From the Renaissance to the annexation of the Electorate of Hesse by the Prussian state in 1866, the collecting passion of the Landgraves and Electors created a treasure chamber of great works of art that even today are still on display in their original locations. However, the Landgraves and Electors of Hesse were known not only as passionate and knowledgeable collectors but also as patrons of the natural sciences and creators of unparalleled parks and architectural landmarks. Their legacy was continued after 1866: the collections were expanded further, the princely gardens were cared for and developed. The creation of the collection of Folklore, the founding of the German Wallpaper Museum, and the conversion of the gardens into »mature« landscape parks were among the measures taken after the end of the Electorate of Hesse.
In 2006, the administrative institution in charge of the State museums, Staatliche Museen Kassel, merged with the State-owned Kassel properties cared for by the Administration of State Palaces and Gardens of Hesse to become Museumslandschaft Hessen Kassel (MHK).
The designation reflects the union of museums, parks, palaces, and gardens listed as historical monuments. The group encompasses 5 museums and 3 palace museums housing a total of 12 collections, 3 parks and 4 palaces, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site, a planetarium, and numerous other historical gardens and heritage buildings.