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Hameln (Hamelin), Germany - 6th June 2009

By: AnjaM

Hameln (Hamelin) - The Story of the Pied Piper

Hi Mommy,

like I said, Anja finally sat us down to tell us the story of the Pied Piper of Hameln (Hamelin):


In 1284, while the town of Hamelin was suffering from a rat infestation, a man dressed in pied appeared, claiming to be a rat-catcher. He promised the townsmen a solution for their problem with the rats. The townsmen in turn promised to pay him for the removal of the rats. The man accepted, and thus played a musical pipe to lure the rats with a song into the Weser River, where all of them drowned. Despite his success, the people reneged on their promise and refused to pay the rat-catcher. The man left the town angrily, but returned some time later, seeking revenge.

On Saint John and Paul's day while the inhabitants were in church, he played his pipe yet again, this time attracting the children of Hamelin. One hundred and thirty boys and girls followed him out of the town, where they were lured into a cave and never seen again. Depending on the version, at most two children remained behind (one of whom was lame and could not follow quickly enough, the other one was deaf and followed the other children out of curiosity) who informed the villagers of what had happened when they came out of the church.


Since that time, Hameln has been called the "Rattenfängerstadt" = literally "rat catcher city" or the city of the Pied Piper.

And references to this story are everywhere in Hameln.







In the "Hochzeitshaus" (wedding house), a lovely old building, there is even a mechanical display that shows this story several times a day.



First the Pied Piper comes out, leading the rats away


Then - after the town people refuse to pay him - he comes and leads the children away


Only the lame child and the blind child are not quick enough, so the mountain closes before they can reach it, and they return home to tell the story (in Anja's memory, it was a blind child, not a deaf child  :D)


After a long day of walking and seeing all these nice things, we had a surprise coming up in the train on the way home:

A small party of young ladies entered the train, one dressed as an angel and the others dressed as devils. They walked all through the train and sold little items. This was a bachelorette party. What fun!  :D


Well, Mommy, that was Hameln and the story of the Pied Piper. I hope you liked it. I certainly did  :D


* Posted Jun 10, 2009, 8:38 pm [Quote] Go to the top of the page


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