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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Ignacio Merino

Ignacio Merino Muñoz was a Peruvian painter who spent much of his life in Paris. He specialized in costumbrista works, his father, Don José, was district administrator and military commander. His mother Doña Micaela, was from an aristocratic family in Trujillo. At the age of ten, he was sent to study in Paris, where he earned his bachelor's degree and became interested in art, he studied with Raymond Paul Delaroche, who inspired his interest in history painting. As result of Delaroche's influence, he tended to focus on themes from European history, whereas his Peruvian-themed paintings were in the costumbrista category. Back in Peru, he became Assistant Director Director of the "Academy of Drawing and Painting", founded by José Fernando de Abascal, where he taught or otherwise influenced the careers of other prominent painters, such as Luis Montero, Francisco Masías and Francisco Laso. During the 1840s, he created a series of portraits devoted to Peruvian saints, including Rose of Lima and Martín de Porres.

In 1850, he had an opportunity to study with Eugène Delacroix, returned to Paris. He would remain there for the rest of his life, it is said that an exhibition of his costumbrista paintings served as the inspiration for Martin Paz, an adventure story by Jules Verne, set in Lima. Upon returning to Paris, he produced 92 wood engravings for a luxury 1854 edition of Esteban Terralla y Landa's 1797 satire Lima por dentro y fuera, collaborating with Parisian printer A. Mézin and draftsman A. Jourdain. Many of these engravings, including landscapes and popular scenes, served as studies for canvases of costumbrista themes, it was there he created his best-known painting, Colón ante los doctores en Salamanca, purchased by the government of President José Balta after winning a third-place medal at the "Exposition des Beaux-Arts". He was inspired by European literature and created works based on the writings of Shakespeare, Sir Walter Scott and Cervantes, he died of tuberculosis in 1876. Having never married and without an heir, he ceded his estate to the Municipality of Lima.

This included 33 paintings which, in 1925, were the first acquisitions of the newly founded "Pinacoteca Municipal Ignacio Merino", administered by the Municipality of Lima to the present day. Juan Bautista de Lavalle, Ignacio Merino, 1817-1917: biografía del pintor, Casa Editora M. Moral, 1917 Juan Manuel Ugarte Eléspuru, "Ignacio Merino", Volume 33 of Biblioteca Hombres del Perú, Editorial Universitaria, 1966 Dexter Zavalza Hough-Snee, "Ilustrando la república a través de la sátira colonial: Ignacio Merino y la reconfiguración de Lima por dentro y fuera." Estudios de sátira hispanoamericana. Eds. Zavalza & Eduardo Viana da Silva. Madrid: Iberoamericana/Vervuert, 2015. Pp. 87–119. Pinacoteca Municipal Ignacio Merino @ Lima Cultura Pinacoteca Municipal Ignacio Merino @ the Google Cultural Institute

Claire Robling

Claire A. Robling is a Minnesota politician and former member of the Minnesota Senate representing District 35, which included portions of Carver, Le Sueur and Sibley counties in the southern Twin Cities metropolitan area. A Republican, she was first elected to the Senate in 1996, reelected in 2000, 2002, 2006 and 2010, she served as an assistant minority leader from 2003 to 2006. Robling was one of four assistant majority leaders during 2011-2012, served as chair of the Senate Finance Committee, she was a member of the Senate's Higher Education and Local Government & Elections committees. Her special legislative concerns included family and early childhood, taxes and the environment. Robling is a freelance writer by profession, she graduated from Chaska High School in Chaska, attended the College of St. Catherine in Saint Paul, she was a reporter for the Shakopee Valley News in Shakopee from 1977 to 1980, an editor for the Jordan Independent in Jordan from 1980 to 1981, a reporter and editor for the Prior Lake, Chanhassen and Savage newspapers from 1982 to 1996.

She and her husband have two children. Claire Robling at Minnesota Legislators Past & Present Senator Robling Web Page Claire Robling Web Page Minnesota Public Radio Votetracker: Senator Claire Robling Project Vote Smart - Senator Claire Robling Profile