Darmstadt is located in the south of the federal state of Hessen and it is the fourth largest city here. The metropolitan area is shaped by the foothills of the Forest of Odes low-range mountain´s to the South East. The West is characterised by the lowlands which explains why Darmstadt is geographically so different. Darmstadt is a city of science. Around 4000 students, several research institutions and the establishment of several businesses from the IT industry are the reason for this status. Even today, Darmstadt is still characterised as the centre of art nouveau. Many buildings in the metropolitan area are adorned with Art Noveau facades.
The motorway junction at Darmstadt is a transport hub. Both the A 5 as well as the A 67 travel through the metropolitan area.
If you arrive by plane, then Frankfurt Airport is ideally located. After only 25 km you will reach the town centre of Darmstadt. An extra bus shuttle was set up in order to transport you to your destination.
Darmstadt is split up into 9 urban districts. Darmstadt Ost is the largest district that is located in the East and it is in very close proximity to the city centre. Nonetheless, it is disproportionately tranquil here. The district is distinguished by its long history which began in the 16th Century. The nearby recreation park around the Great Woog also dates from this time. Several inhabitants decide to live here in the countryside yet it is still near to where the action is. The Komponistenviertel, “Composer´s Quarter”, is very sought-after with its detached houses and the large gardens in front of them.
The district of Wixhausen is the most northern part of Darmstadt. It is also the youngest district with its incorporation into the city having taken place in 1977. The district has not lost its village character although the demand for living space is growing steadily. Many service providers and research organisations have a seat here. It is the location for hydro power energy generation in Darmstadt.
During the Second World War, Darmstadt had to accept the loss of several buildings that had an art-historical value. Only a few of them were rebuilt and many of them were then built in the simple form, especially regarding the interior design.
TheDarmstädter Residenzschloss dates from the early 13th Century. The structure as you see it today, is the result of a large fire that broke out in the year 1715. The plan was for a considerably pompous building but it was never put in place due to a lack of funds. Nevertheless, the grand dukes resided here. Today it is a two-winged castle with a clock tower at a height of 39 meters. Today, you will find a castle museum in the castle, the institutes of the Technische Universität Darmstadt, and its library. A stroll through the castle gardens is highly recommended.
Mathildenhöhe is the landmark of Darmstadt. As early as the start of the 19th Century, this highest point in Darmstadt was a garden complex for the grand dukes. In 1833, it was rebuilt according to the style of English landscape gardens. At this time, Ludwig III was the grand duke of Hessen and the garden was named after his wife. In the following years, the complex was constantly extended. Today, alongside the parking facility at the Hochzeitsturm, several exhibition buildings, the museum of the artist´s colony, the artist´s houses and the sycamore grove, belong to it. This year, Darmstadt plans to apply for the UNESCO World-Heritage Site but in order to do so, a few expensive renovations still need to take place.
The Waldspirale constitutes the most modern tourist attraction in Darmstadt. Friedrichsreich Regentag Dunkelbunt Hundertwasser planned the building of this structure between 1998 and 2000. The residential building is known as the fairy tale castle which was planned by children. The building is lopsided and brightly coloured and it has the golden onion domes which were important for Friedensreich. Not one of the 1000 windows looks similar to the next. It was built out of recycled concrete. Lime trees, beech trees and maple trees were planted on the roof. In the inside area of the complex, there are green spaces with play areas and an artificial river.
Darmstadt´s history stretches far back, you can discover a few thing about this in one of the many museums in the city. You should visit the Darmstädter Künstlerkolonie „Darmstadt Artist´s Colony“ at the Mathildenhöhe. The artists of the art nouveau style were able to buy small residential houses for not much money. They are now all used as a sign of the dedication to art. The Ernst-Ludwig-Haus houses a museum that tells you about the story of art nouveau in the city. Alongside the permanent exhibition, there is also periodically an alternating exhibition presented here. They are closely linked to the art nouveau style.
The Schlossmuseum „Castle Museum“, which is located in one part of the Darmstadt Castle, tells you about the 250 year old history of court life in Darmstadt. For many years, the „Darmstädter Madonna“ was exhibited here. However, since the year 2012, the painting has been located in the Schwäbisch Hall.
The Restaurant Bockshaut is well-known far beyond the city´s boundaries. A reason for that may certainly be the long tradition, it is has been in the city since 1795. Traditional Hessian dishes can be found on the menu, there are often special Hessian events taking place here. However, you can also enjoy a schnitzel here for which you will pay 10.90 euros or a rump steak with side orders for under 20 euros.
The Bembelsche is primarily focused on Hessian cuisine. Equally, it is also the place in the city where you go for a cider. The menu is abundant and it offers you everything that you could desire: grilled knuckles of pork, turkey schnitzel and salad dishes.