Last week we started an exciting family storybook vacation in the magical world of the brothers Grimm’s fairy tale road. Appropriately, the first place on the journey and birth place of the Brother’s Grimm started in Hanau in the state of Hesse.
Now the adventure in the magical land of the Brothers Grimm’s fairy tale road continues another 30km (19 miles) to Steinau an der Strasse, where the Brothers Grimm spent their carefree youth.
Steinau an der Strasse – The Brothers Grimm grew up in Steinau. When you arrive take time to look for Grimm figurines around town and puppet shows at the Marionettentheater. The Museum Bruder Grimm Haus is the half- timbered house where the Grimms lived. Take time to visit The Renaissance Schloss which has dioramas from the fairy tales and be sure to climb its nice tower for a view of Steinau.
More about the places to visit:
The Museum Bruder Grimm Haus is a combination of both the house where the Brothers Grimm lived for much of their childhoods as well as the house’s old barn, the Brüder Grimm Haus and Museum Steinau are delightful and fun museums for the whole family.
What to see:
- A reconstruction of the family’s old kitchen,
- The brothers’ former house also displays old personal possessions such as letters and reading glasses and;
- An upper floor divided into nine rooms with interactive displays that celebrate the Grimms’ stories and other fairy tales from around Europe.
The Schloss Steinau Castle is straight out of a Grimm fairy tale. It stands at the top of the town, with a “Fairy-tale Fountain” in front of it. Originally an early-medieval fortress, it was rebuilt in Renaissance style between 1525 and 1558 and first used by the counts of Hanau as their summer residence. You can almost see the young Grimm brothers playing on the great gray walls and imagining their fairy tale worlds.
What to see:
- A Grimm Museum, one of two in Steinau,
- An exhibition of marionettes from the marionette theater,
- The family’s personal effects, including portraits of the Grimm relatives, the family Bible, an original copy of the Grimms’ dictionary (the German equivalent of the Oxford English Dictionary),
- All sorts of mundane things such as spoons and drinking glasses, and finally
- Climb the tower for a breathtaking view of Steinau and the countryside.
The Steinauer Marionetteen Theatre is located in the former stables at Schloss Steinau; this marionette theater portrays Grimm fairy tales and other children’s classics. Performances are held most weekends at 3PM.
Steinauvisitors for information on Brother Grimms’ House.
Schloss Steinau (Steinau Castle):
Address: Steinau an der Strasse, 36396
Cost: Museum €2.50, tower €1, tour of castle and museum €6
Hours: Mar.–Oct., Tues.–Sun. 10–5; Nov.–mid-Dec., Tues.–Sun. 10–4
On the road to Kassel
As your travel to Kassel you pass through the waldeckerland and the Reinhards Forest around Kassel were the birthplace of many legends about witches, sleeping princesses, strange beasts, and magic spells. As you journey through these forest you may experience some lingering effects of tales thathad a profound influence on the Grimm brothers, who lived in Kassel from 1798 to 1830.
Welcome to Kassel, the heart of the fairy-tale route. Here is where Kassel the Brothers Grimm lived for over thirty years, working as librarians at the Electoral Library, known now as the Fridericanum, Europe’s first public museum, which today is the center of the document exhibitions. You also want to visit the Murhardsche Bibliothek (Library) which houses the Brothers Grimm archives.
Throughout the city you can enjoy a unique range of museums, top of the fairy-tale-fan’s list should be the Brüder Grimm Museum in the Palais Bellevue.
grimmsmuseum for detail on hours, location, and guided tours.
General Travel Essentials for the Fairy Tale Journey
Travel Essentials for the Fairy Tale Road
- 370 miles long, with 50 towns and cities along the route
- Starting Point: Hanau, 13 miles east of Frankfurt
- End Point: Bremen
- Getting There: Fly to Frankfurt International Airport
- Getting Around: The best way to experience the Fairy Tale Road is by car, and you can get a rental car at the Frankfurt Airport. Take the Autobahn A66 to Hanau, the starting point of the Fairy Tale Road, and from there just follow the signposts for your route.
- Time to Take: One week
- Take a look at the Fairy Tale Road Map
The journey continues …