Long, long ago in a land far, far away… or this past week in nearby Hanau and Kassel… there lived two fairy tale Christmas Markets. Each one was both as lively and cozy as the next and drew visitors from far and wide.
Yes – yet again! – we trekked along the German Fairy Tale Route, to two towns where the Brothers Grimm lived and worked. At this time of year, the famous brothers’ former home towns celebrate Christmas in enchanting fairy tale style. Hanau, an early home of the Grimms, turns the building behind the larger-than-life Brothers Grimm statues into an advent calendar, revealing a new story image each day until Christmas Eve.
Kassel, where the two story collectors lived and worked for over 30 years, brings fairy tales to life all over the main square and themes the market annually. This year Snow White took precedence among the stands, represented in pictures and figurines. My favorite aspect of this market is the unique Christmas pyramid, whose every level features characters from beloved fairy tales such as Hansel and Gretel, Sleeping Beauty, Puss in Boots, and, of course, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.
For dessert, we went straight for the fairy tale-themed baked apples, which I had remembered well from our first visit to this market a few years ago. I let James get the marzipan-stuffed Snow White apple covered in vanilla sauce this time. Remembering how that story went, I opted for the chocolate-stuffed Rapunzel apple drizzled with eggnog and topped with whipped cream. As you can guess, we are living happily ever after.
Happy 4th Sunday of Advent from the homes of the Brothers Grimm!