Secreted away from the throngs of visitors in the centre of Germany lies the fairy tale town Steinau an der Straße. This is the magical town where the authors of some of the best loved children’s fairy stories spent their formative years. Here is where the Brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm spent their childhood. They wrote the enchanting stories such as Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella or Hansel and Gretel.
Steinau is situated in the Kinzig valley about 50 minutes by train from Frankfurt. It is like stepping back in time to a fairy tale town with a street of medieval half timbered houses, a splendid renaissance palace, a puppet theatre and a magnificent town hall. The oldest house permanently inhabited dates back to 1520 and is also a private museum and well worth a visit. Almost all of Steinau's splendid attractions are within a short walk from whereever you choose to stay.
A walk along the main street, Brüder-Grimm-Strasse, allows you to soak up the atmosphere of the town. When the Brothers Grimm lived here from 1791-1798 this was the main road for travellers between the cities of Frankfurt and Leipzig.
We would recommend a visit to the House of the Grimm Brothers. The museum houses a collection of over 200 manuscripts, examples of the brothers’ work, many family portraits and artefacts. It also details the great contribution they made to language, literature and law. Their work has been translated into 140 languages and is the most widespread literature available after the bible.
In the courtyard of the Amtshaus situated in an outbuilding is a new museum detailing the history of the trading-route from Frankfurt to Leipzig and Steinau up to the present day. It too is well worth a visit. A short walk to the Town Square (Am Kumpen) brings one to the Town Hall (Rathaus), the Castle (Schloss) and the Marionettentheater (Puppet Theatre). Situated in the centre of the Town Square is the Fairytale Fountain (Marchenbrunnen). This fountain depicts many scenes from the Brothers Grimm fairy tales. Here you also find the local Tourist Information Office (Verkehrsbüro) where visitors are welcome and will be provided with information and leaflets to help with their queries.
The imposing renaissance palace is well worth a walk around both inside and out. The more energetic family members can also climb the castle tower which gives stunning views over the town and valley. The great hall in the castle contains an exhibition of puppets tracing the history of the puppet theatre in Steinau which has had its home here for over 80 years. Colourful puppets from India, China, Poland and other countries were on display and posters from all over the World added to the atmosphere. The puppet theatre is run by the Magersuppe family and was started by Karl Magersuppe in 1924. We do recommend you see a performance in the puppet theatre whilst in Steinau. The performances sometimes have more adults than children in the audience. It is for all of you that are still children at heart!
For those with children Steinau also has a Fun Park. This park has numerous rides, with Luna-Loops, trampolines, sightseeing train and other attractions.
Tourist Office, Brüder Grimm Straße 70, 36396 Steinau an der Straße, Germany
Phone: 0049 (0) 6663 96310 Fax: 0049 (0) 6663 963133
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.steinau.de
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