We took the long way from Heidelberg to Fulda by way of Kassel. The reason we did this was to visit the Wilhelmshohe Palace. This imposing Palace houses a museum that will knock your socks off. Where else can you see so many Rembrandts at one place? Nowhere in Germany. The Palace is divided into two museums; on the ground floor is the antiquities department, which has an interesting collection of Egyptian, Minoan, Etruscan, Greek and Roman artifacts. There are coins, pieces of jewelry, sculpture, pottery, glass and works of art. We particularly liked the laurel leaf crown. You can picture Julius Caesar wearing it.
The Old Masters Art Gallery is just that, two floors of the most amazing paintings that you can imagine. The Second floor has the German and Italian painting. This collection is spearheaded by a Lucas Cranach triptych and Titian’s portrait of an Italian Commander. This is “World Class” not at all what you would expect in this out of the way location.
What we had come for though, was the third floor. Room after room of Rembrandts, Van Dykes, Rubens, Bruegel, Franz Hals, Joordans and Dou. Rembrandt’s “Jacob’s Blessing” has a prominent position in the collection. We were in shock. Every wall had the most amazing collection of painting and most of the time we could actually be alone in a room with these phenomenal paintings. If you only get to visit one museum in Germany, at this point Kassel has my vote. Now granted, I haven’t been to Berlin yet but certainly, this is an outstanding collection.
Visually, this museum is very attractive. The feeling is very open and the lighting is perfect. All the paintings are shown to great advantage and the spacing is also excellent. It is an enjoyable museum to walk through. Staff are available to answer questions but it never seemed as if they were following us around.
In the basement, there is a very nice but small store and a bistro. Of course when we got here it was after 1pm and I was hungry. We stopped for a bite and had some delicious soup and a salad that was amazing. Even the hot chocolate was superb. This is a win-win stop. Come to eat, to shop and to be very impressed. If we had had more time, there are several other interesting museums in Kassel that I would have liked to visit.
The entrance fee is a bit steep here, €7. Also the parking lot is quite a walk away from the entrance to the museum and the walk is uphill. I can’t recommend this museum highly enough, if you are ever in the area don’t miss it, or like us go way out of your way to see it.