Visitors to Germany should explore German Fairy Tale Route

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NITN /Are you planning a trip to Germany? Then why not include the famous German Fairy Tale Route, or at least a part of it in your itinerary? The nearly 600km route stretches from Hanau in central Germany to Bremen in the northern part.

It largely consists of towns and cities associated with the Grimm Brothers (Jacob and Wilhelm) along with places associated with many of the tales from their book ‘Kinder- und Hausmärchen’ (Children’s and Household Tales).

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In 2005, the book (the German collection of tales was published in December 1812) was inscribed on UNESCO’s Memory of the World Registry. According to the UNESCO website, next to the Luther Bible, Grimm’s Fairy Tales ‘is the most well-known and most widely distributed book worldwide of German cultural history’ with translations existing in over 160 languages and cultural dialects from all continents.

The route was earmarked in 1975 and is managed by the Kassel headquartered Verein Deutsche Märchenstraße society.

According to the society’s website, the trail begins from the brothers’ birthplace Hanau, passes through five other stations associated with their lives and more than 50 places celebrating fairy tales and legends all the way to Bremen.

On a final detour to Buxtehude, the route leads through various natural and cultural landscapes, remote villages, cosy half-timbered towns, urban cultural centres – and through the GrimmHeimat NordHessen. Legendary castles and fairy tale palaces, enchanted forests and the famous Weser River, mystical places of legend and countless fairy tale fountains line the route, according to the website.

Here is a glimpse into some of the famous stops on the Route.


The journey starts from the monument to Jacob and Wilhelm on the market square Neustädter Marktplatz in Hanau. Hanau is about 25km east of Frankfurt. Although much of the old town was destroyed during the Second World War, today it is home to museums, galleries, parks, etc. You may take a tour of the landmarks associated with the Grimm brothers’ childhood with a guide dressed in historical costume.


This is one of the most interesting towns on the Route. From castles to museums, puppet plays to theatres, there is plenty to see and do here. Apart from a guided tour of the town, you may also follow its cycling and hiking trails. The Grimm family home is now the Brothers Grimm House Museum.


Often called ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ land, it was probably the traditional dress worn by girls in this region which served as a sartorial inspiration for the eponymous character. Fairy tale sculptures displayed in the shopping streets of Treysa town offer fun photo opportunities. You may explore the forests here and imagine the paths taken by the little girl.


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Start with a visit to the GRIMMWELT or the Brothers Grimm Museum where a guided tour will help you learn about the history of the Grimm brothers and their work. Other attractions include Mountain Park with its unique water display, the Hercules monument, thermal spa, parks, etc.


Between 1829 and 1837, the Grimm brothers taught at the university here as well as worked on several publications, including the third edition of their boon on fairy tales. A must see here is the statue of the Little Goose Girl located at the market fountain. The town is also known for its shops and cafes as well as a number of festivals.


Located in the district of Kassel, it is famous for the Sababurg Sleeping Beauty Castle.


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With a little advance planning, you may catch Rapunzel giving a short performance on Sundays at the fortress courtyard. It is worth spending a day at least in this town with its fortress, the Gothic church with its medieval frescoes, half-timbered houses, etc.


The town that immortalises Cinderella lies on the bend of the Weser River. You may even catch a performance of the endearing story on select days between May and September. You may also go on a round of the Cinderella trail around the restored castle.


The city that drew the wrath of the Pied Piper and lost all its children save one. The best time to visit the city is between mid-May and mid-September when performers enact the famous tale. A musical called ‘Rats’ is also performed here every Wednesday. The Hameln Museum, among other things, operates a Pied Piper mechanical theatre. You may also opt for a guided tour of the old city.


Image credit: Manou Azadi on UnsplashImage credit: Manou Azadi on Unsplash

The Route comes to an end in the city of Bremen, known for its tradition, heritage, science and space technology. This is where you will meet the Bremen Town Musicians of fairy tale fame, from the bronze statue to the west of the town hall, in the old Schnoor quarters, a fountain by the roadside, etc. Between May and September, you will find the city’s history told through a series of performances in the Domshof Square. Budget some time to explore the museums and the art gallery.

Information: The best time to visit this region is between May and September when most of the destinations hold their own festivals, including those themed on the characters and incidents from Grimm’s’ fairy tales. Please check with the local tourism authorities about the availability of programmes in languages other than German.

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