First of all, many of the most beloved fairy tales - Red Riding Hood, the Frog Princess, Sleeping Beauty- were compiled for the first time together by two Germans: the Brothers Grimm.
They spent years traveling the countryside and collecting folk tales. The finished product is like a comprehensive look at German culture in the 1700’s and 1800’s. They lived and worked in Kassel, under the shadow of the beautiful Wilhelmshöhe castle, which was ready-made inspiration. Nowadays, many places claim to be the inspiration the Brothers Grimm. There is even a Fairy Tale Tour of Germany for those of us who have a few weeks to kill.
3. Sleeping Beauty or Briar Rose
The Sleeping Beauty castle is in Sababurg, Germany and was built in 1334(!). Its idyllic location makes it the perfect place to imagine a fairy tale, and the thick hedges and ivy around are just like in the story.
The castle is also lined on one side by a thick and creepy forest, which one can imagine getting lost in. The prince in the Grimm version of Sleeping Beauty couldn’t make it through the woods and hedges to get to his princess.
The fortress of Trendelburg has a tower that is EXACTLY like Rapunzel’s. Except for the door, and lack of an evil witch. Trendelburg also often has characters in costume, and dramatic retellings of Grimm stories.
8. Little Red Riding Hood
The beech forests of Germany are the perfect creepy setting for a little girl to get lost in the woods. The Red Riding Hood tale has actually popped up across Europe, but we prefer the Grimm version. Plus, it seems entirely plausible that a little girl could get gobbled up by a wolf in this setting. Amiright?
Don’t go to Grandma’s, Red! Stay home!!!!
11. Hansel and Gretel
Again, children lost in the woods. What better place than Germany? Since the Brothers Grimm grew up in Hanau, a city in Germany’s southern half, it’s a safe bet to assume they had the Black Forest in mind when thinking of Hansel’s breadcrums.
13. Snow White
Some people think that Snow White’s life was based on Maria Sophia Margaretha Catherina von Erthal, a woman who lived in Lohr am Main in the 1700s. She was beloved by the Lohr citizens and hated by her stepmother. She was partially blind from a chickenpox infection she sustained as a kid.
So she probably didn’t look like this.
Her evil stepmother did have a “talking” mirror, though, which was produced by the Lohr Mirror Manufacture and which you can go see!
17. Hameln Pied Piper
The Pied Piper is a charming story about a boy who first kills a ton of rats, then makes a whole city full of children disappear. Grimm fairy tales are not known for their happy endings. The whole story plays out in the city of Hameln.
There is even a statue of the piper in the city! Yay for drowning rats!
20. In Conclusion…
Germany’s quaint towns and sweeping landscapes are exactly what you imagine a fairy tale to be like.
To the castles where a prince/princess is DEFINITELY waiting to be rescued…
And all of the turets in between, Germany is a fairytale world. Go visit!
24. BONUS: Disney Castle
Because this picture never gets old, does it?
Written By Lauren Rogers