The Oberhessische Museum in Giessen consists of three historical buildings:
- The Wallenfels House:
Here you can discover prehistory and early history. Archaeology and ethnology are awaiting you here. The Wallenfels'sche Haus is located directly behind the city church tower of Giessen, adjacent to the Leib'sche Haus.
- The Leib'sche House
Here you can learn about the city history of Giessen. You can also find the Leib'sche Haus next to the city church tower.
- The Old Castle
Here the arts and crafts and the painting galleries are exhibited. The Old Castle is also the seat of the museum management and the administration of the Upper Hessian Museum.
The Old Castle is located between the Brandplatz and the Botanical Garden. The weekly market of Giessen also takes place at the Old Castle. And this since 1847. The Old Castle is the headquarters of the Oberhessische Museum. The exhibitions in the Old Castle focus on arts and crafts and painting galleries. Changing art exhibitions and various cultural events are held here. These are held in the Netanya Hall.
The Festival Hall
Named after the twin city of Netanya in Israel, the Netanya Hall is used as the banqueting hall of the Old Castle. Whether concerts, lectures, readings, conferences or vernissages, with a size of 200 square meters the Netanya Hall is an excellent location for different events. The hall is also open for private celebrations. The Schlosskeller restaurant is then available for catering.
The exhibition room
The exhibition room is also located on the first floor. It has an area of 135 square meters. Changing exhibitions also make repeated visits to the Oberhessische Museum so interesting. The main focus of the offer is contemporary art.
In addition to the changing exhibitions, the Oberhessische Museum offers a variety of workshops and guided tours. In this way, you can experience the Oberhessische Museum in a very active way. The museum's website and the biannual program booklet provide detailed information about the dates.
From the history of the Old Castle
The Old Castle was built in the period from 1330. Landgrave Heinrich II was the builder and the purpose of the castle was to strengthen the medieval city fortifications. For some time the castle also served as a secondary residence of the Hessian landgraves. For the years 1509 to 1518 stays of the Landgrave Philip (at that time still as a child) with his mother Anna of Hesse are documented. In 1604 the castle became the princely chancellery. Even today, the street "Kanzleiberg" bears the appropriate name. In later years, the castle became the court court and also the seat of government for the province of Upper Hessen.
The state of Hessen took over the then dilapidated building in 1893 for a rather symbolic price. The purchase contract also included an obligation to maintain the building and to establish a museum. The first collections of the Oberhessischer Geschichtsverein and the Gail collections were moved to the renovated museum in 1905. After bombing raids in 1944, part of the Old Castle was destroyed. Since then, the original collections have only been partially preserved. Today, the exhibitions focus on arts and crafts and the painting gallery.
A view into the castle tower
102 steps lead you up to the "Thieves' Tower," also known as the "Heathen's Tower." The lookout windows are located under its hood. The tower has a dungeon and four floors. You can get the key to the tower at the gate to the Old Castle.
Access by wheelchair
If you would like to visit the castle with a wheelchair, then the rear access to the Old Castle is suitable. Use the bell at the courtyard gate. The exhibition rooms on the first floor are wheelchair accessible.
How to get there
Use a bus line that goes to the market place. Lines 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 12, 24, 801, 802 are available here.