The name Darmstadt may not roll off the tongue, but the German city’s beauty charms all who visit. The town is in the German state of Hesse, which is in the country’s southern region. With a population of 160,000, the city is a thriving economic, social and cultural center.
Darmstadt was the first German city to force Jewish shops to close after the Nazis took over. The shops were closed for one day. Years later, over 3,000 Jewish people were forced into the collection camp Liebigschule before being deported to concentration camps.
However, the city also birthed some of the most prominent members of the German resistance, including Theodor Haubach and Wilhelm Leuschner.
- Darmstadt is the fourth largest city in the state of Hesse.
- The city is also home to the main offices of the pharmaceutical company Merck. This company also employs a large portion of the city’s inhabitants.
- Maria Alexandrovna, also known as Marie of Hesse, was born in the city. She is best known as the wife of Alexander II of Russia.
- The Russian Chapel: The Russian Chapel, formally called the St. Mary Magdalene Chapel, is a Russian Orthodox church. It was built by Russian Emperor Nicholas II for his wife, Alexandra. The chapel was officially recognized as a world heritage site by UNESCO in 2021.
- The Vortex Garden: This privately-owned garden was designed around whirling movements, often depicted by spirals and helixes. The garden pays tribute to DNA, the double helix, and life’s building blocks.
- The Hessisches Landesmuseum: This is one of Germany’s largest museums and features a variety of collections ranging from art, culture, and natural history. You’ll find over 1400 paintings alone!
Despite its dark past, Darmstadt, Germany is a city full of economic prosperity, vibrant nature scenes, and a number of historical sites.