The city of Kassel, Germany – fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm and modern art

The city of Kassel, Germany – fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm and modern art

With the most important and traditional documentary exhibition of its kind in the world, the city has gained a reputation as a center for contemporary art. But even beyond this exhibition, which takes place every five years, Kassel is one of the first art addresses in the whole of Europe. Wilhelmshöhe Castle houses, among other things, one of the largest and most important Rembrandt collections and the famous ancient statue of Kassel’s Apollo . From afar you can see the landmark Hercules, which towers over the city with dignity.

The charm of the 1950s and the atmosphere of the city center

The city as it stands today is not the result of reconstruction after the war, but the result of new construction on old ground. The starting point of the project was a radical break with the legacy of the past. Nevertheless, today Kassel is proud of many successful examples of architecture from the 1950s, such as the Treppenstrasse complex, which has long been listed as a listed building. In recent decades, however, new efforts have been made to restore and enhance the attractiveness of its center, which is now adorned with modern new buildings, art in public spaces and unconventionally transformed squares and squares.

The charm of the 1950s and the atmosphere of the center

The city center consists of the city center itself, which extends to the “Beautiful Lookout Point”. From there one has a wonderful view of the extensive Karlovy Vary Park, a small residential and commercial area with the Entenanger Square and the covered marketplace and finally the city area from “Vinice” to today’s Weinberg Cultural Centre.

The first German theater and Goethe’s elephant.

The Federal Garden Show in 1955, the documentary film exhibition held for the first time in the same year, and finally the University of Kassel, which was founded in 1970 initially as a general education university, have all played an important role in the development of the city: They have meant new residents, visitors and target groups. However, Kassel boasts one of the longest theatrical traditions in Germany: In 1605, the first German stone theater in history was built here – today it is the Kassel State Theatre.

Germany’s first theater and Goethe’s elephant

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The city can share many other institutions with top-notch acting companies and innovative programs. In addition to the permanent landmark of the city, Wilhelmshöhe Castle with its Baroque park (UNESCO World Heritage Site), the city also boasts museums: The New Gallery showcases art from the last two centuries and the Natural Sciences Museum houses Goethe’s famous elephant. In the Astronomy and Physics Cabinet , a collection of scientific measuring instruments of the prince of the earth, you will be amazed by unexpected phenomena and discoveries in astronomy, timekeeping, geodesy, physics and mathematics. In addition, thanks to the Brothers Grimm Museum, Kassel honors the memory of two famous linguists and storytellers who spent 30 years of their lives here.

The world of the Brothers Grimm attracts generations

The futuristic building of the Brothers Grimm World rises like a mysterious monolith on the edge of the green Karlsaue Avenue in Kassel. The Grimwelt Museum, founded in 2015, tells the fascinating creative life and work of the Grimm brothers in the 19th century in an interactive way. The unique museum project offers a temporary magical home for little ones and adults, fairy tale lovers and fans of the Brothers Grimm’s work, as well as for all visitors to Kassel . The exhibition on the 200th anniversary of the publication of “Der Deutsche Schlossen”, the second largest collection of works by the Brothers Grimm, was very popular.

The world of the Brothers Grimm has attracted generations.

Few people know that Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm left behind not only their fairy tale creations, but also published a large collection of legends. The two volumes for 1816 and 1818 figuratively encourage people to retrace their steps – great entertainment for all generations. A wonderful experience is assured, especially thanks to the wonderful curator and museum director Susanne Voelker , who invited several artists to create the presentation. It takes its origins in the brothers’ fairy tales and goes back to the origins of the storytelling forms. So let’s go to Kassel, a city that is more than a fairy tale!

Wilhelmshöhe Baroque Park – Europe’s largest rock garden

Wilhelmshöhe Baroque Park, which is located right next to the castle of the same name, could indeed be called that. The vast garden complex with an area of 240 ha is a wonderful example of the interweaving of different kinds of garden architecture from the High Baroque period. The purpose of building such an impressive park was to elevate Cassel House to the level of other important royal houses. Behind the beauty of the babbling streams and waterfalls lies the skill of Italian builder Giovanni Francesco, who took 16 years to place a bronze statue of Hercules, model of the lords of the house and symbol of their power, on the imaginary throne of his architectural masterpiece.

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But it is what happens at the feet of Hercules that most attracts today’s visitor: more than 750,000 liters of water gush out daily from under a pedestal more than 70 meters high into creeks and water channels more than 12 kilometers long, through which water flows to the Great Fountain of the Castle Pond, where it rises to a height of 52 meters under natural pressure. The sight is especially impressive at dusk, when the water channels are illuminated from Hercules to the castle.

A world exhibition of contemporary art whose legacy lives on The Documentary Exhibition can be described as a symbiosis of the scandalous and the triumphant, protest and enthusiasm, provocation and experiment. It is the most important regular exhibition of contemporary art in the world, a mirror of society and a showcase of world art. Originally held every four years, it is now held every five years and lasts 100 days. The doors first opened in 1955. The aim of the exhibition was to bring to the German public the work of artists who before 1945 had been branded as “decadent” and tabooed.

The project was born at the initiative of Arnold Bode, an artist and designer from Kassel who sought a post-war revival. Some of the most impressive works displayed outdoors have become an integral part of the city’s image, such as Josef Beuys’ project “7000 Oaks”, the sculpture “Steel Frame” by the Austrian collective Haus-Rucker-Co, Claes Oldenburg’s giant pick sticking out of the bank of the Fulda River, and “Man Walking to the Sky”, an installation by Jonathan Borofsky created in 1992 on the occasion of a documentary film exhibition. The impressive art is another strong argument for visiting Kassel.

The German Fairy Tale Road – a journey into childhood

Germans, despite all their pragmatism, are great lovers of legends, fictions, fairy tales. Several famous storytellers lived and worked in the land of Germany. These names are known to us since our childhood: Wilhelm Hauff, Rudolf Erich Raspe, Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm.

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“The Deutsche Märchenstraße (German Fairy Tale Road)

Germans, for all their pragmatism, are great lovers of legends, fictions, and fairy tales. Several famous storytellers have lived and worked in Germany. These names are known to us since our childhood: Wilhelm Hauff, Rudolf Erich Raspe, Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm.

The works of German fairy tales, miraculous heroes and magical places where incredible events took place, is dedicated to the popular route compiled by the German National Tourist Office – “Deutsche Märchenstraße” (German Fairy Tale Road).

This tourist road from Bremen to Hanau has been in existence since 1975. It passes through seventy settlements, castles and fortresses; it crosses the territory of eight nature reserves, runs through the Vogelsberg Plateau and the most beautiful river valleys. Many towns along the “Road of Fairy Tales” are included in the UNESCO list as unique objects of world cultural heritage.

Route of the German Fairy Tale Road

Route map German Fairy Tales Road

Route map of the German Tales Road

The length of the road – six hundred kilometers. A single highway that would connect all points on the route, there is no. Tourists choose the optimal scheme of travel at will. You can move along the route on foot or ride bikes.

Hanau – Birthplace of the Brothers Grimm

The Brothers Grimm Monument

Grimm Brothers Monument (photo by smily19652000)

The road begins in Hanau, and for good reason. In this town in the 18th century, the Grimm brothers, storytellers, scientists and founders of German philology, were born. The citizens of Hanau erected a monument to their great countrymen on the main square.

Grimm Brothers House in Steinau

The fountain in Steinau

The fountain in Steinau

Jacob and Wilhelm spent their childhood in Steinau. For thirty years the brothers were librarians in Steinau, collecting folktales and tales from the village. Their stories can be found in the facades of the houses, and the bronze figurines of Grimm fairy tales can be seen in the streets. In the city themed festivals, performances, puppet shows are held. You can visit in Steinau and Grimm brothers’ house.

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Schwalmstadt – Land of the Little Red Riding Hood

“Little Red Riding Hood Land” (Rotkäppchenland)

In the town of Schwalmstadt the Grimm storytellers once had a home for Little Red Riding Hood. It is said that many women in the area wore red hats in the olden days. The old town of Schwalmstadt is called the capital of “Red Riding Hood Land” (Rotkäppchenland), the famous tourist region of Schwalm .

The Pied Piper of Hamelin

The Pied Piper of Hameln (Rattenfänger von Hameln)

The Pied Piper of Hameln (Rattenfänger von Hameln)

The city of Hameln was plagued by an infestation of rats in ancient times. The dangerous, vicious animals were led away from Hameln by the Pied Piper with his magic pipe, but in addition to the rats, the sorcerer also led the Hameln children away. The tale is based on real events – something similar happened in the city in the XIII century and was described in the chronicles. The story of Hamelin’s Pied Piper is now shown at the city’s summer theatrical festivals.

The Tower of the Sleeping Beauty in Sababurg Castle

Sababurg Castle - Dornröschenschloss

Sababurg Castle – Sleeping Beauty Castle (Sababurg – Dornröschenschloss), photo

Near the town of Hofgeismar, in the Reinhardswald forest, stands the romantic castle of Sababurg. In the tower of this castle, Sleeping Beauty awoke to the kiss of a handsome prince.

Castle Rapunzel – Trendelburg

Burg Trendelburg

Castle Trendelburg

The enchanted castle of Trendelburg reminds tourists of the story of Rapunzel. From the huge round tower of Trendelburg the beautiful Rapunzel lowered her beautiful plaits.

Visiting Cinderella in Pohl

A Visit to Cinderella

Visiting Cinderella.

Hard-working and beautiful Cinderella (Aschenputtel) lived in Polle . The ruins of the palace where, according to the story, the royal ball took place stand in the middle of the town. They have been partially restored and serve as a backdrop for shows and carnivals. Even today you can meet Cinderella and her prince, and you can even try on the crystal slipper.

The House of Mistress Blizzard

The Girl and Goose Fountain (Gänselieselbrunnen)

Relatively unknown, where does the strict Lady Metelitsa live? It is believed that she lives on one of the mountain peaks between Heiligenstadt and Göttingen . Every winter, the Blizzard never fails to fluff up her snowy featherbeds.

The Brothers Grimm Museum in Kassel

Brüder Grimm Museum

Brüder Grimm Museum

The center of the itinerary is the city of Kassel . The Brothers Grimm went to high school here, and lived in the city for 25 years. The brothers’ museum, the Gebrüder-Grimm-Museum, is located in the Palais Bellevue. Visitors to the city are greeted by three ancient castles and three beautiful parks. One of them – the Wilhelmshöhe Cascade Park – is regarded by many as the most beautiful in Europe.

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The most fabulous city – Hahn Münden

The most fabulous town on the route is Hahn Münden . In this small town, every street is unique, every house is like a magical setting for another story. Elegant “toy” half-timbered houses, beautiful Renaissance town hall, craft shops and real organ grinders in the streets keep the atmosphere of the Middle Ages. Many old German legends are associated with this city.


Old University in Marburg

The Old University in Marburg

In the city of Marburg, the Grimm storytelling brothers attended university and began researching the theme of folk tales. And in Göttingen the Grimms served as university professors. The elegant fountain “The Girl with the Goose” is considered a symbol of this city. According to an old tradition, the graduates have to kiss the bronze girl on the cheeks to make their wishes come true.

Musicians of Bremen

The Musicians of Bremen

The city of Bremen . Even people who have never been to Germany have heard of it. The famous “The Musicians of Bremen” came from here. A monument depicting the four friends stands on Marktplatz, and tourists are photographed against the bronze “musicians”. There’s an omen here, too – in order to return to Bremen, you need to stroke the donkey’s leg. The legs of the Bremen donkey are polished to a shine.

“Deutsche Märchenstraße (German Fairy Tale Road), photo by Maiko Hashimoto

The fairytale journey ends in Bremen. All along the way, in many towns and villages tourists are greeted by fairy tale characters. There are real feasts, town festivals and village fairs for guests. Among these pastoral landscapes and half-timbered houses fairy tales come alive, dreams come true and childhood comes back for a while.

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