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DEUTSCHLAND GERMANY
Bundesland: Hessen Hesse
Regierungsbezirk: Darmstadt  
Stadt: Darmstadt  

map

Darmstadt

sq: Darmshtadi lt: Darmštatas lv: Darmštate
el: Ντάρμστατ
ru, uk: Дармштадт be, mk, sr: Дармштат bg: Дармщат

Darmstadt is situated at an altitude of 144 m at the eastern edge of the Rhine rift in southern Hesse. The city of Darmstadt is the capital of the administrative region Darmstadt and of the district Darmstadt-Dieburg. With a population of about 138,600 (2005) darmstadt is the fourth-largest city of Hesse after Frankfurt am Main, Wiesbaden and Kassel.

It is supposed that the settlement was founded in the 8th or 9th century. The oldest document mentioning Darmundestat dates from the late 11th century. Eberstadt, today part of Darmstadt, had already been mentioned in 782 AD. Darmstadt was chartered as a town in 1330 and in 1369 became an independent parish. In 1385 the town became a a secondary residence of the counts of Katzenelnbogen. In 1479 it became Hessian when it was inherited by Landgrave Heinrich II of Hesse-Marburg. Landgrave Philipp I ('the Magnanimous') of Hesse introduced the Reformation in 1527. In 1526, during the War of Schmalkalden, Darmstadt was destroyed by Imperial troops. After the death in 1567 of Philipp I, Hesse was divided among his four sons and Georg I became the first landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt. Darmstadt soon became a sizeable residence town. When Landgrave Ludwig X of Hesse-Darmstadt in 1806 joined the Confederation of the Rhine, Hesse-Darmstadt obtained the status of a Grand Duchy and Ludwig became the first Grand Duke of Hesse-Darmstadt and by Rhine (Ludwig I). In 1899 Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig invited seven joung artists (the architects Peter Behrens and Joseph Maria Olbrich, the sculptors Rudolf Bosselt and Ludwig Habich, the painters and illustrators Paul Bürck and Hans Christiansen, and the goldsmith and jewelry designer Patriz Huber) to come to Darmstadt and thus founded the famous Art Nouveau artists' colony at the Mathildenhöhe.

1538 Darmstadt After World War I, Darmstadt in 1918 became the capital of the state of Hesse, which replaced the old grand duchy. During World War II, in the night of the 11th September 1944, about 99% of the old town centre, about 78% of the entire town were destroyed by a British bomb raid and the following firestorm. About 11,500 lost their lives and 66,000 became homeless. After the war the new state of Hesse was founded in 1946 and also included the territories of the former duchy (later Prussian province) of Nassau, the Electorate of Hesse(-Kassel) (Prussian province Hesse), and the former Principality of Waldeck (without Pyrmont). Wiesbaden was chosen as the new capital.

Glass no.1538 [left] shows the square Luisenplatz, named for Luise of Hesse-Darmstadt (1761–1829). In 1777 Luise had married her cousin, Landgrave Ludwig X (later Grand Duke Ludwig I) of Hesse-Darmstadt. Napoleon considered her to be one of the wittiest women of her times. She is buried in the mausoleum on the Rosenhöhe. The square was named for her in 1820. In 1933, during the Nazi period, it was renamed Adolf-Hitler-Platz like so many central squares of cities throughout the 'Third Reich'.

The Ludwigsmonument was erected in the centre of the square in 1844 in memory of Grand Duke Ludwig I (b.1753, acc.1790, d.1830). The architect was Georg Moller. The column has a height of 33 m. The platform on top of the column beneath the statue of the grand duke can be reached by a spiral staircase in the interior of the monument. The bronze statue was cast by the famous Ludwig Michael von Schwanthaler from Munich.

1910 Darmstadt The building depicted in the background is the Residenzschloss (residence castle). The castle goes back to the moated castle of the 13th century. The plans for the present palace were drawn in 1716/1717 by Louis Remi de la Fosse. The castle was almost completely destroyed in 1944 and was restored after the war.

 

The monument for Grand Duke Ludwig IV [right, no.1910], situated also on Luisenplatz, was created by Friedrich Schaper and was unveiled on the 25th of November, 1898. Ludwig IV was born in 1837 and was Grand Duke from 1877 until 1892.

2013 Darmstadt

 

Glass no.2013 [left] shows the square Paradeplatz. The small part of the west wing of the residence castle is depicted on the far right of the picture.

The Hessian state museum [background] was built in 1897–1902 by the architect Alfred Messel. The msueum was destroyed in 1944 and was restored until 1957. The central part of the attic floor was remodeled in 1970.

The soldiers' monument in front of the museum was moved to its new location in front of the museum's tower a few years after the completion of the museum. The monument was destroyed in 1944.

The building depicted in the background, far right [barely visible], is the former Hoftheater (Court Theatre), later state theatre. It was originally built in Classical style 1815/1820 by Georg Moller and was restored in 1875/1879 after it had been destroyed by fire in 1871. The theatre was partly destroyed in 1944, the remaining parts were secured in 1950. In the 1990's the building was finally restored and since 1994 is home to the Hessian state archives, the municipal archives and the Historical Society for Hesse.

2391 Darmstadt: Russische Kapelle 2391 Darmstadt: Russische Kapelle

 

Glass no.2391 [near left] shows the Russian Chapel. The chapel was built in 1897–1899 for Czar Nikolai II of Russia, who in 1894 had married Princess Alice (Alix) of Hesse and by Rhine (later Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna of Russia). The architect was Louis N. Benois (Leontij Nikolaevič Benua), who also built the Roman Catholic cathedral of Notre Dame in Sankt Peterburg, the mausoleum of the grand Dukes of Russia in the Peter and Paul Fortress, and the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Warsaw (today he is also known as the grandfather of Sir Peter Ustinov). The chapel is still used for Russian-Orthodox services today. Other historic Russian-Orthodox chapels in Germany are in Bad Homburg (also by L.N. Benois) and Wiesbaden.


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