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The German Fairy Tale Route is tourist attraction in Germany originally used in 1975. Extending over a distance of 600 kilometers (373 miles), the route leads from Hanau to Bremen. Tourist attractions along the route are focussed around the brothers Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm, including locations where they lived and worked at various stages in their life, as well as regions which are linked to the fairy tales found in the Grimm collection, such as The Town Musicians of Bremen. The society Verein Deutsche Märchenstraße, headquartered in the city of Kassel, is responsible for the route, which travelers can recognize with the help of road signs depicting the heart-shaped head of a pretty, fairylike creature.[1]

File:Hanau Bruder
Brothers Grimm Memorial in Hanau.

Contents

Tourist Attractions

The German Fairy Tale Route passes through various scenic regions, which include eight natural preserves such as the Naturpark Hessisches Spessart, Naturpark Hoher Vogelsberg, Naturpark Kellerwald-Edersee, Naturpark Meißner-Kaufunger Wald, Naturpark Habichtswald, and the Naturpark Weserbergland. Towns and cities associated with the Grimm brothers and located along the route are Hanau, Steinau, Marburg and Kassel. The original Children’s and Household Tales (German: Kinder- und Hausmärchen), edited and published by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm in 1812 and known today as Grimm’s Fairy Tales (German: Grimms Märchen), can be found in Kassel. In 2005, this collection was added to the UNESCO World Document Heritage List. Several places along the Fairy Tale Route are connected with the fairy tales themselves. In the town of Alsfeld, visitors can see what is known as the House of Little Red Riding Hood (Rotkäppchenhaus); the spa Bad Wildungen offers a Snow White Museum (Schneewittchen Museum); and Dorothea Viehmann, from whom the Grimms learned about many of the fairy tales found in their collection, was born in what today is the community of Baunatal. According to legend, the hill Hoher Meissner is where Mother Hulda is said to have resided; Sababurg Castle, located in Reinhardswald Park, is referred to as the Sleeping Beauty Castle. Further attractions include the town of Hameln, of Pied Piper fame; the spa Bad Oeynhausen, which has a museum devoted to fairy tales and local legends (Deutsches Märchen- und Wesersagenmuseum); and the city of Bremen, which is famous for its Town Musicians of Bremen.

Numerous picturesque medieval towns can be found among the Route’s attractions as well. In 1975, the Council of Europe awarded Alsfeld the status of a model European community for the conservation of historic buildings. The old center of the town of Hann. Münden comprises roughly 700 half-timbered houses; the 1300-year-old town of Fritzlar is famous for its imperial cathedral; and Hameln contains beautiful examples of Weserrenaissance architecture.

The baroque grounds of Philippsruhe Palace in Hanau, the fountain displays in the Hillside Park of Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe, as well as the Bremen Town Hall with the adjacent statue of Roland (both of which are on the UNESCO World Heritage List) are also of particular interest. The 200th anniversary of the first publication of Children’s and Household Tales by the Grimm brothers will be observed in 2012-2013 with a series of events. Many other events, open-air festivals, exhibits, and performances dealing with the topic of fairy tales are held annually.

Points of Interest along the Route

The German Fairy-Tale Route runs from south to north and passes along the following points of interest:[2], [3]

From Hanau to Kassel

  • Hanau (birthplace of the Grimm brothers),
  • Steinau (Grimm House, childhood home of the Grimm brothers),
  • Schlüchtern,
  • Marburg (where the Grimm brothers studied),
  • Alsfeld (Fairy Tale House),
  • Knüllwald,
  • Fritzlar,
  • Schauenburg (Schauenburger Märchenwache: a museum dedicated to the locals Marie Hassenpflug and J.F. Krause, both of whom contributed fairy tales to the Grimm collection),
  • Baunatal (birthplace of Dorothea Viehmann, from whom the Grimm brothers learned about many of the fairy tales to be found in their collection), Kassel (where the Grimm brothers attended secondary school and where they lived for 30 years; Brothers Grimm Museum; Home of Dorothea Viehmann in the Kassel district of Niederzwehren

From Kassel to Fürstenberg

Between Kassel and Fürstenberg, the Route offers two alternatives:

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The Mother Hulda Route

File:WasserspieleKasselNachts kasselgalerie
Kassel: Cascades with Herkules.
  • Ebergötzen (Wilhelm Busch),
  • Fürstenberg (porcelain manufactory).

The Sleeping Beauty Route

File:Sababurg
Sleeping Beauty Castle Sababurg
  • Kassel,
  • Hann. Münden (place of death of Johann Andreas Eisenbarth, known as the “travelling surgeon” Doctor Eisenbarth),
  • Reinhardswald (including Sababurg Castle, known as the Sleeping Beauty Castle),
  • Fürstenberg (porcelain manufactory).

From Fürstenberg to Bremen

To the north of Fürstenberg, the Route’s two forks rejoin:

File:Hameln - Rattenfä
Hameln: Pied Piper Fountain
  • Fürstenberg,
  • Hameln (setting of the Pied Piper of Hameln),
  • Bad Oeynhausen (site of a museum devoted to fairy tales and local legends),
  • Buxtehude (associated with The Hare and the Hedgehog),
  • Bremen (associated with The Town Musicians of Bremen),

Literature

  • Eberhard Michael Iba, Thomas L. Johnson: THE GERMAN FAIRY TALE LANDSCAPE - The storied world of the Brothers Grimm, klartext, Göttingen 2006. ISBN 3-9808714-8-7
  • Eberhard Michael Iba: Auf den Spuren der Brüder Grimm. Teil I: Eine literarische Reise von Hanau nach Höxter. Strassen (Luxemburg) 2000. ISBN 2-9599793-0-3
  • Eberhard Michael Iba: Auf den Spuren der Brüder Grimm von Hanau nach Bremen. Märchen, Sagen, Geschichten. Pustet, Regensburg 1978. ISBN 3-7917-0536-9
  • Michael Pasdzior, Matthias Reinhard: Die Deutsche Märchenstraße. Auf den Spuren der Brüder Grimm. Ellert und Richter, Hamburg 1996. ISBN 3-89234-681-X
  • Dorothee Hemme: Märchenstraßen - Lebenswelten. Zur kulturellen Konstruktion einer touristischen Themenstraße. Lit, Berlin/Münster 2009. ISBN 978-3-643-10179-2 (Hochschulschrift: Zugel. Dissertation Universität Göttingen 2007)

External links

Places along the route:

References

  1. ^ Presseinfos des Vereins: „10.04.2010 - Presse-Basis-Info“ (PDF) (checked on July 8th, 2010)
  2. ^ Official map of the route, published by the Verein Deutsche Märchenstraße e.V. (checked on September 30th, 2010)
  3. ^ Info flyer, published by the Verein Deutsche Märchenstraße e.V. (unfortunately only available in German) (checked on September 30th, 2010)


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