The Brothers Grimm and Germany

Folklorists and psychologists have devoted careers to picking apart stories collected by the Brothers Grimm, trying to determine whether some of them -- like "The Pied Piper of Hamelin," about a town that loses all its children -- may be based in fact. For me, travel is a way of finding meaning, so last fall, I went to the region of north-central Germany where the Grimms lived, searching for the settings for their stories. There would be ducks and geese in the yards, cobbled lanes leading to an old church, shops with strings of sausage and pumpernickel bread, farm fields bordered by forests and, in the distance, a castle on a hill, exactly like those in the pictures that adorned my childhood storybooks and the tourist brochures I amassed on the German Marchenstrasse, or Fairy Tale Road. -- Susan Spano Read more: Happy endings on the Fairy Tale Road Upper photo: Bremen, Germany, a town along Fairy Tale Road Lower photo: Wilhelm, left, and Jacob Grimm in a painting by Elisabeth Jerichau-Baumann
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