© Paavo Blåfield

Life Stations of the Brothers Grimm


© Medienzentrum der Stadt Hanau

"No less vivid in my mind are the thoughts of Jacob and I walking hand in hand across the market square in the new town (… ), stopping in childish joy to watch the golden rooster at the top of the tower, turning to and fro in the wind."
The national monument of the Brothers Grimm was inaugurated in 1896 on this very market square; since 1975 it is also the starting point of the German Fairy Tale Route.
Hanau has been officially called the Brothers Grimm City since 2006. It was here that Jacob and Wilhelm and Ludwig Emil Grimm saw the light of day. The city honours its famous sons with a literature and art prize, historical city tours, the annual Brothers Grimm Festival and numerous other initiatives and offers.


Steinau also bears the official title of Brothers Grimm City. Here the Grimms lived, in their own words, "a wonderful childhood”, whose impressions were unforgettable throughout their lives. Thus Jacob writes: "I feel that my most vivid drives and inspirations cling to my homeland. I spent the freshest and happiest part of my life there." Steinau, the brothers' much-praised home town, has retained its appearance - even today it would still be familiar to the Grimms.
In 1791, the family of the bailiff father Grimm moved to Steinau, into the more than 200-year-old magistrate’s house. Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm lived there after the death of their father until 1798. Today, the former residence is now known as the Brothers Grimm House, and invites visitors to get to know the Grimm family as well as the life and work of the famous brothers.


"They studied in Marburg." (Hermann Grimm)

In letters, the Grimms raved about the "castle on the mountain", which was "gilded by the evening sun". About the city itself, Jacob wrote, "I think there are more stairs in the streets than in the houses." Thus, in their student days between 1802 and 1806, they often climbed the steps from their residence at Barfüßerstraße 35 to their professor in the Ritterstraße.
Marburg commemorates the Brothers Grimm with guided tours to scenes from Otto Ubbelohde's illustrations of Grimms fairy tales. The "Grimm-Dich-Pfad" path with fairytale sculptures, Sterntaler Light Art Project, Grimm Park and other events invite you to walk in the footsteps of the Brothers Grimm and their fairytale heroes.


© Kassel Marketing

"In Kassel, they became librarians at the Hessian State Library..." (Hermann Grimm)

Between 1798 and 1841 the Grimm brothers spent about thirty years in Kassel. Here they worked as librarians, and collected, documented and revised about 200 fairy tales and legends.
The personal copies of the Tales of Children and the Home are registered as UNESCO World Document Heritage and can be admired in the GRIMMWELT exhibition. The capital of the German Fairy Tale Route has a lot of "Grimm" things to offer. For example, the guided tour "In the footsteps of the Brothers Grimm", the Brothers Grimm Festival with fairytale musical and the fairytale Christmas Market, which is dedicated to a different Grimm fairy tale every year.


© Lars Gerhardts

In Göttingen, at the then and now famous Georg-August-University, the two brothers were active as librarians and professors from 1829 to 1837, and with the "Göttingen Seven" they set personal and social trends with far-reaching political consequences.
As committed scholars, they made a lasting contribution to Göttingen's profile as a city of science.
This is portrayed at the time-honoured Georg-August-University and you can experience it personally during thematic city tours.


(not part of the German Fairy Tale Route)

"Then the last decades in Berlin." (Hermann Grimm)

After a three-year intermezzo in Kassel as exiles and without employment, the brothers were summoned to Berlin by the new Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm in 1840 as members of the "Academy of Sciences" with a special salary.
There you can visit their graves today in the old St. Matthew's churchyard.

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