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Darmstadt travel guide — Darmstadt tourism and travel information

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about Darmstadt

Darmstadt is a city in the Bundesland (federal state) of Hesse in Germany. Its population is estimated (2003) at 137,900. The city is located to the south of the conjoined metropolitan areas of Frankfurt and Wiesbaden.

Darmstadt sights

The palace of Darmstadt is located in the centre. It was the residence of the counts of Hesse-Darmstadt, Grand Dukes of Hesse by the grace of Napoleon. Its current look was established in the 18th century. The counts also owned a castle on the Langenberg above the city. This castle dates back to the 13th century, but it was acquired by the counts of Hesse-Darmstadt in 1662. The name of the castle is Frankenstein. Mary Shelley probably adopted the name for her novel Frankenstein; before writing the story she had travelled through the region and visited Eberstadt (today a borough of Darmstadt), so the castle could have given her the inspiration.

The Luisenplatz, the largest square of the city forms the centre of the town Today, it is surrounded by modern buildings. In 1844 the Ludwigsäule (called Langer Lui, meaning Long Ludwig) a 33 m column commemorating Ludwig I, the first Grand Duke of Hesse was placed in the middle. The other large square is the Marktplatz ("market square",

Darmstadt history

Darmstadt was first mentioned towards the end of the 11th century, then Darmundestat; Darmstadt was chartered as a city by the Emperor Ludwig the Bavarian in 1330. The seat of the ruling landgraves (1567-1806) and thereafter (to 1918) grand dukes of the state of Hesse-Darmstadt, the city grew in population during the 19th century from little over 10,000 to 72,000 inhabitants. A Technical University was established in 1877.

In the begin of the 20th Century Darmstadt was an important centre for the art movement of Jugendstil, the German variant of Art Nouveau. Annual architectural competitions led to the building of many architectural treasures of this period. Surviving examples include the Rosenhöhe, the Mathildenhöhe with a Russian Chapel and large exhibition halls as well as many private villas built by Jugendstil architects who had settled in Darmstadt.

Darmstadt's municipal area was extended in 1937 to include the neighbouring localities of Arheiligen and Eberstadt, and in 1938 the city was separated administratively from the surrounding district (Kreis). Its old city centre was largely destroyed in a British bombing raid of September 11th 1944, which killed an estimated 11,000 inhabitants and rendered many more homeless. Most of Darmstadt's 3000 Jews were killed by the Nazi regime between 1933 and 1945.

In more modern times, Darmstadt is notable for its summer courses in contemporary classical music. They were founded as the Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik by Wolfgang Steinecke, and ran first annually, then bi-anually. A large number of avant-garde composers have given lectures there, including Olivier Messiaen, Luciano Berio, Milton Babbitt, Pierre Boulez, John Cage, Gyorgy Ligeti, Iannis Xenakis, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Mauricio Kagel.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Darmstadt".

This city is also known as: Darmstadt.

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