The Hercules is a copper statue of the Greek demigod Heracles made in the early 18th century
The palace-like Hercules was built between 1701 and 1717 according to the designs of the Italian Giovanni Francesco Guerniero. The entire complex, including the cascades in front of the Hercules, is also called Karlsberg after its builder, Landgrave Karl of Hesse-Kassel, and under this term it is both spatially and architecturally a Baroque partial aspect and western conclusion of Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe. As early as 1696, under Landgrave Karl, construction began for a central axis of the then modest park. At the same time, on the eastern ridge of the Habichtswald, about 500 m south-southeast of today's Hercules and a few meters below the summit of the Hüttenberg (555 m), the first building parts for a giant castle were erected - called Kleiner Herkules or Alter Winterkasten. However, it was decided not to consider Hüttenberg as a future focal point of the park. The construction site was abandoned and the work there was stopped. On the ruined building, which has been overgrown by the forest for a long time, there are still some remains of walls and foundations of about 7 meters high. It was not until 1699 that Landgrave Charles met Giovanni Francesco Guerniero in Italy. The construction of the baroque giant castle was started in 1701, the statue of Hercules on its roof pyramid was erected on November 30, 1717, completing the building. Due to the inhospitable weather typical for Kassel in November, the "birthday" of the structure is celebrated on July 17 in reference to the year of completion. The design developed jointly by the landgrave and the architect was modified several times; the pyramid with the Hercules statue, for example, is attributed to a later idea of the ruler. Engravings made in 1706 show that much more extensive building measures were planned than were ultimately carried out. Guerniero wanted to lead the downhill cascades down the entire mountain slope to the present Wilhelmshöhe Palace. Only about a quarter of the length was realized, which was probably due less to the landgrave's will than to his limited financial resources. The remaining space between the cascades and the castle was finally filled 70 years later - by basically completely contrary planning - and today forms the core of the English Landscape Garden - the Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe. On August 31, 2011, the application was signed by Minister of Culture Eva Kühne-Hörmann to propose Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe with the Hercules as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.[3] In January 2012, the State of Hesse submitted the application for registration of the "Water Games and Hercules in Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe" to the Permanent Mission of the Federal Republic of Germany to UNESCO in Paris. The latter forwarded the application to the World Heritage Centre of UNESCO,[4] which decided positively on the application in June 2013
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