Basic information

The town of Kassel is located in Northern Hessen, and is the capital town of the Kassel region. The population of the town of Kassel has fallen over the past few years to a current figure of approximately 194,000 inhabitants.

The town of Kassel was almost completely destroyed during the Second World War, and was rebuilt in the 1950s. The town has very few old buildings, so there are similarities with events in the history of Rovaniemi.

The town of Kassel has put a great deal of investment into culture and the town has a number of theatres, an opera house and museums. Every fifth year, the town hosts the Documenta modern art exhibition. The next Documenta will be held next year. Kassel is also thought of as the town of the Brothers Grimm, as this is where they wrote their tales. Kassel applied for cultural capital status, but the competition was won by Essen.

Kassel University was founded in 1971 and has around 16,500 students. 

The University has faculties in

  • Social Sciences
  • Economic and Commercial Sciences
  • Natural Sciences
  • Technology, and
  • Arts

Kassel University is a partner of the University of Lapland.


Nowadays, Kassel’s most important industry is the vehicle industry. Kassel has, for instance, the Daimler-Benz plant that employs around a thousand people. Kassel also has a rail transport industry and military vehicle industry with related auxiliary services.

Tourism in Kassel is mainly based on domestic demand.

Friendship town activities

Rovaniemi and Kassel decided to form a friendship town agreement in 1970 and the agreement was officially signed in 1972. Relations between the two towns have been active, especially in the fields of training, culture and youth exchange. Official delegations have travelled back and forth on a regular basis. Kassel normally invites its friendship town representatives during the Documenta exhibition period.

Santa Claus and the Lappish Christmas have been on show in the Kassel marketplace since as far back as the 1980s.

In the 1990s Krauss-Maffer Wegman Gmbh & Co. KG representatives visited Rovaniemi. The company in question is a large company producing military vehicles and related technologies.

Kassel’s other friendship towns are Florence in Italy, Izmit in Turkey, Mulhouse in France, Västerås in Sweden, Jaroslaw in Russia, Ramat Gan in Israel, and Arnstadt and Berlin-Mitte in Germany.