Europe’s Special “Roads”

Before I get too far into this story, I must explain a little about the various ‘Roads’ you might encounter in many European country.  These ‘Roads’, or ‘Routes’ are just highways you might travel that have some special theme or story attached to it.  Some are very famous or popular tourist attractions, some even have a UNESCO World Heritage designation associated with it.  The ones I mention are mainly in Germany and northern Italy, but there are many others in other countries both in Europe and around the world.  I will try to describe a few that we have enjoyed over the years.

            Part 1 – Germany’s Fairy Tale Road

            Part 2 – Germany’s Castle Road

            Part 3 – Germany’s Wine Road

            Part 4 – Germany’s Romantic Road

            Part 5 – Sud Tirol (Alto Adige) Strada del Vino

 The “Roads” of Europe

Part 1  “Germany’s Fairy Tale Road”

(Deutsche Märchenstraβe)

Deutsche Märchenstraβe from Author Ian Kent

Deutsche Märchenstraβe

The German Fairy Tale Road is a popular route in the northern part of Germany that was established in 1975.  It runs over 600 kilometres from Hanau in central Germany to Bremen in the north.  Most of the tourist attractions on this route are focused around the Brothers Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm.  For the section of the road that runs from Kassel to Furstenberg, you have two choices:  You can take the “Mother Hulda Route”, or the “Sleeping Beauty Route”.  At Furstenberg, the two routes rejoin.

The Brothers Grimm memorial in Hanau from Author Ian Kent

The Brothers Grimm memorial in Hanau

Ever since the brothers published their “Children’s and Household Tales” (Kinder und Hausmärchen) in 1812, the book has been popular with adults and children alike over the world.  Today the book is known as “Grimm’s Fairy Tales”.  The Fairy Tale Route connects many of the towns and villages featured in the stories.  The town of Alsfeld, visitors can see what is known as the house of ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ (Rotkäppchenhaus).  Bad Wildungen has a Snow White Museum (Schneewittchen Museum), and Sababurg Castle is referred to as the Sleeping Beauty Castle. 

The Pied Piper fountain in Hamelin from Author Ian Kent

The Pied Piper fountain in Hamelin

Of course Hamelin is the source of the Pied Piper fame, and Bremen has the Town Musicians of Bremen.

Full disclosure: Diana and I only travelled a small portion of this route.  Back in the ‘old days’, pre 1989, this part of the country was in the GDR.or German Democratic Republic, which was neither Democratic, or a Republic.  It was commonly referred to as Communist East Germany.  It was years later when we drove out to find the city of Sangerhausen, as this was the ‘Rose City’ of Germany.  Diana & I were rose growers at that time and Diana was a very successful prize and trophy winner at the Vancouver Rose Society Show.  Even these years later, when we drove into the former East Germany, there was distinct difference in the appearance, and the general ‘feel’of the place.  When we found a B&B in Sangerhausen, a lot of the differences became apparent, but that’s the subject of another tale.  Things were starting to change then, and most likely by now, there are a lot of improvements.

I just want to say that all of these places on one route makes it an ideal vacation destination for parents or children who are fascinated with Grimm’s Fairy Tales.

Click to read part 2 – Germany’s Castle Road


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