Explore the Grimm Brothers' Museum

Categories: Sightseeing, Cultural and History

Grimm Brothers Museum in Kassel
Grimm Brothers Museum in Kassel

[ source: Flickr]

In Germany literally every child knows the Grimm Brothers, and for those interested enough, a visit to the Grimm Brothers' Museum in Kassel is worth a stop. Although it has been 200 years since the first installment of their collection of fairy tales has been published, these stories are still amongst the most popular and beloved fairy tales in the country. But there is even more to the Grimm Brothers than having presented us with this national treasure. In addition, they are among the founding fathers of German philology and German studies and even undertook the compilation of the first German dictionary. The Grimm Brothers' Museum interprets their complex work and varied endeavors in depth.

Jacob Grimm was born on the 4th of January 1785 in Hanau (Hanau vacation rentals | Hanau travel guide), his brother Wilhelm merely 13 months later. From early youth on, until Wilhelm’s death in 1859, both brothers were best friends, companions and nearly inseparable. They went to the same school in Kassel (Kassel vacation rentals | Kassel travel guide), studied together at the university of Marburg (Marburg vacation rentals | Marburg travel guide) and in the end both managed to secure positions as professors at the university of Göttingen (Göttingen vacation rentals | Göttingen travel guide). With the exception of a few years during the Napoleonic Wars right after graduation, the Grimm Brothers always lived together, even after Wilhelm married in 1825.

Their unique way of living and working together proved to be very fruitful. They published various articles and books on topics like the history and structure of Germanic languages, German mythology and German grammar. Shortly after the French Revolution, in a time when big parts of Europe were shaken by war and Germany was divided into various more or less powerful smaller kingdoms, the Grimm Brothers helped to create a unifying German identity with their literary work. In later years they even started to compile the first German dictionary, but unfortunately didn’t live long enough to complete this enormous undertaking. As legend has it, Jacob, who died four years after his brother, was in the process of working on Frucht (fruit), when he collapsed on his desk in September 1863.

However, their most famous work is their collection of Children’s and Household Tales, which is commonly known as Grimm’s Fairy Tales. In 1812 their first edition consisted of only 86 stories, but they kept publishing revised and extended editions until they had 211 tales together in the end. Some of their most popular fairy tales are Little Snow White, Hansel and Gretel and Rapunzel.

If you are in Germany and want to know more about the Grimm Brothers, you should visit the Grimm Brothers' Museum in Kassel. In the library there you can find copies of all of their texts and you can even look at some of their original books from the 19th century.

[ source: wikipedia.org ]

About this Article

Kathrin Wagner

This travel guide has been written by Kathrin Wagner.

She grew up in a small town in Bavaria and then studied Media studies, Literature and History in Erlangen and Munich. As a student she already spent half a year in London and moved back there after graduation in 2006. She is still living in London, where she works in publishing.

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Location, Map, and Driving Directions

Location: Brüder Grimm-Platz 4, 34117 Kassel, Germany

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