|Orangery near downtown Kassel|
The history of Kassel begins with the ancient Castellum Cattorum, a castle of the Chatti . The Chatti were an ancient Germanic tribe, living in the upper Weser and Fulda river region since Roman times. In the tenth century the Franks took over the fortlet. They used the words “castella” and “cassela”. Before the current spelling “Kassel” was adopted in the late 1920s, the city name had been written in various letter combinations including “Chassala”, “Chassela”, “Cassele” and “Cassel” .
|Treppenstrasse in downtown Kassel|
Antonia Baum recently shared her fascination with the word “Kassel” in a MERIAN essay :
Kassel is a word where the K smashes into the double-S like a ladle slapping into a bowl of soup; or like careening down a hill wityh so much speed that the momentum takes you straight up to the other side. As a child, sitting in the backseat of our car while driving past Kassel on the autobahn, I always found it odd that this word existed and asked myself what on earth this Kassel was. What strange and wonderful things went on in Kassel that made it deserving of the name Kassel. I was fascinated by the word itself and would mumble “Kassel, Kassel, Kassel” to myself as I gazed out of the window.
|Fulda river bank in Kassel with Claes Oldenborg's Pickaxe (Spitzhacke)|
References Kassel. Wikipedia: www.thefullwiki.org/Cassel,_Germany.
 Dieter Berger: Geographische Namen in Deutschland. Second Edition. Dudenverlag, Mannheim, 1999.
 Antonia Baum: The little lady in the black fur. Merian, English Edition, 2017.