Mathildenhöhe (Mathilde’s Hill) is in the east of the city, where wine was once cultivated. Prince Christian had a publicly accessible park in the English-style laid out around 1800. After his death, the garden became the property of Grand Duke Ludwig III. It was renamed in memory of his wife: Princess Mathilde of Bavaria.
Tsar Nicholas I had been closely related to the princely House of Darmstadt since his marriage to Princess Alexandra, the sister of Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig, in 1894. He commissioned the Russian Orthodox chapel to be built by Leontij Nikolaevich Benois, the St. Petersburg court architect in 1897. The colourfulness of the chapel, the richly decorated facade and the bright golden tower bonnets still characterise the image of Mathildenhöhe today.
In 1877-80, the elevated tank of the municipal waterworks was built on the summit of Mathildenhöhe according to plans by the engineer Otto Lueger. It is a technical and historical cultural monument. Joseph Maria Olbrich built the exhibition halls on its foundation in 1908.
The Artists’ Colony on Mathildenhöhe was founded in 1899 and included important artists such as Josef Maria Olbrich and Peter Behrens. In 1901, the Artists’ Colony made its public debut with the world exhibition “A Document of German Art”. In the period from 1901 to 1914, four exhibitions took place whose architectural contributions shape today’s Mathildenhöhe.
The exhibition building on the highest point of Mathildenhöhe with spacious terraces and staggered pergolas was inaugurated together with the Wedding Tower during the “Hessen State Exhibition of Liberal and Applied Art” in 1908.
Events take place in the small park between the Wedding Tower side of the exhibition building and the Russian chapel, in the immediate vicinity of the Artists’ Colony.
Darmstadt can be reached by car via the A5 and A67 motorways, as well as via the B3 and B26.
Parking is available in the Stiftstraße multi-storey car park and in the underground car parks darmstadtium and REWE Markt Dieburger Str. 22. Parking spaces in the side streets around Mathildenhöhe are very limited.
By public transport:
From Darmstadt main station, take bus F in the direction of Oberwaldhaus (bus stop on the west side of the main station, rear exit) to the “Mathildenhöhe” stop. Other stops nearby are “Pützerstraße”, “Jugendstilbad” and “Alexanderstraße/TU”.
From the train station Darmstadt Ost it is a 10 to 15 minutes walk.