6 Scenic Fairy Tale Routes You Can’t Miss Near Wilhelmshaven, Germany-North Sea 3

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Port Of Wilhelmshaven, Germany

Germany‘s only deep-water port, Wilhelmshaven is located between Ems and Weser rivers. It is along the west bank of Jade Bay, an inlet of the North Sea. Port of Wilhelmshaven consists of two sections: the outer deep water port and the inner one which is behind a dual chamber lock. It is furnished with state-of-the-art facilities for the transshipment of bulk cargo, containers, refrigerated cargo, foods, general cargo and project shipments. Wilhelmshaven Port is also a central transshipment area for crude oil, petroleum products, coal as well as chemical products. It makes a key distribution point towards securing energy supply in Germany. In addition to this, Wilhelmshaven is also Germany‘s main military port.

About Wilhelmshaven:

This is a city in the Lower Saxony state in Northwestern Germany. Wilhelm I (of whom the city was named after) founded it in 1853. Wilhelmshaven was a territory bought by Prussia (a German state in 1525) from Oldenburg. In 1937, it was united with Rustingen and returned to Oldenburg. Since this town is a naval base of the German navy, Wilhelmshaven suffered heavy bombing by the Allied forces during World War II. Its naval installations were dismantled after the Second World War, but in 1956, Wilhelmshaven was made a naval base again. Aside from being a base of the German navy, this city is also a major oil port and industrial center. It also has marine and biological institutes and an ornithological (study of birds) station.

Lower Saxony is an area of fairy tales. Most of the stories written by the brothers Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm (famous German writers) were set in the beautiful towns near Wilhelmshaven. They are the hearts of the German Fairy Tale Route that bring your most loved fairy tales of childhood days into life.

Map showing Wilhelmshaven, Germany.

“Once upon a time”, these were the four words you always loved to hear as a kid. And of course, you will never forget that time when those four magical words will bring you into another world. What a perfect place that was, and then one day its gone. We grew up and stopped dreaming. We become adults and face the reality of a tough world.

Aboard the M/T Sallie Knutsen in 2004, we anchored at Wilhelmshaven for oil discharging. Have you ever been to a new place and you just can’t find any word to describe how you feel? That exactly what happened to me when we were at the city and the “fairy tale” towns nearby during that time. Because those places are not fairy tales at all but real. The German Fairy Tale Route are places that inspired the stories written by the Grimm Brothers. If you have some plans to visit them one day, keep reading. Find out about 6 scenic fairy tale route you can’t miss near Wilhemshaven, Germany.

Join The Pied Piper In The Rat Trail At Hameln

Christmas market in Hameln.

“In 1284, while the town of Hameln was suffering from a rat infestation, a piper dressed in multi-colored clothing (pied) appeared claiming as a rat catcher….”

The Weser River where the Pied Piper led the rats of Hameln and got drowned.

Hameln, a scenic fairy tale route you can’t miss near Wilhelmshaven, Germany is associated with the story of The Pied Piper. In the summer months, the tale is re-enacted at the town square every Sunday. However, when the Grimm Brothers wrote this story, they based it on a real fact that happened in June 26, 1284. On that feast day of the Saints John and Paul, about 130 children of Hameln were led out of town by a piper in multi-colored clothes. After passing Koppenberg Street, they disappeared forever. Even to this day, music is not allowed to be played on the street where the children walked when they vanished from Hameln. Now, if you are not exploring Hameln for the fairy tale thing, this town is worth a look for its Renaissance architecture and other interesting sights. It takes about 4 hours, 31 minutes by train from Wilhelmshaven to Hameln.

Visit Cinderella’s Everstein Castle At Polle

“Once upon a time, a girl named Cinderella lived in Everstein Castle with her stepmother and two stepsisters…”

The town of Polle is a scenic fairy tale route you can’t miss near Wilhelmshaven, Germany. It is where Everstein Castle is located, by the banks of the Weser River. This castle is included in the Grimm Brothers fairy tale way. It was said that the two brothers traveled to Polle and noticed that the Everstein was a good background for Cinderella‘s story. You too, can visit Everstein Castle. When you climb to the top of the tower, a breathtaking view of Polle and Weser River awaits. This castle was once the home of dukes from 1226-1492. In 1493, Everstein lost its sense of military use. It was left into ruins and some of the stones from its walls were used for the building of nearby Bevern Castle. In summer, there is also a performance of Cinderella and her Prince held at the main square of Polle.

Mirror, Mirror On The Wall, Who in Bergfreiheit Is Fairest Of All?

Statue of Snow White & the seven dwarfs in Bergfeirheit.

“Long, long ago, a king and queen ruled over a distant land who had a daughter with a skin as white as snow, lips as red as blood and a hair as black as ebony…”

In the hilltop village of Bergfreiheit, you can find Schloss Friedrichstein. This was the home of Margaretha von Waldeck. She was the daughter of a count and was forced to leave for Brussles (Belgium) at the age of 16 by her wicked stepmother. While in Brussels, it was said that she met a Prince and fell in love. Before she could marry the Prince, the future Philip of Spain, Margaretha was poisoned. So this was how the Grimm Brothers based their Snow White story. Near Schloss Friedrichstein is a house, Bergfreiheit, which is similar to the seven dwarfs’ home. The idyllic district of Bergfreiheit is a scenic fairy tale route you can’t miss near Wilhelmshaven, Germany. You can explore the seven dwarfs’ home to see and learn how they lived in the famous Grimm story of Snow White. During the second Sunday of each month, Snow White and the seven dwarfs are there to meet you. From Wilhelmshaven to Bad Wilderngen-Bergfreiheit is 3 hours travel by train.

The house of Snow White and the seven dwarfs in Bergfreiheit.

Watch The Race Of The Hare And The Hedgehog In Buxtehude

“On a beautiful Sunday morning, a hedgehog who lives at a field in Buxtehude….”

Just a short distance away from Hamburg, Buxtehude, a scenic fairy tale route you can’t miss near Wilhelmshaven, Germany another Grimm story took place in this town. Situated along the banks of the River Elbe, in every corner of this historic, old town of half-timbered architectures, you will find statues of a hare and hedgehog competing in a race. A favorite theme of Buxtehude, from ballet performances which you can watch at the town’s square during summer, to children’s books and souvenirs. Life size hare and hedgehog figures are also placed in front of shops. Aside from its “fairy tale” connection, Buxtehude boasts maritime and historical heritage sights. It was the first German town to be built around a central harbor basin known as Fleth. Another highlight of Buxtehude is its Gothic cathedral, St. Petri Church. But what caught our attention in Buxtehude more than the hare and the hedgehog statues were the strong presence of fellow Filipinos in this side of the world. Kabayan…

The Hare and the Hedgehog race.

Dance To The Beat Of The Town Musicians Of Bremmen

“Once there was a donkey, a dog, a cat and a rooster who felt useless as they’re quite old, fled from their master to become the musicians in the town of Bremmen….”

In Germany, Bremmen will always be remembered as the setting of the Brothers Grimm tale, “The Town Musicians of Bremmen”. The fun-loving animals have become the symbol of this city. A scenic fairy tale route you can’t miss near Wilhelmshaven, Germany. But Bremmen, which is located along Weser River has so much more to offer than its fairy tale characters. It is also the birthplace of the real Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe’s protagonist. There is a house in his honor at Bottchestrasse. It is a mile consist of only 7 structures. And in the Central Market Square which is considered as one of the most prettiest neighborhood in Germany, you can find the statue of the four witty animals. A good spot for your selfie, the statue stands at the corner of the Town Hall, Rathaus, which is a UNESCO Heritage Site. Bremmen also takes pride of its Schnoor Alley a former fishermen’s quarter. It is now an area of cafes and souvenir shops housed in stunning half-timbered houses built in the 1400s-1500s. From Wilhelmshaven to Bremmen, it takes 1 hour, 30 minutes of travel by train.

Schnoor Alley in Bremmen.

And All The Grimm Fairy Tales Were Written In Gottingen

Students in Gottingen seating under the statue of “Ganseliesel, the little goose girl.”

Famous for being a university town, Gottingen is where the Grimm Brothers lived between 1830-1837. In this city, Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm served as professors and librarians at Georg August University of Gottingen. A scenic fairy tale route you can’t miss near Wilhelmshaven, Germany. In the years that the Grimm Brothers stayed at Gottingen, they’ve collected many local stories for their fairy tales from the mountains and villages surrounding the city. The Harz mountains for one are famed for witches. It was the last region in Germany to cling to its pagan culture. And because of this, a number of tales and legends included in the Grimm collection have originated in this part. In the city center, facing the City Hall, a statue of The Little Goose Girl (Ganseliesel) stands on a fountain with her goose and a basket of flowers. It is said that this is the most-kissed girl in the world. Every graduate from Georg August University of Gottingen gives the statue a kiss for good luck after receiving their diploma. Graduate or not, you too, can give Ganseliesel a kiss when you’re in Gottingen.It takes about 3 hours train travel from Wilhelmshaven to Gottingen.

Don’t you think it is about time to stop reading those story books and start living it on the German Fairy Tale Route? They may not be as popular as other corners of Germany but don’t be deceive by that. These towns and villages near Wilhelmshaven are stunning destinations worth of your visit. I have a hint that if you include them in your travel plans when things get back to “normal”, you will be glad you did so. And you will live happily ever after….

Reference: Wikipedia