New Museum on the Brothers Grimm Opens In Germany
Fairy tale lovers, pack your bags. GRIMMWELT Kassel, a museum that opened in early September, explores the literary works of the Brothers Grimm—the authors who recorded legendary folk tales like Rapunzel, Hansel and Gretel, and Snow White. Located in Kassel, a German town where the brothers spent many years, the museum pays tribute to both Jacob and Wilhelm’s contributions to folklore and their considerable work in linguistics and German language studies.
The museum's exhibits and archives are spread over five split levels, with a rooftop that visitors can access by a giant open staircase running up the side of the museum. The limestone-coated building, designed by the German architecture firm Kada Wittfeld Architektur, is meant to blend into the local topography, becoming "a walk-in sculpture," as the town’s website puts it. Beneath the museum, there are limestone tunnels that were reportedly used for beer storage back when the area housed a vineyard. (The original building on the site was destroyed in World War II.)
The museum contains manuscripts of the Grimms’ Children’s and Household Tales, featuring handwritten notes and corrections from 1812 to 1815. In addition to being historians who collected folk stories from the German oral tradition, the brothers are often heralded as the founders of German language studies, and visitors are guided through the museum with the help of the Grimms’ German Dictionary, which features entries like froteufel (demon) and dornhecke (hedge of thorns). The Grimms began compiling their dictionary project in 1838, and only reached the letter F. It was completed by others in the early 1960s, about a century after the brothers’ deaths.
All images via Kada Wittfeld Architektur