Summer in Darmstadt
What to do in the hot summer months?

Step by step things are getting back to normal. Away from the laptop, out of the apartment and into student life on site! For many students, however, this life is new territory. Exhausted by black zoom tiles and countless hours online, we have forgotten that the city of Darmstadt not only has a top-class university, but also organizes and offers numerous leisure activities and various cultural events. You can read here which offers are an absolute must for you and what you absolutely must not miss this summer!

Published: 1. June 2022

Richard,
Biology and Chemistry Teaching at Secondary Schools

For me, this is the first real summer in Darmstadt after more than two years of pandemic.

Portrait TU Darmstadt Ambassador Richard
Picture: Britta Hüning

The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, nature is sprouting and thriving and you feel the inner urge to spend time outside with friends. It's summer again in Darmstadt! In addition to nature, cultural life in the city is flourishing again for the first time since the pandemic. The city of Darmstadt is primarily known as a university and science city. However, to reduce Darmstadt to this status would mean misjudging a city full of life with interesting cultural offers. The science and culture city of Darmstadt has a wealth of offers that can hardly be surpassed in terms of variety. A wide range of cultural institutions, clubs, initiatives and a dedicated independent cultural scene show that Darmstadt is a lively, cosmopolitan city. In the following, we would like to introduce you to some aspects of this cosmopolitan and culture-loving city, without forgetting to look beyond the horizon, i.e. to look at the entire Rhine-Main region. Our ambassadors Steven and Richard will present their highlights to you and will specifically address the areas of sport, music, hiking and cultural festivals in the region. However, we are only presenting a very small aspect of the region's cultural offerings. Further information on the cultural life of the city of Darmstadt can be found on the following Website.

The “Heiner”

The people of Darmstadt often call themselves “Heiner”. This colloquially means a person who comes from Darmstadt. Moritz, our Heiner in the #studentsofTUdarmstadt team, explains exactly where this term comes from in the TUDa quiz. Would you like a Hessian language course? Moritz can help you here too!

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Music

After many years of the pandemic, it will be possible to enjoy fully live music again this year. Various well-known music performers are on the road again in Germany and are also stopping in Darmstadt and the surrounding area. The summer will be packed therefore with a variety of musical offerings. For example, the Schlossgrabenfest can take place again from June 2nd to 6th, 2022. 60 performers will be heard and seen on three live stages. Unlike other festivals, no one has to travel to the end of the world on some “Kuhacker” at the Schlossgrabenfest. The festival takes place right next to the Stadtmitte campus in front of Karo 5. In theory, you could stop by, right after the last lecture. In addition to the musical acts, there will also be a poetry slam contest and the Darmstadt carnival clubs will introduce themselves. There will also be a children's leisure program. More information and tickets are available on the Schlossgrabenfest website.

Late summer can also inspire with music. From August 26 to 28, the Golden Leaves Festival will take place in the Kranichstein Castle Park. The focus is on musical diversity. Many unknown artists receive attention here so that they can spread their messages musically. Organizationally, in contrast to conventional festivals, a family feeling is conveyed. This should help like-minded people to make contact with each other quicker. Many visitors also take blankets or other seating with them to lie on the meadow during the festival and to take in the whole scenery. Visit the Golden Leaves Festival website for more info and tickets.

Many students walk past it every day, but how many have seen this house from the inside? The Oettinger Villa is on Kranichsteiner Str. 81 (right next to the “Karlshof” student residence) and offers a wide range of musical and cultural programs. Fans of punk, indie, wave or many other alternative styles of music can definitely find what they are looking for here for a small dollar. The Oettinger Villa lists the next events online.

Cultural Festivals

On the first Sunday of June, i.e. on June 5, 2022, the city of Darmstadt celebrates, as part of the UNESCO World Heritage Day, that the Mathildenhöhe has been included in the list of humankind’s sites worthy of protection. On the occasion of the one-year anniversary, numerous events such as various guided tours and exhibitions will take place around the Mathildenhöhe. Stop by and be enchanted by Darmstadt in the late 19th and early 20th century.

Darmstadt World Heritage Mathildenhöhe

Did you know that the city of Darmstadt has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage program since July 24, 2021? No!? Then it's about time to meet the “Darmstadt artists’ colony Mathildenhöhe”. The artists' colony is a large-scale construction project on the Mathildenhöhe, which was implemented by a group of artists financed by patronage in the years 1899 to 1914. That project includes both the artists' old workplaces and the buildings they erected on the Mathildenhöhe. The most well-known buildings, which still shape the cityscape today and probably attract numerous tourists, include the swan temple, the Russian chapel and the wedding tower, which is also known to Heiner (people of Darmstadt) as the five-finger tower.

After two years of absence, the well-known and popular Heinerfest will once again take place this summer from June 30th to July 4th. Under the motto “Come on, everyone!” the Heimatverein Darmstädter Heiner e.V invites us all. In addition to offering culinary specialties from all over the world and there is a diverse, free cultural program with dialect, music, dance and street theatre. On eight open-air stages spread throughout the city centre, vineyards on the castle bastion and on the old city wall, as well as a large beer garden on Karolinenplatz, the festival welcomes around 700,000 visitors every year. By the way: did you know that the little traffic light man who regulates pedestrian traffic between the State Museum and Friedensplatz all year round is supposed to be the mascot of the Heinerfest? The Heinerfest is thus thoroughly identity forming for Darmstadt and an absolute must for all students!

In addition to the Heinerfest, many fairs, the so-called “Kerwen” (Sg. Kerwe/Kerbe or also Kirmes; Hessian, Palatinate for an annual folk festival) and other annual markets take place throughout southern Hesse in the summer months. On top of that, every town and city in southern Hesse organizes an annual wine festival. Other than regional products and customs, these wine festivals always offer a free cultural program. Such festivals are therefore particularly suitable for non-local students to get to know the whole region around Darmstadt and the Rhine-Main area better and to enjoy the warm summer nights in the best of company.

Sport

Sport is part of everyday life in Darmstadt. Whether football, swimming, cycling or climbing, everyone gets their money's worth. In addition, sport is strongly supported and students are encouraged to exercise actively. Be it through the Unisport Center (Unisport-Zentrum, USZ), the many other sports facilities in the city or the beautiful parks where many joggers go every day. Darmstadt is always on the move.

Exercise offers the ideal balance to stressful university life. TU Darmstadt offers a large and diverse range of sports, which students can take advantage of either free of charge or at very low cost (depending on the sport). Students have always been involved in the planning of this athletic program and have even founded sports clubs themselves, such as the “Darmstadt Athenas” Quidditch team. The sport offers are adapted to the daily schedule of the students. It doesn't matter whether you want to sweat a little before class, just use the lunch breaks as a jogging break or play with the volleyball team after work, there is an ideal offer for everyone. An alphabetical list of almost 200 courses can be found here.

In the summer, cooling off is always welcome. Luckily, there are several opportunities for swimming in Darmstadt. TU's university pool can even be used by students free of charge. If you want to see a different kind of pool, you can also go to the Jugendstilbad (art nouveau pool). In addition to an indoor and outdoor pool, there is also a sauna where you can sweat. A few hundred meters from the Art Nouveau pool is the Woog family pool, a natural pool where you can swim with local birds. Those who prefer to go a little further can reach the Prinz von Hessen mine along Dieburger Straße outside of Darmstadt. The old oil slate quarry has been converted into a swimming pond for nudism (nudist culture).

There is also a wide range of other sport offers. One would be the Kletterwald Darmstadt (climbing forest) at the Lichtwiese. Climbing enthusiasts can put their skills to the test here on 13 courses or practice climbing on the wall in the DAV Kletterzentrum-Darmstadt (climbing centre). If you can't get enough of climbing, bouldering would also be interesting for you. The Boulderhaus Darmstadt and the Boulderhalle Pfungstadt form regional contact points.

Bouldering in Darmstadt? Ambassador David will show you!

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Hiking

The city of Darmstadt is not called “the city in the forest” for nothing. Around a third of the city consists of forest areas and there are also many different deciduous and mixed forests around the city area. So it's not surprising that the city of Darmstadt has many hiking and forest trails. One of the most beautiful paths is Waldkunstpfad (the forest art path). It is located in the Darmstadt forest district, over a distance of 3.3 kilometres, and stretches from the Böllenfalltor to the Ludwigshöhe. Works of art, which are supplemented every two years under a different theme, are presented on these 3.3 kilometers. The aim is to make visitors aware of the forest in a new, artistic way. For example, the works installed on the ground and in the trees encourage discovery and path finding and they attempt to create a symbiosis between humankind and nature, as well as between nature and technology. Under the motto “Art/Nature/Identity”, the path was recently equipped with new works of art by 15 artists from seven countries (Bulgaria, Ivory Coast, Japan, the Netherlands, Portugal, Turkey and Germany). The goal was to analyse and artistically depict the connection between man, forest and nature or the behaviour of individuals and groups towards nature. The best thing to do is convince yourself of the end result! It's worth it, I promise.

Steven,
Master of Arts History with a focus on modern history/history of technology

I really like the hiking trails in and around Darmstadt, because you can take a break from the summer heat and still be active.

Picture: Juan Aleman

One should note that there are also wonderfully beautiful hiking trails in the towns and forests around Darmstadt. One of the most beautiful and longest hiking trails in the region is probably the Nibelungenweg. A limitless hiking experience awaits you on a total of 145 kilometres of hiking. If you wanted to try the whole trail, you would cross three regions, three federal states and three wine-growing areas: The trail begins on the Donnersberg, the highest elevation in the Palatinate, and ends, after 145 kilometres, in Wertheim am Main. Along the way, one goes through Rheinhessen, the Bergstrasse and the Odenwald, the federal states of Rhineland-Palatinate, Hesse and Bavaria, and the wine-growing regions of Rheinhessen, Bergstrasse and Franconia. The most powerful natural phenomenon on this path, however, is the Felsenmeer near Reichenbach in the Odenwald. 18 seas of rocks, of all sizes, made of boulders, granite, gneiss and quartz diorite blocks are located on the Reichenbacher Felsberg and provide a panorama that is unique in the world. In addition to varied nature, there is also a lot to see in terms of cultural history on the way: Worms, Speyer, Michelstadt and Wertheim know how to entice a hiker with culture and half-timbered buildings and certainly invite you to take a longer break. However, if you want to see the Odenwald in its entirety, the Alemannenweg should be the right place for you. Over a total of 144 kilometres you will see legendary castle ruins, noble palaces and idyllic parks and experience the green Odenwald mountains in all their glory.

As you can tell, Darmstadt's greenery is not the only suitable place to switch off. From Speyer to Mainz to Limburg and back to Aschaffenburg. The entire region knows how to impress with its closeness to nature and enables you to switch off from everyday university life in summer.

Instead of spending all your time studying and working, free time is essential. When, if not now, is the perfect time to finally meet up again with friends at parties, meet new people at festivals, discover a new sport for yourself or enjoy the blooming nature. We from the #studentsofTUdarmstadt wish you a pleasant and fun summer.

Portrait TU Darmstadt Ambassador Richard
Picture: Britta Hüning

Richard

Hello! My name is Richard and I am studying biology and chemistry to become a teacher at secondary schools. Becoming a teacher is my dream job. By combining my science subjects with sociology, education and psychology, I look at many exciting questions from different perspectives during my studies. I love to support other people in their endeavours.

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Picture: Juan Aleman

Steven

Moien! My name is Steven and I am currently pursuing a Master's degree. I study history with a focus on modern history/history of technology. Before that, I already studied History & German Studies in the Joint Bachelor of Arts. My degree programme has a strong interdisciplinary orientation. This gives me the opportunity to gain insights into other disciplines. In this way, I can broaden my experience horizons and get to know new people.

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