The Grimm family is traceable in Hesse back to the 16th century. The town of Hanau, part of the principality of Hesse-Kassel since 1736, was the father’s place of work and the birthplace of all five Grimm brothers. Their father’s sister and their mother’s father introduced Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm to the world of reading and writing. In their memoirs they described vividly their childhood in a town strongly influenced by the Huguenots.
In 1791, after their father was appointed “Amtmann” (judge and district magistrate), Steinau, a small town situated on the old trade route between Frankfurt (Main) and Leipzig, became the new domicile of the Grimm family. They lived at the “Amtshaus” which one can still visit. The idyllic scenery influenced the brothers in their attitude towards nature. However, in Steinau Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm received only a poor education. When their father died in 1796, he left behind his wife with six children – five sons and a daughter – facing an uncertain future.
Hanau / Steinau
Virtual Museum of the Brothers Grimm