Temple of Hercules in Kassel

Curtiss Shaffer

Punxsutawney, United States

Artist's Description

The Hercules monument is an important landmark in the German city of Kassel. It is located in the "Bergpark (Mountainpark) Wilhelmsh, northern Hesse, Germany. Hercules is a copper statue depicting the ancient Greek demigod Heracles or Hercules. The statue is located at the top of a Pyramid, which stands on top of the Octagon; the statue and the other parts of the monument were constructed at different times. Today “Hercules” refers not only to the statue, but the whole monument, including the Octagon and Pyramid. The monument is the highest point in the Wilhelmsh Bergpark.Construction of the Bergpark began in 1696. The Hercules statue was built in the years 1701 to 1717 and is based on the design of the Italian Giovanni Francesco Guerniero. The entire complex is the Northern-most part of the park and is an important baroque aspect of the Bergpark Wilhelmsh. The Hercules monument has a total height of 70.5 meters. 32.65 meters are accounted for by the Octagon; 29.60 meters for the Pyramid and 8.25 meters for the Hercules statue itself. The complete structure (Octagon & Cascades) are made of Tuff that was sourced from quarries nearby. This soft material has the advantage of a good workability but weathers quickly, particularly by frost-related erosion. This rapid weathering process has been a structural issue for the statue in its 300 years of existence. In late 2005 a complete restructuring process of the entire monument, including the Hercules statue, was initiated. Completed in 2009, the restoration of the statue and monuments has cost more than 24 million Euro.

Artwork Comments

  • Carmel Williams
  • Curtiss Shaffer
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