Once upon a time there were two brothers, named Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, who lived in Germany. If those four opening words sound familiar, “once upon a time”, it’s because of the fairytales of those brothers and how their collection of children’s and household tales became one of the best known works of German literature.
2013 celebrates the 200th anniversary of the first edition of the Grimms’ popular stories, with the anniversary providing a reason for literature fans and cultural travelers to make Germany a travel destination. The Brothers Grimm collected a total of more than 200 texts, using a variety or oral and written sources to create their collection. Their work has made them leading figures in German and European literature.
At the heart of the celebrations for this 200th anniversary, is Expedition Grimm, a major regional exhibition in Hessen. This will include an exhibition (runs April 27 – September 8, 2013) along with various events throughout the Hessen region, giving visitors a chance to appreciate the fairytales they remember from childhood.
If you’re looking to do a road trip, consider the German Fairytale Route, one of the oldest and best known of the almost 200 scenic routes in Germany. The Germany Fairytale Route runs for nearly 375 miles, from Hanau in the north to Bremen in the south, and links together important places in the lives and works of the famous brothers.
In Hanau, where the brothers were born, you can visit the Brothers Grimm Fairytale Festival (May 1st – July 1st, 2013). In Steinau, where the brothers spent their childhood, you catch a Grimm-based puppet festival. You can find the manuscripts of the famous fairytales on display as part of a permanent exhibition at the Brothers Grimm Museum located in Palais Bellevue. While driving near Kassel, the route wends through lovingly restored medieval towns, a seemingly picture perfect spot for all those fairy tales to be set, including the village of Bad Wildungen-Bergfreiheit (the Snow White village) and the Little Red Riding Hood region between Alsfeld and Fritzlar. And don’t forget the Bremen Town Musicians when you get to the end of the line.
Make this year your own personal “once upon a time” and find Europe travel deals to Germany or beyond. You never know, your own personal fairytale may just come true.
Photo credit: via Wikimedia Commons (Sleeping Beauty Castle)