The Brothers Grimm National Memorial, the statue we came to Hanau to see, rests in the center of town in the very large New Town market square. On the day we were there we found people sitting around the base of the statue having lunch or reading. It seemed to be a popular place.
The bronze statue shows Wilhelm Grimm seated with a large book on his lap with his brother, Jacob, standing beside him looking down at the book. It stands nearly 6 ½ meters high and includes reliefs of the brothers along the bottom of the base. A contest was held to find the artist with the winner Syrius Eberle being selected to complete the monument. There is a smaller replica of the statue in Japan.
Hanau is the starting point (and southern most stop) for the Fairy Tale Trail, a 435-mile trail that takes visitors through the towns and countryside that the Brothers Grimm lived, studied, and worked. It ends in northern Germany in the town of Bremerhaven.
Towns along the trail include:
Hanau: birthplace of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
Steinau: childhood home
Marburg: where they went to university
Kassel: origin of the brothers’ famous Childhood and Household Tales publication
Additionally there are numerous smaller towns where the brothers collected the stories and folktales that they used in their collection of stories.
The Fairy Tale Trail website includes an interactive map of the trail and its towns along the way, complete with descriptions of why the towns are part of the Fairy Tale Trail.
During 2013, the Fairy Tale Trail will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Brothers Grimm publication of stories. Special events and exhibitions are detailed in the online downloadable brochure.
NOTE: The screen shots in the above photos are from the Fairy Tale Trail website below.
The German Goldsmiths House is a beautiful red/white half-timbered building in Old Town Hanau with foundations dating back to 1538. The original building was burned to the foundation in 1945 during air raids. The building was rebuilt in 1958. Originally it was the town hall and currently houses a museum of goldsmiths and jewelers. The interior of the building includes a replica double staircase from 1742 as well as rooms that were formerly used for market sales. The fountain in the front of the structure is from the 1600s and is topped with Justice holding her scales and sword.
The Goldsmiths House is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 1100 to 1700 (closed Mondays). Admission is €2,50.
Philippsruh Castle is Hanau's number one sight. Located in a nice park next to the Main, the castle should be on every Hanau tourist's agenda. It was built in the early 18th century in Baroque style by Julius Ludwig Rotweil and Jacques Girard. Landgraves of Hessen-Kassel used it as a summer residence for several decades until the French under Napoleon occupied it. Several changes were done to the original architecture in the following centuries, among them the change of the park to an English garden (which, however, doesn't exist anymore).
Nowadays, Philippsruh Castle is a popular place for weddings and other ceremonies.
The barocque style Neustädter Rathaus was built in 1723-33 by Christian Ludwig Hermann . It was heavily destroyed during the war just like its counter part the Altstaedter Rathaus but was rebuilt again according to the old plans. Whereas the latter one is now a GOLDMSMITH HAUS the Neustaedter ( New Town) Rathaus serves today as the city hall where the mayor has his seat. However, it also has a little museum that showcases its history and behind it is a nice little courtyard with a little fountain I so enjoyed as a child.
The half- timbered Goldsmith House used to serve as the town's city hall before being replaced by the Neustaedter Rathaus. It was heavily destroyed during the war on Macrh 19, 1945 but was rebuilt by the Hanauers. Now it has exhibits of local jewellery. To my knowledge it is closed on Mondays so make sure to check the opening hours that are posted outside.
The Marienkirche is conveniently located behind it just a few steps away..
A must to see. A beautiful museum with a great park ( designed according to French style) and other little extras. Erected by Napoleon III in 1701 it later on served as the residence of the Counts of Hanau. Named after the the second last reigning Count Philipp Reinhard. Located at the banks of the Main River you can also catch a nice boat ride! Make sure to check the local newspaper ( HANAUER ANZEIGER) for events at the beautiful park. At the beginning of September the Buergerfest takes place int he park with wonderful activities for old and young. It ends with a firework..
Open from Tuesday to Sunday from 11 AM to 6 PM
The Protestant MARIENKIRCHE was built in 1454 but saw changes in 1561 as well as in 1961. It is well worth a visit (beautiful glass stained windows)and if I remember right there is also a crypt. Tours are available.
Link below for more pics and info- however, it is entirely in German. If anyone needs help, I can certainly translate..:)
Built in 1777 after a number of wars in the region Wilhelmsbad served as a spa and was named after Crown Prince Wilhelm of Hessen Kassel. It is absolutely charming and one can spend the whole day there. Stroll through the huge park, take a look at the well preserved merry-go-round, a little tunnel underneath with a small suspension bridge and plenty of lovely pavillions. If you want to take a nice break, you can sit down in the outdoor cafe. On the grounds you will also find a little theatre and a doll museum! If you have kids with you make sure you pack bread crumbs as there are plenty of swans and ducks in the little ponds..I sure loved being there when I was a kid..
The Deutsche Goldschmiedehaus (German Goldsmith's Building) is a very nice half-timbered house in central Hanau. It is one of very few old buildings left in central Hanau, as the city was widely destroyed by bombings during the second world war.
Today, the Goldschmiedehaus houses a museum which focuses on precious metal art. I couldn't go in, but judging about it by what is presented on its website, it might be an interesting thing to do.
Externally, this is a beautiful palace. Generally, I am not interested in history after the 1600s and this has artifacts primarily from the 18th century. However, if that period of history does interest you, there are lovely displays. A handful of rooms are arranged to show how they would have looked during the 18th century.
One interesting feature are the ceramic stoves in the corners, used for heat. Compared to many of the wood stoves in America, these are highly decorated and very ornate.
The gardens on the grounds are a delight to walk through in the summer. They are very lush and beautiful.
The 1st Hanau Bierbörse took place Aug 19-21 '05. Over 40 stands there mostly selling bier, some local and others from further afield, just the sort of thing to tempt me. We were there on the last day, a Sunday and the weather was not great, but each stall had some shelter and we had a great day. Hope to visit in 2006 ( Aug 18 -20)
More photos in a travellogue later.
Located in the center of the old part of Hanau it used to be part of the chateau that doesn't exist anymore. Across the street the stables were preserved and now they house the Hanauer Library.
The park has wonderful flowerbeds and mature trees and in the center of it you will find a pond with a fountain that can be illuminated at night. There is also a little hill which the children use for tobaggoning at winter.When I grew up in Hanau we had two playgrounds in the Schlossgarten but since it has been rebuilt for the Landesgartenschau ( 2002) I have no idea if they still exist.
One of the last two gates that are left over from the big wall that surrounded Hanau at one time. The Frankfurter Gate was built in 1722 and faces of course the direction towards Frankfurt.
The other remaining gate the Nuernberger Tor is in the southern part of the city.
A nice lake close to Hanau and the little town of Bruchkoebel where you can spend a stressfree weekend surrounded by a beautiful forest away from the big city..