Jagdschloss Kranischstein & Bioversum
Located just 5 kilometers away from Darmstadt city center towards the northeast are a few not-to-miss attractions that offer multitudes of experiences to the visitor. Today, I am writing about Jagdschloss Kranichstein, Bioversum, Buchenwald and the hotels and restuarants adjoining this facility.
Bioversum and Buchenwald ( Beech Tree Forest ):
The first structure that comes to view as one turns from the main road is a massive building that almost seems to have been stretched from end to end. It used to be the armoury ( das Zeughaus) and today houses the Bioversum. The Bioversum houses a museum and an open-air laboratory and is surrounded by a beech tree forest that provides habitat to many insects and plants through its ponds, meadows, woods, and fields.
Here are some of the experiences you can have at the Bioversum:
1. Visit the Museum:
Two theme-based exhibition rooms on Biodiversity(Biologische Vielfalt) and Biological Invasions (Biologische Invasionen) make up the museum. In the Biological diversity section, different themed stations provide information about the diversity in nature and immerse the visitor in the biology of the beech forest. The Biological Invasions section also has themed stations that make us aware of the origins of different ingredients that we use in our food today and how they have traveled for centuries to reach our table. Through exhibits and interactive stations, it creates awareness about the role animals and humans have played in changing our diets and lifestyles.
2. Vist the Open-air Laboratory ( Freilandlabor)
Created with the idea of learning through self-discovery and observation of nature, the ‘Frielandlabor’ offers many stations for experimentation and learning. More information is available here:
3. Eat and drink at the cafe or bring your food:
There is a cafe by the name of Cafe Kranich that can be accessed from outside and inside from the Freilandabor. Food and drinks can be bought either from the cafe or brought from home and enjoyed on the benches adjoining the Freilandlabor. More info about the cafe can be found here: https://jagdschloss-kranichstein.de/cafe-kranich/
4. Walk /cycle in the forest area and learn through the research stations.
The forest area behind Bioversum is an open forest and is accessible throughout the year. It is an ideal place for a walk or cycling and exploring the area. Woods, small streams, and a big pond make a perfect setting for a quiet time amidst nature. Multiple research stations offer excellent opportunities to learn in the close vicinity of nature.
5. Rent the glasshouses (Glashäuser) for private events
Glasshouses adjoining the ‘Freilichtlabor’ can be rented for workshops, team meetings, seminars, or family celebrations. More information is available here:
6. Participate in activities organized by Bioversum
One can also take part in activities that Bioversum organizes. These include tours, treasure hunts, geocaching, etc. Some of these have a fixed time and date and are paid activities. And other activities are free of cost and can be done at your convenience and at your own pace. All the activities are published here:
Here are some pictures from the ‘Baumrätsel’ ( a tree Puzzle) that we did in the forest as a part of Umweltdiplom:
Bioversum is a beautiful green space located not too far from the city center. The fun and engaging activities and the museum and open-air laboratory offer a great learning experience. The official website is:
Here, you can find information about your visit and the experiences that you can have at Bioversum.
The next attraction in the same place is the ‘Jagdschloss.’ For over four hundred years, Jagdschloss Kranichstein was extensively used as a hunting lodge by the landgraves and grand dukes of Hesse-Darmstadt. In 1917, Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig of Hesse began consolidating the hunting collection of his house in the Kranichstein hunting lodge to make it accessible to the public.
The place can be accessed directly from the road if you come by walk or bike.
However, if coming by car, you need to enter from the Bioversum side, where parking is available. If you enter from the Bioversum side and just want to visit Jagdschloss, enter the forest area from the left of the huge building that you are facing ( Zeughaus). Walk through the forest, pass through the pond, and about 200 meters away, you will find this beautiful structure.
Here are some of the experiences you can have at Jagdschloss:
1. Visit the museum
The main/central wing houses the museum with a beautiful lawn in front. Today, the museum houses numerous deer trophies, paintings, weapon collections, tapestries, and furniture. The collection bears testimony to the era gone by and the hunting passion of the landgraves. More information about the museum is available here:
2. Drop by the adjoining restaurant in Hotel Jagdschloss Kranichstein.
The hotel, of course has rooms to stay, but to complete your day trip, you can stop by the restaurant for a meal. More information about the hotel can be found here:
3. Walk/cycle in the Schlossgarten and enjoy a relaxed day near the pond
Along the right wing, a small door opens to the Schlossgarten. The garden is beautiful. Access to the garden is free. However, it can also be booked for private events. More info is available here:
The surroundings around the pond that lies between Bioversum and Jagdschloss are soothing for the senses and make an ideal setting for a relaxed day in the lap of nature.
In addition, the right-wing of Jadhschloss has a chapel ( die Kapelle). The chapel can accommodate around 80 people and can be rented for special occasions like weddings, baptisms, anniversaries, etc. More information is available here:
The Royal Stables (der Marstall) can accommodate around 200 people and be rented for conferences, weddings, concerts, or exhibitions. More information is available here:
Today, the Hessischer Jägerhof Foundation takes care of preserving the Kranichstein hunting lodge and its collections.
One can easily spend a day seeing the Bioversum, Jagdschloss, and the forest. It is an important place in Darmstadt both from a cultural and historical point of view, and it is a great place to visit as it offers plenty of activities and experiences for the young and the old alike.
Check out my gallery page for more pictures of Bioversum and Jagdschloss.
To know more about places and experiences in Darmstadt, click here.