Town Hall & Musicians of Bremen, Unesco Site, Bremen, Germany
On this site and in this 600 year old building. We in Bremen are proud of the fact that UNESCO has declared our town hall together with Roland Roland as the world heritage of mankind. This means that nowhere else in the world is a town hall comparable to it. It is unique – and for that reason, a virtual tour through this house is worth a visit
The “Town Musicians of Bremen” is a fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm. Despite the title of the fairy tale, the characters never actually arrive in Bremen. In Aarne–Thompson classification it is a folk tale of type 130: “outcast animals find a new home”.
In the story a donkey, a dog, a cat, and a rooster (or hen), all past their prime years in life and usefulness on their respective farms, were soon to be discarded or mistreated by their masters. One by one they leave their homes and set out together. They decide to go to Bremen, known for its freedom, to live without owners and become musicians there. (“Something better than death we can find anywhere.”)
On the way to Bremen, they see a lighted cottage; they look inside and see four robbers enjoying their ill-gotten gains. Standing on each other’s backs, they decide to scare the robbers away by making a din; the men run for their lives, not knowing what the strange sound is. The animals take possession of the house, eat a good meal, and settle in for the evening.
Later that night, the robbers return and send one of their members in to investigate. He sees the Cat’s eyes shining in the darkness and the robber thinks he is seeing the coals of the fire. He reaches over to light his candle. Things happen in quick succession; the Cat scratches his face with her claws, the Dog bites him on the leg, the Donkey kicks him with his hooves, and the Rooster crows and chases him out the door, screaming. He tells his companions that he was beset by a horrible witch who scratched him with her long fingernails (the Cat), an ogre with a knife (the Dog), a giant who had hit him with his club (the Donkey), and worst of all, the judge who screamed from the rooftop (the Rooster). The robbers abandon the cottage to the strange creatures who have taken it, where the animals live happily for the rest of their days.
Visit Germany. Epic German Adventure route © Monika Newbound