Journey With the Brothers Grimm on Germany’s Fairy Tale Route

Kassel Moniument photo by : Malte Ruhnke

Kassel Monument photo by : Malte Ruhnke

Behind the Disney sugarcoated musical-fairytales, there are much more sinister stories that were told. Stories where Cinderella’s stepsisters cut off parts of their feet, and where Rapunzel’s charming prince had his eyes poked out with thorns. Stories like these were told during a much darker time and were not originally intended for children. These stories are the prose of the Brothers Grimm.


The Brothers Grimm, Wilhelm and Jacob, are among the most well-known storytellers of Germanic Folklore. The popularity of their stories has been translated worldwide and is the basis for almost every Disney cartoon you ever grew up watching, but most people don’t know this. Another thing many people don’t know is that a lot of these stories can be linked to actual places in Germany. These locations, along with the historic locations of Wilhelm and Jacob, are collectively known as “Germany’s Fairy Tale Route”.


Germany’s Fairy Tale Route is 370 miles long (600 km) stretching from Hanau in the south to Bremen in the north, and passes through a variety of scenic regions. Here’s the breakdown per Wikipedia:

A Whimsical Tale from the Grimm Report

A Whimsical Tale from the Grimm Report

From Hanau to Kassel

Between Kassel and Fürstenberg, the Route offers two alternatives:

The Mother Hulda Route

The Sleeping Beauty Route

To the north of Fürstenberg, the Route’s two forks rejoin:

About Christa Thompson

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Christa Thompson is the Founder and Chief Editor of The Fairytale Traveler. She started traveling the world in 2003 when she attended a summer abroad study at the University of Cambridge in England. Since then, her wanderlust has been fierce. Her three passions in life are her son, traveling, and being creative. The Fairytale Traveler brand gives Christa the opportunity to do all of these things and to live intentionally every day. "It's never too late to believe in what you love and to pursue your dreams." -Christa Thompson

30 Comments on this post

  1. […] and the Modern AgeCinderella’s Fairy Tale Hall in Fantasyland at Tokyo Disney – Japan Travel BlogJourney With the Brothers Grimm on Germany’s Fairy Tale Route .recentcomments a{display:inline !important;padding:0 !important;margin:0 […]

  2. […] to you, our humble readership for the mishap of this incident, but fear not. The good folks of The Fairytale Traveler blog have agreed to bail us out as we work on coming up with the money to bail out Chicken […]

  3. Sounds like a trek this fairytale fan would like to make, one day. (:

    deshipley / Reply
  4. Had no idea they were linked to actual places – but boy – those Grimm brothers knew how to write a grim tale!! Not the stuff of Disney and more the stuff of nightmares – do you have any idea why there is this tradition of such scary stories for children?

    thoroughbred24 / Reply
  5. oh that is a trek I have to go on… it would be awesome to see the places that helped inspire the stories…

    rgdole / Reply
  6. […] the legend of the Headless Horseman. The tale, originally from Celtic Folklore, was told by the Brothers Grimm and retold by author Washington Irving in […]

  7. […] Journey With the Brothers Grimm on Germany’s Fairy Tale Route ( […]

  8. I can personally recommend the Brother’s Grimm Museum in Kassel, as well as the Museum and zoo-area of the Sababurg. Both show the different Fairy Tales quite nicely.
    There was also an “Expedition Grimm” (Expedition Grimm) for the 200th anniversary of the first release of the Children’s and Household Tales, as well as the death-anniversaries of Ludwig Emil Grimm and Jacob Grimm (150), which was pretty cool, as you could discover some of the history of the Grimms and the Fairy Tales on your own. They even had a 18+ section for original excerpts from the first versions of the Fairy Tale collection.
    And by the way: The Sababurg might me called the Sleeping Beauty castle, but it is named after a giantess. 😉

    On a side note: Kassel itself has several other great museums, that do not primarily include Fairy Tales, but the history of city itself among other things, which is also quite interesting. Especially the Schloss Wilhelmshöhe with its huge (mountain) park (Bergpark) and the Monument (which is called the Hercules) is a sight to behold.

    PoiSonPaiNter / Reply
  9. […] The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is one of the most well known folktales in American culture. It was originally introduced into American literature in 1820 as a short story from, The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent, by American author, Washington Irving (also known for the legendary American folktale, “Rip Van Winkle”). After spending a great deal of time in Europe, Irving was greatly influenced by the stories of the Celtic Headless Horseman, the dullahan, and Germanic folklore as told by the Brothers Grimm. […]

  10. Enjoyed your post. I was also on the Fairy Tale Route in September working on a revised version of the book The German Fairy Tale Landscape with my German co-author, Michael Iba. Like you, I am surprised how few English speakers know of this wonderful part of Germany. In my very biased opinion, it exceeds the Romantic Road in every respect. There are a dozen towns and cities at least that are much more attractive — and must less touristy — than Rothenburg. But that’s for your readers to discover.

    Thomas L. Johnson / Reply
  11. […] Click to read a much more detailed listing of Germany’s Fairy Tale Route […]

  12. […] For a complete listing of the Brothers Grimm Fairy Tale Route in Germany click here! […]

  13. WOW!!! Your blog is amazing. Well, I love every blog you wrote cause it is creepy. Ummm… I just wondered if you could do a blog on other mythical creatures like, lets say vampires or other creatures, but if you do please, I’ll just stay tuned in your website. And uhhh… If you are probably wondering why? I requested this because, Im doing research according to creatures. Thank you by the way I hope you take up my offer

    Christine / Reply
  14. I also just wrote about the German Fairytale route. Such a fabulous rod trip!

    Jules / Reply

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