Ode to Beautiful Jugendstil Darmstadt

Or at least what’s left of it. Much of it was unfortunately destroyed by Allied bombing in World War II, the worst of which was on September 11, 1944. But there are still traces of beauty that endure. Since I spent five of the most wonderful years of my life there, I want to share these pictures and brief comments:


This is the beautiful Schloß Marktplatz circa 1900 where they hold the yearly Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas Market). This area was spared the bombing and still looks exactly now as it did back then.


Just across the way from the Marktplatz is the main square of town, the Luisenplatz, where every strata of life mixes from the businesswoman changing trains to loitering beer-swilling punk rockers with green-spiked hair.






These last five images are of the Rosenhöhe (Rose Hill) upon whose benches I first fell in love. Smiles to you Angi Zimmer, wherever you are.


This wonderful place is Ground Zero for the Jugendstil movement (German variant of Art Nouveau). It was founded by Hesse-Darmstadt Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig in 1899 as an artist colony where the people of his duchy could contemplate all of the possibilities of life. It thankfully also survived the bombing.



These two pictures are of the Orangerie, the beautiful Baroque garden I used bike through everyday on my way to work. I used to pick really tart kumquats off of trees lining this path when the mood would strike.




And finally it’s nice to know there will be more than just nostalgia when I go back to visit Darmstadt. This is one of Friedensreich Hundertwasser’s final creations, Waldspirale (Wooded Spiral). I’ve never seen it in the flesh because it was finished in 2000, two years after I moved and a year after Hundertwasser died. And yes, this is a real residential apartment house with real people living in it. Hmmm, might I one day be one of them???

1 Comment

  1. afrosalon said,

    August 15, 2010 at 8:00 am

    A very beautiful collection of pictures from Darmstadt. In Liège close to where I live, there is a lot of jugendstil too. You might be interested.

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