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Kassel

Kassel is a city located on the Fulda River in northern Hesse, Germany. It is the administrative seat of the Regierungsbezirk Kassel and the district of the same name and had 200,507 inhabitants in December 2015; the former capital of the state of Hesse-Kassel has many palaces and parks, including the Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Kassel is known for the documenta exhibitions of contemporary art. Kassel has a public university with a multicultural population. Kassel was first mentioned in 913 AD, as the place where two deeds were signed by King Conrad I; the place was called Chasella or Chassalla and was a fortification at a bridge crossing the Fulda river. There are several yet unproven assumptions of the name's origin, it could be derived from the ancient Castellum Cattorum, a castle of the Chatti, a German tribe that had lived in the area since Roman times. Another assumption is a portmanteau from Frankonian "cas," meaning valley or recess, "sali" meaning hall or service building, which can be interpreted as hall in a valley.

A deed from 1189 certifies that Cassel had city rights, but the date when they were granted is not known. In 1567, the Landgraviate of Hesse, until centered in Marburg, was divided among four sons, with Hesse-Kassel becoming one of its successor states. Kassel became a centre of Calvinist Protestantism in Germany. Strong fortifications were built to protect the Protestant stronghold against Catholic enemies. Secret societies, such as Rosicrucianism flourished, with Christian Rosenkreutz’s work Fama Fraternitis first published in 1617. In 1685, Kassel became a refuge for 1,700 Huguenots who found shelter in the newly established borough of Oberneustadt. Landgrave Charles, responsible for this humanitarian act ordered the construction of the Oktogon and of the Orangerie. In the late 18th Century, Hesse-Kassel became infamous for selling mercenaries to the British crown to help suppress the American Revolution and to finance the construction of palaces and the Landgrave’s opulent lifestyle. In the early 19th century, the Brothers Grimm lived in Kassel.

They wrote most of their fairy tales there. At that time, around 1803, the Landgraviate was elevated to a Principality and its ruler to Prince-elector. Shortly after, it was annexed by Napoleon and in 1807 it became the capital of the short-lived Kingdom of Westphalia under Napoleon's brother Jérôme; the Electorate was restored in 1813. Having sided with Austria in the Austro-Prussian War to gain supremacy in Germany, the principality was annexed by Prussia in 1866; the Prussian administration united Nassau and Hesse-Kassel into the new Prussian province of Hesse-Nassau. Kassel ceased to be a princely residence but soon developed into a major industrial centre, as well as a major railway junction. Henschel & Son, the largest railway locomotive manufacturer in Germany at the end of the nineteenth century, was based in Kassel. In 1870, after the Battle of Sedan, Napoleon III was sent as a prisoner to the Wilhelmshöhe Palace above the city. During World War I the German military headquarters were located in the Wilhelmshöhe Palace.

In the late 1930s Nazis destroyed Heinrich Hübsch's Kassel Synagogue. During World War II, Kassel was the headquarters for Germany's Wehrkreis IX, a local subcamp of Dachau concentration camp provided forced labour for the Henschel facilities, which included tank production plants; the most severe bombing of Kassel in World War II destroyed 90% of the downtown area, some 10,000 people were killed and 150,000 were made homeless. Most of the casualties were civilians or wounded soldiers recuperating in local hospitals, whereas factories survived the attack undamaged. Karl Gerland replaced Karl Weinrich, soon after the raid; the Allied ground advance into Germany reached Kassel at the beginning of April 1945. The US 80th Infantry Division captured Kassel in bitter house-to-house fighting during 2–4 April 1945, which included numerous German panzer-grenadier counterattacks, resulted in further widespread devastation to bombed and unbombed structures alike. Post-war, most of the ancient buildings were not restored, large parts of the city area were rebuilt in the style of the 1950s.

A few historic buildings, such as the Museum Fridericianum, were restored. In 1949, the interim parliament eliminated Kassel in the first round as a city to become the provisional capital of the Federal Republic of Germany. In 1964, the town hosted the fourth Hessentag state festival. In 1972 the Chancellor of West Germany Willy Brandt and the Prime Minister of the German Democratic Republic Willy Stoph met in Wilhelmshöhe Palace for negotiations between the two German states. In 1991 the central rail station moved from "Hauptbahnhof" to "Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe"; the city had a dynamic economic and social development in the recent years, reducing the unemployement rate by half and attracting many new citizens so that the population has grown constantly. Several international operating companies have headquarters in the city; the city is home of several hospitals. In 1558, the first German observatory was built in Kassel, followed in 1604 by the Ottoneum, the first permanent German theatre building.

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Anari (musician)

Anari is a Basque singer-songwriter. She released her first album in 1997 and has established herself as an important reference point in the Basque music scene, she has been compared with other female singers or songwriters from English-speaking countries, such as PJ Harvey and Cat Power, due to the intricate nature of her compositions and her intense live performances. In 2006, she started working at a secondary school in Ordizia, teaching linguistics, Hispanic literature, philosophy. Anari. CD. Habiak. CD. Anari ta Petti. CD. Zebra. CD. Anari Kafe Antzokian Zuzenean. CD. Irla izan. CD. Zure aurrekari penalak. CD. Epilogo bat. CD. Interview with Anari in Rockdelux, number 237, February 2006, pp 32–33