For me, the grand prize of the day was the climb up to the very top of the mountain and reach the Octagon and
its statue of Herkules on top. These are shown in the fourth photo. Getting there was quite a chore, as the closer
I got, the steeper the hill became. Thankfully, the path was converted to steps... I lost count after six hundred, though.
The dark gray structure leading up to it was another artificial cascade, a really, really huge one that was
still completely dry when I went. When running, that cascade was the Bergpark's primary draw. However, most people
don't get there the way I did -- there was a massive parking lot behind the Octagon, at the end of a highway that snaked around
the back. Also, Bus #43 made regular runs there in the summertime.
I climbed back down, but a different way, because there was one more structure I needed to visit, located off
the direct path from the Castle to the Octagon. The Loewenburg Castle ruins are shown in the fifth and final photo,
another set of artificial ruins that from the Schloss look like they emerge from the woodline. The brochure stated that these
ruins resembled a Scottish castle, complete with tall towers and a small chapel. This castle was plenty big to house
a small town and host a market in the middle! Nowadays it hosts a small medieval museum and an active vineyard.
So, was the climb worth it? Absolutely! I felt really tired by the time I got to the bottom of the
hill, but I was really refreshed after some first-class exercise and getting to see such beautiful sights on a gloriously
sunny day. I decided that I really needed to return some time in the future in the summer so I could see what the cascades
looked like when running full of water.
Now, returning to the original thread... comparing this complex with Heidelberg Castle. The biggest advantage
Heidelberg's Castle had was its proximity to the downtown and its accessibility by bus, train, or foot. I can't say
that about Wilhelmshöhe, it was far away from the rest of Kassel and if you aren't a mountain goat and don't have a car, the
occasional bus is your only real option. But I much preferred Wilhelmshöhe.