Kassel's new visitor magnet is housed in a spacious new ‘walk-in sculpture’ construction with split levels and 1600m² of exhibition space. Organised as a glossary, the GRIMMWELT's topics can be browsed in any order, with the English-language tour brochure and captions making it accessible for non-German speakers. The brothers' manifold interests and love for tales, language, words and expressions and odd swear words is wonderfully presented with UNESCO-listed original personal reference books scribbled full with notes, displays, films, multimedia applications and artistic installations.
The brothers Grimm are most famous for the many fairy-tales, the ‘poetry of the people’, that they collected from local sources around central Germany when they lived and worked on and off in Kassel between 1798 and 1841. Adults can use tablets to browse the original editions containing dozens of stores from Germany and beyond. Children can learn about the stories and their main characters, play fun interactive games, look into the Talking Mirror and take part in an interactive film with the Seven Dwarfs. If you're up for some rest, sit down in the cinema where clips from dozens of fairy-tale films have been creatively combined.
The Grimm tales have been translated into over 170 languages from all over the world with over a billion editions printed, and dozens of these are on display here. The brothers also worked on many other linguistic projects, most notably a dictionary that took 25 years of work just to get to the letter F, and which contains 320.000 interesting words, many fun ones included. German-speakers will love shouting curses into the swearword generator - which always comes back at you with a better insult from the dictionary's pages.
Ukrainian artist Alexej Tchernyi depicts the history of the dictionary with 14 beautiful paper dioramas. Other contemporary art in the building includes Ai Wei Wei’s mysterious coloured tree roots at the bottom of the atrium.
In the section dedicated to the Grimm's personal lives, a third and less-known brother pops up: painter and sketch artist Ludwig Emil Grimm. His artworks – including a delightful, metres-long comic strip sketches of a long overland trip – give valuable insight into life in the 19th century.
Set at least two hours aside to enjoy the exhibits without hurrying. The publicly accessible Falada café and rooftop terrace are open to the public for relaxation and views. During the documenta art festival the centre's temporary exhibitions will host a modern art exhibition as well.