

App "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

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 has been Germany's first UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995. It provides a unique insight into the early evolution of mammals and documents the history of the earth's development 48 million years ago, when the extinction of the dinosaurs was followed by explosive changes in the animal and plant world. During opening hours, the museum can be visited directly at the edge of the mine. Guided tours of the Messel Pit are also offered throughout the year.

 

From the Mathildenhöhe to the Messel Fossil Pit:
Take bus line FM from stop "Lucasweg/Hochzeitsturm" (at the 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.

Tipp: Time Travel Route "From the Stone Age, into the Future"

Suggested tour by the German National Tourist Board


On this tour, time takes on a new dimension: in just 10 days, you will experience a fast forward through the history of the earth and mankind and repeatedly encounter the interplay of past and modern, including a brief glimpse into the future. 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites - including the Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt and the Messel Pit - are among the outstanding stops on the journey through time.

 

Information on the Time Travel Route at germany.travel: "From the Stone Age, into the Future"