The town of Baunatal, at the foot of the forest known as Habichtswald, lies the foundation of a modern town. First mentioned in 775 A.D. as "Rittahe", it was formed by the merger of the formerly independent communities of Altenbauna, Altenritte, Kirchbauna, Großenritte, Hertingshausen, Rengershausen and Guntershausen as a result of a Volkswagen production plant established there in 1957.
These villages look back on centuries of history. Already in prehistoric and early historical times, the town chronicle reports the settlement of the fertile Bauna valley. An unmistakable witness to this time is the Hünstein in the Großenritte district, a menhir (man-made standing stone) of quartzite about 2 metres long, the oldest cultural monument in Baunatal.
Baunatal for friends of fairy tales
The Knallhütte in Rengershausen, home of the Hütt brewery, is the birthplace of the storyteller Dorothea Viehmann. In the good old days, when carters arrived in their heavy horse-drawn wagons in front of the Knallhütte mountain, they needed help to make it over the summit. They made themselves known by cracking their whips to ask for help. Hence the name "Knallhütte" (literally: “whip-cracking hut”)
The storyteller told the brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm about 40 fairy tales and variations for at least 36 Grimm fairy tale titles. These were published in 1815, the year in which Dorothea Viehmann died, in the second volume of the Children's and Household Tales of the Brothers Grimm.
The "Fairytale fountain" in the centre of the town of Baunatal today commemorates the famous storyteller Dorothea Viehmann. The Baunatal districts of the town display a whole series of fairytale sculptures, including Puss in Boots in Rengershausen, The Seven Ravens in Altenbauna, Hansel and Gretel in Kirchbauna, The Frog King in Großenritte and The Star Money in Guntershausen.
Baunatal for holiday tourists and day visitors
In the heart of Germany, in the home of the brothers GRIMM in Northern Hesse, Baunatal presents itself with a wide range of leisure activities. The charming landscape of the Habicht forest with its gentle slopes, dense woods and small streams, invites visitors to go hiking and cycling.
It is easy to follow the traces of the cultural heritage of the Brothers Grimm, especially along the German Fairy Tale Route and the North Hessian Fairy Tale Country Path. In Baunatal, the German Fairy Tale Road stops at the Hütt brewery. This is where Dorothea Viehmann grew up, the innkeeper's daughter who entrusted the Brothers Grimm with their fairytale treasure.
In the district of Guntershausen, cyclists encounter the well-developed Ederauen path which makes it possible to bike to the North Sea via the Fulda bike path R1 and along the Weser River. Natural river landscapes, castles and picturesque village centres make cycling here a unique experience.