The baroque Orangerie, situated on the northern end of the Karlsaue park, was built between 1703 and 1711 by Johann Conrad Giesler as a summer residence for the Landgraves of Hesse. 1722 the “Marmorbad” was added as separate building on the west side, and in 1765 “kitchen-pavilion” by Simon Louis du Ry on the east side. The Orangerie was used as an indoor winter garden designed to protect non-native plants such as potted orange and lemon trees and palms. The side pavilions were used as living spaces. In the nineteenth century it was also used for exhibitions. During the bombings of World War II, the Orangerie was heavily damaged and almost entirely destroyed except for its exterior walls. In 1955 it housed the German Federal Garden Show, and 1959 Arnold Bode used the ruins as an exhibition space for sculpture during documenta 2. The Orangerie was also used for documenta 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, and 11. It was renovated in 1992 and today houses the museum for astronomy and the history of technology, with the Cabinet of Astronomy and Physics and a planetarium. The permanent collection consists of milestones of science and technology documenting Kassel’s scientific past: early astronomical measuring instruments, physical experiments (such as the discovery of the vacuum by Otto von Guericke), telescopes, celestial globes, astronomical and other clocks, and calculating machines from 1623 up to Konrad Zuse’s Z11, the first computer of the Zuse AG to be mass-produced.

Photo: Nlis Klinger

An der Karlsaue 20c
34117 Kassel

tram /
number 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 and RT4, RT5
stop: Friedrichsplatz

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