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The Pied Piper of Hamelin, a character from Brothers Grimm tales

We all know The Brothers Grimm since our childhood years. In early 19th century, they transformed folklore stories into a collection of over 200 children tales. “Hänsel and Grethel” was their most famous one that I know about, but have any of you heard about the Pied Piper of Hamelin?

I only recently discovered both the story and the town. Because Hamelin is a beautiful town in Lower Saxony, and the characters of the Pied Piper tale can be seen today, scattered everywhere, in the historic center.

The Tale of Pied Pieper

In summary, the tale is about a man who was promised a fortune if he got rid of the rats that had invaded and plagued the small town. He did it, but the people didn’t want to reward him anymore. He later returned to revenge himself, making all the small children to disappear in the same way he did with the mice: they were hypnotized by the music of his flute and followed him away, never to return home again. Quite a grim story, not my favorite to be honest, and I hope it was just that, a fantasy, or that it got badly twisted over the centuries.

The Town

But let’s get back to nowadays Hamelin, and I’ll share with you more about this lovely, colorful, laid-back town.

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If you’re based in Hanover, the closest big city, you get here in less than an hour by driving or by train. There are also other nice towns, close to Hanover, that you might want to check and that I really recommend visiting:

Weringerode

Marienburg

Four days in Lower Saxony

In the historic city center, the streets are paved by the everlasting big blocks of stone, and on the sides, the beautiful buildings, some transformed in museums, some in hotels or restaurants, will make you stop and stare and visit and take many photos:).

The recommended route is this red line, if you don’t have too much time, and want to experience the best in a couple of hours.

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The museum of Hamelin is this beautiful building in Weser Renaissance style, a cultural-architectural style found only to the Weser area in Central Germany.  But the museum itself is a great place, showcasing the history of the town, the story of the Pied Piper of course, and a modern puppet show. To its left, part of the museum and connected by a passage-way with it, there’s another beautiful building with a bakery at the first floor.

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This beautiful museum and a Pied Piper statue. Pied is actually the colored costume he is wearing and Piper comes from his Pipe or flute, used for attracting the mice and later on the children.
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Another beautiful looking building, connected to the museum, with the bakery at the ground floor.

But the story of Pied Piper does not remain closed only for the Museum, it’s everywhere you turn your head: statues of the characters, on the paved roads and on the buildings’ facades.

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The City Hall Building is another landmark that I liked a lot. In the square in front of it, from May to September, on Sundays, at 12:00 pm, there’s a 30 minutes show, free to watch, where people play the story that made this town famous. Or at 4pm, all these bells from the front wall of the City Hall start to sing, the two small doors on second floor open wide, and the story of the Pied Piper is played by the dolls.

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Visited April 2017

 

 

 

 

 

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7 thoughts on “The Pied Piper of Hamelin, a character from Brothers Grimm tales

  1. I was watching this documentary (can’t recall the name) that was talking about myths and legends. In it, they were looking at the Pied Piper story. One of the explanations could be that something (like a sickness) made children die (they have lower immune systems etc so more susceptible than adults) and to deal with the pain, the locals created this story of a Pied Piper who led the children away. In this case, the Piper could be a version of the Gream Reaper and taking the children away is a metaphor for death. 🤷🏼‍♀️ The Grimm brothers’ stories were often to teach a moral or a lesson which could also tie in with the whole darkness of their stories. 🤔 Either way, pretty little town!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, you are right about the root of this tale and they were saying a similar thing in the the Museum.
      However I still have mixed feelings about whether it’s appropriate or not to read a child these kind of stories. Although, well, we turned alright and we grew up with them:)) anyway it’s better than robots and aliens destroying planets.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah I think the world has changed a lot since then. I don’t think those tales were just for children but they were meant to provide a lesson. We have better ways of doing that now. Some of those stories were pretty dark but as you said, we turned out ok 🤷🏼‍♀️

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t heard about the tale of Pied Pieper and your post was truly enlightening. I would love to explore Hamelin as it seems so mesmerizing. Is a day trip there enough to see all the highlights?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Lydia, thanks for reading my article. Yes, one day it’s enough time to visit Hamelin. Of course you could stretch it as much as you like or maybe do a tour, and see also the beautiful towns that are around this area.

      Like

  3. This looks like so much fun!! It is interesting to see a town that revolves around such a sad and scary story. I really enjoy visiting places that inspired creative writing. It is so neat to see how the location influenced the writing and what the people of these towns think of the writing. I will have to add this to my wish list. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

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