The German Fairy-tale Road stretches 600 kms from Hanau (near Frankfurt) in the State of Hesse through the Werra district and north to Bremen in the State of Bremen. The Road was devised by a group of city officials and business people around the sites of well known fairy-tales such as Sleeping Beauty and Red Riding Hood. At the beginning of the 19th century, the Grimm Brothers - Wilhelm and Jakob went around the region and collected fairy-tales and stories that people told them. So the collection of Grimms Fairy-tales was begun and these have since been translated into 140 languages.
There are over 60 different stop off points on the journey along the Fairy-tale Road. Here is a selection of them. Most of the linked Internet sites are in German!
The Road begins at the Grimm Brothers Statue in HANAU (in German)- birthplace of the Grimm Brothers.
Steinau - the youthful paradise of the Brothers Grimm.
Some of the outstanding features of this region are the beautiful half-timbered houses. Between Schlüchtern and Lauterbach in Illbeshausen - Hochwaldhausen, the visitor will find the "Devil's Mill"(Teufelsmühle), one of the finest half-timbered houses in the Vogelsberg.
In Lauterbach, approximately 60,000 garden gnomes are produced annually.
Somewhere in this region, Snow White (Schneewittchen) was looked after by the seven dwarves after she escaped the clutches of the evil queen. Perhaps the setting for Schneewittchen is Lohr am Rhein?
Next comes Alsfeld also famous for its half-timbered houses. The Council of Europe honoured Alsfeld as a prime example of Old Town refurbishment. A notable feature is the half-timbered Town Hall (1512) built over a stone Gothic covered market.
next stop is at Ziegenhain/Schwalmstadt.
Capital city of the Red Riding Hood Land.
Local costumes are still worn everywhere.
The red caps worn by unmarried girls on their heads were taken by the Brothers Grimm as a model for their Little Red Riding Hood.
KASSEL - halfway point on the Fairy Tale Road and home of the Grimm Museum. Go on a tour downtown at this site and find out something of the Grimm Brothers.
Eschwege - main town of the Werra District. There are interesting excursions to the flora and fauna in the Meissner (750m) nature reserve and then on to the fairy-tale mountain home of Frau Holle or Mother Holle.
A rewarding experience is an excursion into the Rheinhardswald, a forest area 30 km in length. Here stands the 650 year-old SABABURG(in German), the castle in which Sleeping Beauty, (Dornröschen) slept for a 100 years.
Stop off at Ebergötzen near Göttingen - Wilhelm Busch's "Max und Moritz" was played out in the old mill there.
the Trendelburg Turm
in the Marburg District - Rapunzel
(English version) was asked to let down her hair.
Rumpelstilzchen (English version) also comes from the Marburg District.
HAMELN famous for: The Pied Piper of Hamelin or (Der Rattenfänger von Hameln).
BREMEN (in German)- Here our journey on the German Fairy-tale Road comes to an end. This city on the river Weser is also Germany's smallest state and is famous for
The Bremen Town Musicians or - (Die Bremer Stadtmusikanten).
There are many more Fairytales that we could look at.
One is of course Hänsel and Gretel - an English version here.
Then there is The Frog Prince, Der Froschkönig oder der eiserne Heinrich.
Don't overlook Melbourne's very own Fairy Park at Anakie. Boasting cute cottages filled with animated characters from your favourite fairy tales, Fairy Park is built on an extinct volcano, now known as Mt Anakie.
If you would like more information on the German Fairy-tale Road, you can contact:
Deutsche Märchenstraße e.V.
*Thanks to the Deutsche Zentrale fuer Tourismus e.V (DZT) in Frankfurt for the use of the Märchenstrasse map and Märchenstrasse icon used on this page.
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© Copyright: D. Frank, Jan. 1998