CULTURE & ENTERTAINMENT

From Vineyards to Opera Houses

The Hessen work ethic is strong, but so is its residents’ commitment to a rich life outside of the university or office. Residents and visitors alike enjoy Hessen’s many theaters, traditional and cutting-edge museums, health resorts, outdoor activities, fine dining – and, of course, its world-famous castles and vineyards.

This amalgamation of old and new is perhaps most boldly illustrated by Frankfurt’s distinctive skyline, which combines glassy modern towers set against distinctive half-timber buildings built centuries ago. The scenic row of riverside museums along Frankfurt’s Museum Embankment showcases everything from Jewish life in Frankfurt to contemporary art to architecture, communications, and film.  

Music lovers enjoy performances at Hessen’s many theaters or at open-air festivals held each summer in medieval cloisters, on village squares, and in opera houses and palaces from Baroque to modern. The town of Bad Hersfeld hosts a world-renowned opera festival every summer with the largest Romanesque church ruins in Europe as a stage and the Rheingau Music Festival takes advantage of natural and architectural treasures with over 100 concerts in the heart of Germany’s most picturesque wine country.

Hessen has been one of Germany's top spa destinations since Roman times and is now home to 32 spas and health resorts. The elegant capital city of Wiesbaden boasts ornate Wilhelminian-era architecture, lush gardens, a luxurious casino (originally built for Europe’s nobility and upper classes in the early 20th century), as well as plenty of places to “take the waters” – or simply go for a soak or a sauna.

The many vineyards on terraced hillsides overlooking the Rhine River produce some of the finest Rieslings in the world. Some of the more well-known labels include Schloss Johannisberg, Schloss Vollrads, and Kloster Eberbach. Geisenheim, in Hessen, is home to one of the oldest wine research centers in the German-speaking world and hosts one of the campuses of the Hochschule RheinMain.

History buffs will also have plenty to see and do in Hessen. Best known for its many castles, particularly those along the Rhine River, the state is proud to have four UNESCO World Heritage sites comprising the Lorsch Abbey, a major fossil site at Messel, parts of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, and the Saalburg Roman Fort.

Hessen – Germany’s most international region and home to a vast array of traditional and contemporary treasures – is truly a place to work and live life to the fullest.