The palace of Wilhelmshöhe, rising on a plateau above the city of Kassel and today embedded in the »total work of art« of Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe, was built from 1786 onwards. Today it houses the Old Masters Picture Gallery, the Antiquities Collection, and the Collection of Prints and Drawings as well as the Schlossmuseum in the Weissenstein Wing, and a reference library in the Kirch Wing.
The two outer wings, Weissenstein Wing to the south and Kirch Wing to the north, were the first parts to be built, from plans by Simon Louis Du Ry (1726–1799). Next came the Corps de Logis, the central block of the Palace, designed to present a monumental aspect with its Neo-Classical elements, including a portico and a dome inspired by the Pantheon of Rome. It was only in the 19th century that Elector Wilhelm I (r. 1821–1831) connected the three separate blocks into a single structure.
Early in 1945 the Corps de Logis was destroyed in an air raid, and it was only in 1968–1974 that it could be rebuilt and converted into a museum of fine art. The dome was not restored.
In the basement, the museum's Café Jérôme invites you to relax before or after your visit to the museum.