Public rose garden Listing last updated on 17 Jan 2022.
Verein Roseninsel Park Wilhelmshöhe e.V.
Korbacher Str. 263
Kassel, Hesse D-34132
++49 (0)561 4002530 [Information]
Photo courtesy of William Grant.
Landgraf Friedrich II (1760-1785) of Hessen-Kassel transformed the hunting lodge Wilhelmshöhe to his summer residence and founded a garden in the new fashionable "English style", possibly because he was married to Maria of England, a daughter of King George II. To this purpose, he employed in 1766 the gardener Daniel August Schwarzkopf, who had apprenticed with Philipp Miller in London. Schwarzkopf also established an adjoint nursery in order to secure the conservation of the plants in the new park Wilhelmshöhe. Sometime between 1773-85, he bred the first known and extant cultivar in Germany, the gallica Perle von Weissenstein.
The roses at Wilhelmshöhe are well-known, as they were painted by Salomon Pinhas for Kurfürst Wilhelm I during 1806-1815.
In a letter from November 5, 1809, Catherina, the queen of Napoléons Westfalia, writes to her sister Joséphine, about roses from Kassel which she has sent to Malmaison.
Kassel became part of Prussia in 1866, the nursery was disbanded 1870 and the gardens fell into gradual disuse.
The current garden was re-established in 1978, following old plans by the Association "Roseninsel Park Wilhelmshöhe", led by Hedi and Dr. Wernt Grimm.
The garden features 1,600 roses in 900 species and varieties.