Sunday, January 31, 2016

Visit to Hanau - Birthplace of the Brothers Grimm (9 Jan 2016)

Wilhelm Grimm and Jacob Grimm
Hanau is close to Frankfurt. We went with several other couples with no clear objective in mind, but we had some really good experiences. We went first to a museum that is actually a working art school for gold and silver smiths. The area has a long history of this kind of work -- not jewelry but the making of other kinds of objects out of metals. Pictures from some of the exhibit are below. We were greeted by an employee whose name was James. He is from New York but has lived in Germany for more than 20 years. We talked to him about the church and our work here. He said that he had met with the missionaries for a while and even attended church there in Hanau, but he ultimately decided that he is happy where he is as a Catholic. We assured him that he is always welcome to visit and meet with us.

He gave us a full overview of the museum and told us about other things in Hanau that we might want to see. More on that in a minute.

Deutsches Goldschmiedehaus (German Goldsmiths' House)

Originally built as a city hall in the 1530's, this building now houses the Gesellschaft für Goldschmiedkunst (Society for Goldsmith Art). Picture from
The entire building functions as a school and as a gallery for the display of artwork by current artists and students.

The building interior is modern and has an elevator, but we elected to walk the stairs

The resident artist had a lot of work on display

made of individual silver balls made one at a time. The patina comes from some process we didn't fully understand.

It's a bowl, but creates an illusion that makes it look like a flying saucer

Can't drink from these as there are spaces between the thousands of tiny silver balls that make each cup.

One piece, but it looks like a stack of bowls

Made from a single large piece of material something like Silestone. This was probably 18 inches or more in diameter and sitting on the floor.
Student pieces. These are "jewelry" items made entirely out of currency. This origami can be unfolded and spent. 

Fanciful copper "pipe"

Janet liked the little sparrow

We weren't sure what this was supposed to represent.
Old church across the street through the old glass windows

Wavy glass made for nice views from the upstairs windows.

After our visit to the museum, we went in search of the birthplace of the brothers Grimm. It is marked by a plaque on an otherwise unimpressive building, but we never found the marker. However, we did wander into the main plaza near the "new" city hall -- you will notice that the "new" city hall is old, also (completed in 1733, destroyed during World War II and rebuilt in the post-war period).

National Memorial to the Brothers Grimm erected in 1896
We drove a few minutes away to Schloss Philippsruhe. This castle was built by counts and princes starting in 1702 into the early 19th century. It now houses a museum and meeting rooms. It is a popular spot for weddings. The museum was a fascinating look at 18th and 19th century living for the nobility. It also included an entire exhibit dedicated to Paper Puppet Theater. These were puppet theaters made from paper. The artwork was splendid in these puppet theaters, and some were very elaborate. This must have seemed a revelation in the days before movies and television.

We couldn't get the scale of the palace without borrowing a website picture: Schloss Philippsruhe Website
Entry gates

The center section where the tower is houses the museum

The wings contain ballrooms that are available to rent for weddings and parties

Much of the museum prohibited picture taking

The castle had elaborate ceilings in every room we visited.

Chandeliers had been removed from many rooms, but the remaining ones are beautiful examples of the work of area goldsmiths

A relief above a door

Many rooms have these ornate fireplaces

The tired ones found a long bench

Best night shot we could get with our little camera
Elder Kirk and Elder Jarrard talked to a woman in the museum shop and asked for a recommendation for some place nearby to eat. She directed us to the Red Lion across the street from the castle. It was quaint, and the food was delicious. We had a minor incident on the way there. Elder Jarrard was hurrying to cross the street, caught his foot on the curb, and fell down face first on the cobblestones. He scraped his forehead, skinned his knee, tore his pants, and wounded his dignity.

Elder and Sister Stevens are capturing records in Wiesbaden and have photographed more than 400,000 documents during their mission

Elder Mumm is serving in member and leader support in Friedrichsdorf with his wife

We were blessed to sit with Elder and Sister Matheson at dinner. He is retired from BYU and they are working with LDS Family Services out of the area office supporting the entire Europe Area.

Janet's large spinach filled crepes.

Jeff's dish of delicious meatballs.


  1. Amazing pictures! It is hard to comprehend how old those buildings are...and still standing!

    1. Glad you enjoyed them. The age of everything here is amazing.