This wonderful town is truly one of Germany’s best-kept secrets. Find out for yourself.
By Sharon Hudgins
The historic little town of Hannoversch Münden is one of many gems along the German Fairy Tale Route (Deutsche Märchenstrasse), the 600 kilometers (375 miles) of roadways between Bremerhaven in the north and Hanau in the south. Established as an official tourist route in 1975, the Fairy Tale Route links together the places where the brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm were born, lived and worked between 1785 and 1863—the towns, villages, forests and farms where they traveled to collect the old folk tales they crafted into their famous Grimm’s Fairy Tales, beloved of children and adults alike.
Parts of this German Fairy Tale Route overlap with the picturesque German Half-Timbered Houses Route (Deutsche Fachwerkstrasse)—and Hannoversch Münden lies at one of the points where those two routes intersect and boasts more than 700 richly decorated half-timbered buildings, many dating from five to six centuries ago. It’s also surrounded by a bucolic countryside that in the misty past might have concealed some of the darker sides of life that the Brothers Grimm wove into their stories about wicked witches, ravenous wolves and damsels in distress. But you won’t feel threatened by any real or imagined monsters there today. The “danger” lies in the temptation to give up your day job and settle down on the German Fairy Tale Route for the rest of your life.
Situated approximately at the halfway point on the route, Hannoversch Münden is a good base from which to explore the central part of this storied landscape. But you should begin with Hannoversch Münden itself. Since the town is small (only 24,000 people), with a compact Old Town (Altstadt) in the center, you can see the major sights on foot in one day. As the charm of Hannoversch Münden grows on you, though, you’ll surely want to linger longer.
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