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German fairy tale culture

German lands are very popular for their folklore. One of the main pillars of this culture is the “Tales of the Brothers Grimm.” These tales are a collection of stories that were collected by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. Subsequently, all these stories and characters became popular in the popular culture of the whole world.

Events of the Brothers Grimm


Today we will talk about real-life places in which the events of the tales of the Brothers Grimm and some other folk legends took place.

Sleeping Beauty.

Recall that in the story in the royal family, the long-awaited daughter was born, 12 fairies of the kingdom were invited to her name day, and the 13th was not invited, considering she was dead. So she was offended by the royal couple, came and put a curse on the girl. Having grown up, the young princess stabs her finger on the spindle (a device for yarn) and plunges into a century of sleep. Then one of the good fairies ordered everyone to leave the castle and cast a spell on him. The building is cluttered with a wall of thorns and impassable forest around to protect the sleeping beauty.

It is believed that these events took place in the castle Sababurg (Dornröschenschloß Sababurg, “Dornröschen” – “Sleeping Beauty”). It was built in the first half of the 14th century, and it flourished, but then changed its owner and fell into decay. The castle was covered with a wall of thorns, the walls were overgrown with ivy, and all the approaches were overgrown with thicket. It is not surprising that this place was covered with a veil of mysticism, and legends about the enchanted sleeping princess began to be written about him. And now there is a tourist complex. You can play there a wedding, have a snack or spend the night (≈100 euros per person and ≈140 for two, depending on the season).

The town of Schwalm is the birthplace of Little Red Riding Hood (Rotkäppchen). It was here that the tale was recorded by the Grimm brothers. Although she is not exclusively German, but the first who processed her literary, was Charles Perrault. But the Germans believe that these events could happen only in their Schwalm. In the city there is a monument to Red Riding Hood and Wolf, on holidays the local girls wear red hats, and the young men wear wolf masks.
The famous legend of the Pied Piper, which is considered to be embellished with a historical fact, occurred in the city of Hameln (Hameln). The story is about a musician who played the magic flute, beckoned all the rats of the city behind him and drowned them in the river. Not having received the promised reward from the magistrate, he did the same trick with … 130 children. They even call the exact date of this event (drowning children, not rats): June 26, 1284. The townspeople turned the legend into a major attraction. The Pied Piper is printed on postcards, depicted in stained glass windows, and the old town hall is the “Pied Piper House”, on which a sign hangs: “In 1284 on the day of John and Paul, which was on the 26th day of the month of June, dressed in motley flutist brought out of the city one hundred and thirty children born in Hameln to Coppen near Kalwaria, where they disappeared. ” Until now, under this legend, trying to tie up one or another historical event.
Everstein Castle in the city of Polle is considered to be the place where Cinderella lived. In fact, this is the castle that belonged to her father, and then the evil stepmother with her two daughters settled there. It was built at the beginning of the 13th century. Now this is not a very popular place among tourists, only ruins remain from the castle, and the rulers of an old building do not advertise on the fabulous legend of this place.
In the town of Bodenwerder (with a population of 5582 people) lived Karl Friedrich Jerome Baron von Münchgausen or simply Baron Munchhausen. It was in this city that he told his incredible stories to his neighbors. His house is still preserved there, and the entire city is littered with monuments to the inventor.

Our small excursion into German folk tales demonstrates that they are not only an expression of national culture and folk wisdom, but can also be quite valuable from a historical point of view, because they never arise from scratch and are often just a folk reinterpretation of certain historical events or personalities.

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