Schlosspark Wilhelmsthal

A "Gesamtkunstwerk" of Palace and Park


The former landgravian pleasure and hunting palace of Wilhelmsthal is one of the most important architectural monuments in the North Hesse region and among the most significant surviving rococo artistic creations in Germany. Some of the most outstanding 18th-century artists worked on the construction of the palace and the creation of the park as of 1743. They had been commissioned for the project by Landgrave Wilhelm VIII (1682 - 1760).

The park was first laid out symmetrically with regularly-structured elements in keeping with the taste of the period, but was then redesigned as a landscape garden towards the end of the 18th century. The original basic structure was retained during this process, however, so that visitors can still readily identify both design principles today. It is possible to make out the original form of the rococo garden with its figures and water features in the area around the partially reconstructed south axis. The northern area of the garden, on the other hand, presents itself as an apparently natural, idyllic stream valley.

The woodland outside the park features several hunting stars with forest aisles radiating out at regular intervals from specific points. These are a reminder of the woodland’s earlier use for the prince’s entertainment.