Favorite thing: Culturally and historically interesting, Steinau has a number of wonderful half-timbered housed that were built in the past centuries. In the 15th and 16th centuries, Steinau has an important city in the Dukedom of Hanau. The traces that wealth and prosperity left on this town can still be seen today in the richly built houses. The most important builder in the town’s history was Master Asmus, who built houses here in the 16th century. Around town you can see samples of his work, such as the Burgmannen House (1589) and the former Civil Building “Amtshaus” (1562, today it’s the Grimm Brothers House), a beautiful renaissance building with half-timbered construction and sandstone, high arched windows, and stone facades with Akanthus Leaf Decoration.
Favorite thing: Not to be missed is the "Kumpen", the market square in the middle of the city , which is surrounded by half-timbered houses, not the least is the Rathaus (city hall), with it’s unusual timbered columns inside the house, and the Renaissance Castle. When you see the castle, you could almost start hearing your parents tell you bedtime stories. Right next to the castle is the “Fairytale Fountain” which was erected in celebration of Jakob Grimm’s 200th birthday, and is decorated with several familiar fairytale figures.
“As I remember, between two mountains lay the wonderland from my childhood dreams, that’s how I saw Steinau...” recalled the poet, author, and father of the modern fairytale, Ludwig Emil Grimm in 1820, who immortalized his Steinau in numerous sketches. And this is how Steinau looks today: between the hills of the Vogelsberg and the Spessart Hills and the Rhön, with it’s 35 meter high castle tower in the Renaissance castle, which was built be the Dukes of Hanau from 1528 - 1555. Steinau has kept up it’s historical appearance, with it’s crooked alleys and ornate half-timber houses; it’s fountains and green corners, that invite you to stay. Even the Grimm Brothers would have no trouble recognizing Steinau today – and they would still be able to find their favorite places they played as children. Steinau is almost like a fairytale city. In the year 700 the first settlements were established here, and in 1290 Rudolf of the House Habsburg granted Steinau with it’s city and marketplace rights, which was a milestone for the future economic and social development for the city. Steinau developed well as a small town on the old trade road between Frankfurt and Leipzig. Freight wagons, stage coaches and merchants stopped here and rested, eat, and swapped stories. The witnesses of this past commerce can be seen by the numerous old guesthouses and taverns, with their names like “Zum Weißen Roß” (to the White Stallion), “Zum Goldenen Ochsen” (To the Golden Ox) or “Ratsschänke” (City Hall Tavern).
Fondest memory: In the city is even a fountain called “Rapunzel’s Fountain”, where you can see a statue of Rapunzel with her golden hair, and enjoy a view of the old part of town, surrounded by the city hall, the castle, St. Catherine’s Church, the old municipal stables, and the castle servant’s house. The have preserved the past to delight the visitors and inhabitants of the present. Inside the city hall, which was built in 1561, you can still see the rare column half-timbered construction with a interesting decorated ceiling. On a tour through the castle, you can see the history of the old and noble House of Hanau, the Dukes who once lorded over the inhabitants of Steinau, and in the Grimm Brother Museum, you can discover facts about the life of the Grimm Brothers, and what motivated them to write your favorite fairytales.