Along the Fairy Tale Road: Hameln & Bremen

While on our late November trip along the Fairy Tale Road, we stopped in Hameln and Bremen to visit the Christmas markets and refresh the memories of our last trip here 15 years ago.

Hameln, of course, is where the legendary Middle Ages figure, the “Rattenfänger of Hameln”, lured all the children of the town away after the townspeople refused to pay for his previous service in leading all the rats out of town.  Regardless of whether this ever really happened, the town has made the most of the story and thousands of people visit each year, mostly to look at the Rattenfänger’s statue and imagine the legend.  Just another example of how never to let the facts get in the way of a good story and then milk that story for all it’s worth.

 

Bremen, of course, is that wonderful Hanseatic city in the North that is also the ancestral home of our branch of the zur Jacobsmühlen family.  The 1404 AD statue of Roland, nephew of Charles the Great, watches over the city center and has withstood all the centuries of war and misfortune that is German history.  The legend is that so long as Roland stands, so shall Bremen survive as a free city.
From a Grimm’s fairy tale perspective, the Bremen Town Musicians occupy a prominent place downtown and their statue is an obligatory tourist posing opportunity.

 

 

 Bremen is a very romantic city!

 

The center area gets so crowded during Christmas Market time that bell-ringing Santa’s helpers walk in front of the street cars to warn pedestrians of the oncoming train.  Very civilized.
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