Anniversary year 2013: Brothers Grimm
The fairytales of brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm are among the best-known works of German literature. Their collection of ‘Children’s and Household Tales’ made the Brothers Grimm famous around the world. 20 December 2012 marked the 200th anniversary of the first edition of these popular stories.
The German National Tourist Board (GNTB), in conjunction with the Hessen Agentur, the regional PR agency, is using this anniversary as basis for encouraging culturally minded travellers to visit Germany. “The legacy of the Brothers Grimm presents a great opportunity to market Germany globally as a top cultural destination,” says Petra Hedorfer, Chief Executive Officer of the GNTB. Recent surveys show that Destination Germany has been one of the most popular cultural travel destinations around the world for many years and is associated with a wide range of cultural activities.
International activities to boost Germany’s image
Targeted international marketing activities will continue to reinforce the image of Germany as a destination for culturally minded holidaymakers. German fairytales represent an ideal vehicle for achieving this, with the GNTB using the potential of the existing German Fairytale Route and the various Brothers Grimm events taking place in the anniversary year and beyond as a way of making Destination Germany even more attractive to foreign visitors. Once in Germany, international visitors can look forward to a host of cultural attractions as well as a packed calendar of events.
Regional Grimm exhibition in Hessen
With their collection of fairytales, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm have made a huge contribution to global culture and rank among the leading figures of German and European cultural history. The two brothers collected a total of more than two hundred texts, mostly working in and around Kassel, and drawing on oral traditions as well as written sources. The brothers have numerous associations with Hessen, including their birthplace of Hanau, their childhood home in Steinau, Marburg where they studied and Kassel, where they served at the court of the Elector.
At the heart of the celebrations for the 2013 Grimm anniversary will be the central exhibition EXPEDITION GRIMM. It runs from 27 April to 8 September 2013 and will include a number of original items. “This major regional exhibition is a central project, but it is also part of an exciting overall programme that includes many fascinating events at numerous locations across Hessen. The many links between Hessen and ‘our’ Brothers Grimm can be experienced by visitors throughout 2013,” says Hessen’s Minister for Science and the Arts, Eva Kühne-Hörmann. Full event listings are available at www.grimm2013.de
German Fairytale Route
One of the oldest and best known of the almost 200 scenic routes in Germany, the German Fairytale Route runs for 600 kilometres, linking important places in the lives and work of the famous brothers. All the way from Hanau and Bremen it takes in many places associated with the brother’s tales in stories such as the Bremen Town Musicians and The Pied Piper of Hamelin. In Hanau, where Jacob and Wilhelm were born, fans can visit the Brothers Grimm Fairytale Festival from 17 May to 21 July 2013, while Steinau, where they spent their childhood, offers a puppet festival. The manuscripts of the famous fairytales, listed in UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register, are on display as part of a permanent exhibition at the Brothers Grimm Museum in the Palais Bellevue. En route to Kassel, the trail leads through lovingly restored medieval towns where the fairytales come alive for visitors, for example at the Snow White village of Bad Wildungen-Bergfreiheit, in the Little Red Riding Hood region between Alsfeld and Fritzlar or at Mother Hulda’s lake in the hills of the Hoher Meissner. While Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm collected fairytales, taught as professors and compiled dictionaries, their brother Ludwig Emil Grimm, a painter, helped establish Europe’s first artists’ colony in Willingshausen. Jacob also made forays into politics as a member of the first German national assembly in Frankfurt.