Why Kassel, Germany is a Real-Life Fairytale
The Brothers Grimm lived here
Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm are two of the most celebrated writers of all time and Kassel is where they completed most of their work. The stories that they told and wrote are now known all over the world but very few people know exactly where they originate.
The two storytelling brothers moved to Kassel after graduating from university in 1804 and spent most of their time researching folklore in the library where they worked. For just over 25 years they lived in the city collecting and writing traditional tales which quickly became widely recognised.
There are castles, everywhere
I mean … just look at the name of the city. This place is castles and palaces galore.
We recommend heading to Bergpark just outside the city centre. Here you will find not one but three magnificent historic structures amongst the trees and waterfalls. It really is like stepping straight into one of your favourite storybooks and just having a look around.
It’s also a miracle that these beautiful buildings still exist. Ninety percent of the city centre was destroyed in 1943 during WW2 bombings. The remaining castles and places have truly stood the test of time.
It’s easy to get to
If you look at a map of Germany you will notice that Kassel really is right in the centre of the country. This makes it incredibly easy to get to from just about anywhere.
The nearest large city is Frankfurt which is just 2 hours away and the nearest airport is only 20 minutes from the city centre.
If you’re travelling by coach from Calais, France you’ll be astounded to hear that you will actually be able to reach Kassel in under a day!
When you’re in the city itself you’ll find it incredibly easy to get around by tram. These trams are efficient, quick and a pleasure to use.
Because you can follow the Pied Piper straight into Hamelin
You must know the story. A piper is asked to play his magic pipe to get rid of the rat infestation in a small German town. The mayor refuses to pay him for his good deed but the piper then has his revenge by using his talent to lead all of the children out of the town instead.
Unlike the grim(m) story, the town of Hamelin is quite lovely. It has a rich history and many interesting shops to explore. The townsfolk love welcoming tourists so much that they actually perform the tale of the Pied Piper in the centre every Sunday.
It’s one of the most typically German cities
Out of all the tourist-driven and busy cities you could visit in such a culturally rich country, Kassel is one of the few that have kept their charm. The centre is a hub for the celebrated “fairytale route” which you and your group can follow and learn about all of folklore that has come out of the region.
People from Kassel are incredibly proud of their city and it really shows. Since the post-war reconstructions were finished their main aim has been to preserve the true essence of what the city, and it’s culture, encompasses. We believe they’ve succeeded!
Kassel is known for it’s seemingly endless parks and gardens. In Bergpark you can actually follow the cascading waterfalls from where they start at the Hercules monument all the way to the lake at Wilhelmshoe palace. It’s the beauty and mystery of this hour long walk that inspired so many Grimm tales.
Watch “Kassel – The Wilhelmshöhe Palace and Park” from Discover Germany:
Continue into the city centre and you will find countless sculptures along the streets. Europe’s first public art museum was opened in Kassel in 1779. Since then creativity and visual art has been a huge part of the city’s culture and history so you’re bound to be enchanted both by it’s greenery and artwork.
Your favourite stories are there
You may have read the world famous stories but have you ever seen the original copies?
Visit Grimm World, a museum dedicated to the life and work of the Brothers Grimm, and even see original notes written by the authors themselves. The centre is incredibly unique and really celebrates the brothers as the prodigies they were!
There is nowhere in the world quite like Kassel. Writers and artists from all over the world have fallen in love with city and we’re inviting you and your group to do the same.