Cassel, Or Kassel, a city of Germany, capital of the Prussian province of Hesse-Nassau, and of the district of Cassel, formerly the electorate of Hesse-Cassel, situated on the river Fulda, 90 m. N. N. E. of Frankfort-on-the-Main; pop. in 1871, 46,375, of whom about 5,000 were Roman Catholics, 1,500 Jews, and the remainder Protestants. It is connected by railway directly with Frankfort and Hanover, and thence with the rest of Germany. It is divided into the old town, the lower new town, and the upper new town, and has 10 Protestant churches, a Catholic church, and a synagogue. In St.
Martin's church are the tombs of many of the electors. The city contains the government buildings, the former electoral palace, a theatre, an observatory, and other fine edifices. The museum, the finest building in Cassel, comprises collections of pictures and natural history, a cabinet of curiosities, containing a vast collection of watches and clocks from the earliest invented, and a library of about 90,000 volumes. The Friedrichsplatz, with a statue of the elector Frederick I., who was the founder and patron of the principal art collections of Cassel, is one of the most admirable public squares in Europe; and there are 15 other public squares. The public gardens are charming, especially that of Wilhehnshohe, 3 m. distant, in which the summer palace is situated. Here is the cascade of the Karlsburg, consisting of a flight of stone steps extending 900 ft. up a hill on which is a colossal statue of Hercules. After the battle of Sedan, Napoleon III. was a prisoner at Wilhelmshohe until March 19, 1871. There are manufactures of cotton, silk, and woollen fabrics, leather, hats, carpets, kid gloves, and porcelain; and the place is the main emporium of the trade of Hesse-Cassel. Two fairs and a wool market are held here annually.