Hessen Day has been hosted by a different Hessian town or city every year since 1961, and it has since become the biggest regional festival in Germany. International pop groups have now been added to the event’s agenda, alongside regional displays in mobile exhibition halls. The event attracts over half a million visitors every year – and not only from Hessen.
www.hessentag.de (in German)
Museum Embankment Festival
The Museumsuferfest takes place every year in August along both banks of the River Main; it’s an international festival with spectacular food, drink, music and theatre. Over the course of the three-day festival, local museums open their doors free of charge to thousands of visitors from around the world.
www.museumsuferfest-frankfurt.de (in German)
Weilburg Castle Concerts
The concerts held at Weilburg Castle are some of the cultural highlights of the summer. Around 40 concerts are held from June to August in the castle church with its excellent acoustics, and in the Renaissance courtyard and orangery. The patron of this series of concerts has traditionally been the Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg, the great-grandson of the last Count of Nassau, in whose castle the concerts are held.
Tel.: +49 (0) 6471-944 218
www.weilburger-schlosskonzerte.de (in German)
Rheingau Music Festival
What started out as a small series of classical concerts in 1988 has since blossomed into an internationally recognised summer music event. The Rheingau Music Festival takes place over nine weeks (June to September) in Germany’s most beautiful wine-growing region. Over 100 concerts are held at almost 40 venues across the entire Rheingau region.
Tel.: +49 (0) 6723 -602170
Castle Festival in Bad Hersfeld
A spectacular open-air theatre event takes place every year in Bad Hersfeld. Visit the dramatic setting of the 1000-year-old collegiate church ruins to watch performances of classical plays, operas and modern musicals. The church was destroyed by the French in 1761, and all that remained was the 103-metre-long walls and a magnificent Roman arch that provides a fantastic setting and wonderful sound quality.
Christmas Markets in Michelstadt
Almost every town in Germany has its own Christmas markets, but some of the nicest can be found in Michelstadt. The familiar smells, the cool air from the Odenwald mountains and the taste of German mulled wine all shape the pleasant atmosphere in the town with its timber-framed houses and cobblestones. The Odenwald is home to a variety of talented artists and craftsmen who come to the markets to sell their goods.
www.michelstadt.de (in German)
Summer of Culture in Hessen
Hessen holds a festival every year to present the diversity of the region. The cultural events held in the regions of North, South and Central Hessen range from jazz and pop concerts to variety shows, theatre and a programme designed especially for children. The Summer of Culture attracts regional, national and international artists. Visitors can purchase a Kultursommer card for 30 EUR to get a 50% discount on all ticket prices.
There are dozens of colourful wine festivals and centuries-old folk festivals in the region (now with carousels and fireworks). To name but a few: the “Dippemess” (twice a year in April and September) and the “Mainfest” (early August) in Frankfurt; the Spring and Autumn Fairs and the “Heinerfest” (early July) in Darmstadt; the “Johannisnacht” (late June) in Mainz; and the “Hochheimer Market” in Hochheim am Main (early November).