All information about the event in Herkules and in the mountain park

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Of: Marie Clemente

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A visitor magnet: the water games start in May. In the past, several thousand people always came to the show in the mountain park. © Dieter Schachtschneider

The tricks fountains are located in the heart of the World Heritage-listed Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe in Kassel. In 2022 they should finally take place again from May 1st to October 3rd.

This article was last updated on March 28, 2022 – In the past, the season has always started with several thousand visitors coming to the Bad Wilhelmshöhe district in Kassel for the start – this is where the famous Kasseler Bergpark is located. This article provides an overview of all important information about the show in the mountain park.

On what dates will the Kassel water games take place in 2022?

The water games of Kassel take place from 1 May to 3 October on Wednesdays, Sundays and public holidays in Hesse. They start at 2.30pm and last until around 4pm. The individual stations are:

  • 14:30 – Departure from the baroque waterfalls under Mount Hercules
  • 15:05 – Steinhöfer waterfall
  • 15:20 – Devil’s Bridge
  • 15:30 – Aqueduct
  • 3.45pm – Large fountain in the castle lake (until approximately 4pm)

The routes to the individual water stations are also signposted in the Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe.

Note: There are restrictions on Hercules due to construction work.

The Kassel fountains at the waterfalls under the Hercules in the Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe
The Kassel-shaped fountains on the falls below Hercules in the Wilhelmshöhe mountain park © Pia Malmus

What safety instructions are there for the makeup fountains in Kassel?

Visitors can only experience the water features on foot. Going down towards the valley they have to climb over 200 meters in altitude. According to Museumslandschaft Hessen Kassel (MHK), sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and physical fitness are essential in the Berpark, because the paths are paved, but only partially barrier-free. And: the stairs of the falls have no railings.

What crown rules apply to the water features in the Kasseler Bergpark?

It is still not entirely clear. Bottlenecks near the falls are mainly problematic. In coordination with the health department, preparations are underway for several scenarios, says MHK head Martin Eberle. This includes a variation where visitors are advised to wear a mask on the narrow path along the falls.

According to Eberle, it is also possible to completely block the stairs. Then the walk along the water features would start on the terrace below the falls. According to Eberle, however, there is a lot to be said for being able to cross the stations without barriers. However, more detailed information on this is only possible shortly before the May start date.

When will the illuminated fountains in Kassel take place in 2022?

This year the illuminated water features will become the lights of the Bergpark. The first is scheduled for autumn 2022. A precise date is not yet known. We will post it as soon as it is fixed.

For three days, the Bergpark lights will transform the Bergpark into a dream landscape illuminated with videos and animated light art installations. The highlight is then the famous illuminated water features, which are planned with a colorful scenography – and will take place for two days in a row.

According to Kassel Marketing, the highlights of Bergpark lights are:

  • Light art installations by international artists on land and on water
  • Large format projection of a water animation on a 200 square meter water wall in the fountain pond
  • 3D video projection on the front of the building facade
  • Several minutes of moving light projection on Hercules
  • Numerous illuminated buildings and sights of the mountain park
  • support program

The water path can also be followed on foot with the illuminated fountains. Do this at your own risk. You should have sturdy shoes and a flashlight with you, as the park’s paths are dark and partly uneven.

The illuminated fountains of the Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe
The illuminated fountains of the Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe © Andreas Fischer

Where do you park at the makeup fountains in Kassel?

There are two parking options around the Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe:

  • The parking lot of the Hercules Visitor Center. It is located at the top of the mountain park, just behind the Hercules. To do this, follow the signs for the “Herkules” car park.
  • Parking at Schloss Wilhelmshöhe, near the “Wilhelmshöhe” tram stop. Follow the signs for the “Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe” car park. The car park was renovated in 2018.
  • Brandt Stoph Car Park. This is located below the castle, just above the car park on Ochsenallee. Follow the signs for “Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe”.

In all car parks on water play days (Wednesdays, Sundays and holidays) a parking fee is charged.

cars 7 euros
motorcycles 5 €
minibuses and mobile homes 10 euros (The ticket does not entitle you to stay overnight.)
coaches 20 euro

With the parking ticket it is possible to use line 23 of the KVG free of charge, which crosses the Alpine park, with a maximum of five people.

Due to the high volume of traffic to the makeup fountains, Museumslandschaft Hessen Kassel and Kassel Marketing recommend that you reach the makeup fountains of Kassel by public transport. The city of Kassel publishes how many parking spaces are occupied.

How do I get to the Kassel Trick Fountains by public transport?

There are several ways to reach the tricks fountains in Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe by public transport:

For those arriving by tram line 4 and bus line 23: From Kassel city center or Wilhelmshöhe train station, visitors to the Wasserspiel can use tram line 4 to the Druseltal terminus. Trains run every 15 minutes on Sundays from 12:00 to 15:00 and every working day until 20:00. Outside these hours, trams run every half hour. From Druseltal, buses 22 or 23 take visitors to Hercules, where the water games begin.

Important: bus line 23 is only in use on water show days. Line 23 leaves every 10-30 minutes from 12:00 to 18:00. Line 22 runs every half hour between the last stop in Druseltal and the Herkules.

Arriving by tram line 1: Alternatively, visitors can take tram line 1 to the Wilhelmshöhe (Park) terminus. From there, bus line 23 will take you to Herkules via the Druseltal bus stop on water show days.

Departure from the water games: After the end of the water games, line 23 leaves from the Wilhelmshöhe (Park) bus stop via Druseltal and line 22 from the Druseltal tram terminus to the Herkules visitor car park. Tram line 1 connects Wilhelmshöhe (Park) to Wilhelmshöhe train station and the center of Kassel. Tram line 4 connects Druseltal to the ICE train station and the city center.

Learn about short-term time changes in the NVV app. Individual information is available from the NVV Service Hotline at 0800-939-0800.

Are the makeup fountains in Kassel barrier-free?

As the Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe is located on a slope and some of the trails are not fully asphalted, it is largely only accessible to a limited extent for people with reduced mobility. So an assistant is needed.

Visitors with reduced mobility can switch to the Bergparkshuttle at the “Wilhelmshöhe” car park and drive to the castle or to the shallow water play stations and Löwenburg. The mountain park shuttle connects the Wilhelmshöhe visitor center with the castle, the shallow water play stations and the Löwenburg.

The bus leaves every 15-20 minutes from 10:00 to 17:00. A single trip costs 2 euros per person. Children up to 6 years travel for free. In addition, people with walking difficulties, exceptional motor disabilities, helpless, deaf or blind people do not have to pay. One of the two buses in operation is accessible for the handicapped.

Do you have to pay an entrance ticket for the tricks fountains in Kassel?

The water games in Kassel are free. Furthermore, there is no entrance fee for the Bergpark. This also applies to illuminated water features. Only the parking spaces at Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe and the entrance to Wilhelmshöhe castle and the Weißenstein wing are subject to charges.

Were there no water games in Kassel due to Corona?

Corona caused the longest disruption of water features since the end of World War II. However: While there were no official dates for the water features due to the pandemic in 2020 and 2021, they were never completely out of order. The processes, which remained unchanged for 300 years, were verified in functional tests. This is also important for the nature in the park. Plants and animals that need water regularly have settled along the water features.

How do makeup fountains work in Kassel?

The Kassel makeup fountains still work without pumps just as they did 300 years ago when they were created.

First, the water collects in a reservoir, the so-called Sichelbachteich. From there it flows through an intricate network of pipes into the fire pond behind Mount Hercules. How it works exactly, we show in the video:

There are a total of six sliders on the falls below the Hercules, which open one after the other. The water continues to flow along the falls into different pools.

The water for the so-called romantic water games – the path through the Steinhöfer waterfall to the large fountain of Wilhelmshöhe Castle – is first collected in various pools. Here, too, there are sliders that let the water pass in certain points or stop it momentarily.

Eventually, the pressure in the pipes is so high due to the backwater that the water splashes upwards into a 50-meter-high fountain. We explain the exact process in the video:

History of the water games of Kassel

From the very beginning, water has played an important role in the Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe. The baroque park was created under the Landgrave Karl from the end of the 17th century. The Baroque fountains of Kassel, presented to the public in 1714, were also created under the rule of Charles.

The waterfalls under Mount Hercules are known as Baroque water features. This part of the water features is actually a few years older than the Hercules built in 1717. In 2017 it turned 300 years old.

At the end of the 18th century, under the Landgrave William XI, later Elector William I, the park was enlarged in the style of an English landscape garden. New stations were also added to the water features in the style of the English garden.

This was, for example, the fountain pond, which forms the end of the water features. The Devil’s Bridge, the Steinhöfer Waterfall and the Aqueduct were also designed and built. Today they form the so-called romantic water games. This gave the Kassel makeup fountains the shape they still have today.

Finally, in 1823, the so-called New Waterfall was integrated into the water features. However, during the Second World War it was so badly damaged that it was no longer used afterwards.

Kassel’s Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe, and with it the Kassel Games Fountains, have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2013. The water features are currently extensively renovated.

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