See the fascinating buildings and quirky sculptures that make up this unique hub of German art, which blends living space and creativity.
Visit a remarkable place with a long history of nurturing artists and art movements, including Darmstadt’s art nouveau movement. Built to provide a place for local artists to practice their craft and live among their creations, the Darmstadt Artists’ Colony is one of Darmstadt’s top cultural attractions for visitors.
Imagine the colony as it was at the very beginning. Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig established the art colony in 1899 as a place where artists’ work and living spaces could intersect. From 1901 to 1914, four exhibitions were organized here to show off the unique architecture. Famous names in German art, including ceramists, glass blowers and painters, spent periods of time learning and working in the colony.
Within the colony, a number of different attractions entice visitors from around the world. Step inside the Wedding Tower, built in 1908, and marvel at the glistening mosaic on the wall. Next, wander the halls of the art nouveau museum, originally built as a temple for the arts.
Take a moment to stop and appreciate the houses themselves. Most were designed by Joseph Olbrich, famous for his use of intricate iron gates and styles that challenged the status quo of his day. Check out the Wilhelm Dieter House, where the wooden flower sculpture on the front door makes a bold artistic statement to passersby.
Another option is to simply stroll through the town with no real agenda, enjoying the gardens and the random sculptures that give the attraction its artistic flair. Take a picnic and soak in the atmosphere. Ponder what it must have been like to live in the colony at its height in the early 1900s.
Visit Darmstadt Artists’ Colony any day except Monday, when it is closed. There is an entrance fee, though children under 11 get in for free and families can pay together to save money. Older children between 12 and 17 can also get a discount. Parking is limited, so it is best to make your way on foot from the surrounding Darmstadt area.