Travel Diary Issue 2: A Beautiful German City
In the previous issue of my travel diary, I talked about visiting the German city of Darmstadt on a dull day. I had deliberately gone for an industrial and rigid look to the photos for that piece, to enhance the mood of the dull weather. While this certainly suited the atmosphere, it does perhaps misrepresent the town of Darmstadt. During on the rest of my time there, the sun was out and the feeling couldn’t be more different. It’s actually a lovely city and a very green one.
In the centre of the city, behind the museum is a wonderful park. Called the “Herrengarten” it is considered a green lung for the city. It’s a lovely place and is apparently the oldest park in Darmstadt. It was built in the 16th century by combining several smaller gardens and was converted to an English style park, with wide rolling lawns and trees in 1766. The Grand Duke Ludewig opened the park to the public in 1811 and it’s been one of the most popular destinations in the city ever since.
I spent a few hours there wandering around and enjoying the sunshine. It was a lovely open space, and lots of people were strolling through, either passing by on their bicycles or just enjoying the sunshine. As I walked through the trees I came across another interesting sight…
To one side of the park is a beautiful formal walled garden. Called the “Prinz-Georgs-Garten” it is a Rococo style garden, with lawns, fountains and sundials. It is a fully working garden and grows vegetables and fruit as well as the beautiful flowers that were on display. The building down the far side is “The Prinz-Georg-Palais”, which was originally a baroque garden house and was built around 1710.
Apart from the parks and gardens, the suburbs in Darmstadt are wonderfully green. There are beautiful tree lined streets and on one of my trips back to the hotel, there was a long canopy of trees covering the path like a tunnel. They all looked like deciduous trees too, so I can only imagine that the place looks wonderful in Autumn.
There was one other famous sight that I had to see before leaving, and that was the famous “Waldspirale”. This apartment complex, is a crazy looking building, reminiscent of Goudy, was the creation of Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser. The building is pretty unusual, to say the least, and I was glad I got to see it in person before I left.
I have to say, I enjoyed my time in Darmstadt. It is a lovely little city and it is very pretty, although it does have a very unusual combination of architectural styles. Between the Weldspiarl, the Theatre and the Wedding Tower, there’s certainly lots to see for the architecturally curious. It’s only a short distance from Frankfurt by train, so if you’re ever there on business or whatever other reason, and are looking for a day trip, it might be something worth considering.
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