Bremen Town Musicians

Bremen Town Musicians
Photo by: Roger Wollstadt

Think of German literature and names like Schiller, Goethe, and Lessing will come to mind. But for those aren’t into serious literature,  a certain last name will still be recognizable. The Brothers Grimm have published some of the world’s most popular stories, but a work may have slipped the cracks that is still worth the (quick) read:  Bremen Town Musicians.

The Brothers Grimm, Jacob and Wilhelm, were German academics, most popular for their German folk-tales that have become German literature’s most important exports. Among their most famous characters to have emerged in popular culture are Cinderella, Rapunzel, Snow White and Hansel and Gretel, to name a few. The list is long – the result of almost half a century’s work – and encompasses more than 200 tales, among which is the Bremen Town Musicians. The Bremen Town Musicians is a story of a donkey, dog, cat and a rooster wanting a better life, which is the catalyst for their trip to Bremen. That’s all I’m going to say – if you have ten minutes, find out what happens here.

Of course, the namesake city of Bremen has commemorated the literary work. Directly outside of its town hall, one can find a bronze statue of the tale’s four characters, arranged like they originally were in the Brothers Grimm’s manuscripts. It was erected in 1953, and captured above in a photo from 1960. Now Bremen’s signature attraction and one of the most popular things to do in Bremen, pay the “fantastic four” a visit – and don’t forget to rub the donkey’s front legs for good luck.


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