Hessen

Regional Overview

Land of the Fay

Hessen is the land in which our conception of the fairy-tale was born. The secluded forests and small villages make it easy travel back in time to a simpler age. Though the landscape is dominated by the reign of the Hessen-Kassel dynasty, traces of the medieval Empire can still be found.

Regional Identity

What to Lookout For

  • The Baroque and Neo-Classical Half-Timbered Village Architecture, especially in the context of Protestant urban planning.
  • The Ancient Medieval Monuments of Marburg, Fulda and Hersfeld.
  • The Baroque Palaces and Estates of the Nobility

5

6.3

9

Justin Bunch | CityscapeTravel

What is Hessen?

The rolling hills and pastures of Hessen provide for a landscape unique to Germany. This is a land of towns and villages forgotten by time. Every hill has its castle and half-timbered village surrounding it. It’s easy to imagine the Grimm Brothers traveling the countryside that brought their ancient legends and tales to life.

Hessen sits at the center of Germany. Water in the western half flows into the Rhine, and in the east, it flows into the Weser. The ancient capital of Marburg towers above the river Lahn, and its trade with the Rhineland. The Imperial Abbots of Fulda sat astride the Via Regia carrying goods from the east to the markets of Frankfurt. From Kassel, goods could be ported to the Ruhr or shipped off to the Hanseatic port of Bremen.

Despite these ancient trade routes, the land never fully witnessed the industrial revolution. Its rugged landscape and lack of natural resources made such endeavors unreasonable. This has preserved its historical landscape, and we can thank this underdevelopment for one of the most beautiful regions in Germany.

Hiking in the Region

Hike: The Red Moor

Hike: The Red Moor

The Red Moor is an ancient wetland in the highlands of the Rhön. Though much of it was drained or harvested for peat, today, it…

Hike: Vogelsberg Moor

Hike: Vogelsberg Moor

The Vogelsberg is a region in Upper Hessen known for its rolling and forested landscape. Much like the Odenwald and Westerwald, it combines small villages,…

Hiking: Source of the Fulda

Hiking: Source of the Fulda

The town of Gersfeld is the only real convenient gateway to the Rhön as it has one of the region’s few train stations. There are…

Hiking: The Volcanic Rhön

Hiking: The Volcanic Rhön

Much of central Germany is covered in traces of ancient volcanic activity. The Rhön mountains are no exception, and the Milseburg is a volcanic peak…

Hiking: Timeless Villages of the Upper Fulda

Hiking: Timeless Villages of the Upper Fulda

The Fulda valley between Kassel and Fulda City is a remarkably beautiful landscape. However, much of it has been set aside for industrial or residential…

Hiking: Cultural Landscapes of the Rhön

Hiking: Cultural Landscapes of the Rhön

The town of Tann is a remarkable hidden gem, full of half-timbered houses and a charming castle. The highlight of the town is a small…

My Subjective Travel Rankings

To understand where the categories come from, see this article here.

5 / 10

The score is based on the following:

  • Accommodation: 4
  • Transportation: 4
  • Volume/Capacity: 8
  • Infrastructure: 5
  • Interactivity: 4

6.3 / 10

The score is based on the following:

  • Context: 8
  • Monuments: 6
  • Quality: 5

9 / 10

The score is based on the following:

  • Abstraction: 10
  • Tradition: 8

Navigation

Hessen-Nassau

This is a land of sleepy towns of half-timbered houses and ancient castles.

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