The Town Musicians in the Bremen region
The region around Bremen features sculptures and monuments of all description that pay homage to the Town Musicians. Although no other place names are mentioned in the story apart from Bremen, many locals are convinced that their particular village was the setting for the robbers' house or the donkey's farmstead.
The setting for the Town Musicians fairytale is said to be based on the area around Brakel and the nearby village of Bökendorf, home of the von Haxthausen family. Most speculation surrounds the robbers' cottage, which is thought to have been located in a village called Feldtokansen, not far from Brakel and Bosseborn. A silhouetted sandstone statue depicting the brave animal heroes has stood here since 2004.
In around 1250, the pretty little village of Syke came under threat from a band of robbers. They were allegedly driven away by a donkey, a dog, a cat and a rooster making their way to Bremen. A bronze relief with hoof, paw and claw prints honours the brave animals and celebrates the night long ago when Syke was finally liberated from the marauders. The relief is mounted onto house number 52 on Hauptstrasse.
The inscription on the relief states that traces of the donkey, dog, cat and rooster were discovered here during excavations in 1976 and that a great mystery was thus resolved. So the story goes, the animals gathered in the Suurend district of Syke in around 1250, having embarked upon their famous journey to become town musicians. They spent the first night in the sprawling Syke woodland, which people say has been free of robbers ever since. It is through the Brothers Grimm fairytale of 1818 that these heroes from Syke became famous as the Bremen Town Musicians.
Where did the dog and the donkey cross paths and how far was the way to the robbers' cottage? Answers to such important questions can be found on the Kirchlinteln cycle route, which opened in 2008. Here, you quite literally follow the trail of the Town Musicians as you ride past the settings that supposedly inspired the fairytale. At the end of the route, where the robbers' cottage is thought to have stood, a monument pays tribute to the courageous quartet.