Cassel, or Kassel, chief town of the Prussian province of Hesse-Nassau, and the old capital of the former electorate of Hesse-Cassel, on the navigable Fulda, 120 miles by rail NNE. of Frank-fort-on-Main and 233 WSW. of Berlin. Pop.
(1875) 53,043; (1900)106,000. The oldest part consists of a few very narrow, crooked streets, close to the river; the more modern parts are situated on gentle hills. The 'upper new town' was founded by French refugees in 1688. In the Friedrichs-Platz, the largest square in any German town, stand the Elector's palace, the military school, and the Museum Fredericianum (1769-79), with a library of 100,000 volumes. The large new law-courts were erected in 1880 on the site of the Kattenburg, a costly and ambitious palace projected in 1820, which, however, remained unfinished till 1869, when its materials were used in the construction of the new picture-gallery (1877), which contains 1400 paintings. Cassel carries on manufactures of locomotives and steam-engines, carriages, philosophical and mathematical instruments, cotton and linen fabrics, plate, and sugar. The gardens of Wil-helmshohe (1787-96) - which was assigned to Napoleon III. as a residence after his fall at Sedan, in September 1870 - with their splendid fountains and cascades, and the colossal statue of Hercules, within the hollow of whose club eight persons can stand at one time, are 3 miles from Cassel.