Hamelin and its terrible loss

The world always relates the Pied Piper to Hamelin and vice versa. He can be easily found in the town and many sights remind us of the Saga. Scores of tourists convene to see the beauty and to find clues about the legendary loss of the Hamelin Children, you may be surprised at what you find...

Two fountains remind us of the two parts of the Pied Piper story. One with rats is in the Osterstrasse not far from the Bungelosenstrasse. The fountain is a gift to the city from publishers Guenther and Hans Niemeyer. Sculptor Bruno Jakobus Hoffmann worked for three years on the artwork before it was unveiled on the 23rd of June in 2001.

The fountain with the children is found on the Rathausplatz (Pictured). It was presented in 1975 by Karl Ulrich Nuss. His design came out of a competition of 132 offers. Originally planned for the Pferdemarkt, it was deemed oversized for the old town. 

The Pied Piper's House in the Osterstrasse gained its name because of an inscription on the side relating to the loss of the Hamelin children. The Facade was erected in 1602-3 by Mayor Hermann Arendes and is in Weser Renaissance architecture. Arendes, himself a master, is likely to have designed the edifice personally. The building was purchased by the city of Hamelin in 1917 and has been on the list of "The TOP 100 sights and attractions in Germany" multiple times. Today it houses a restaurant.

One of the favorites of the guests is the Glockenspiel Carillon with Clockwork Figures on the Hochzeitshaus. Daily the Piper does his rounds with rats and children at 1:05, 3:35 and 5:35pm. At 9:35am the bells play the Weser River Song and the song of the Pied Piper can be heard at 11:35am, the very hour the Piper visited Hamelin town. The Piper is depicted in hunting green on the first circulation and with a cloak of yellow in the second.  

The legend relates to a glass window in the Market Church telling the story of the Hamelin children. Although restored in 1572. it was lost around 1660. Around the window was an inschrift that plays a major role in the historical determination of the tale. At the 700th anniversary of the legend, a glass window was installed in the church upon a design by graphic designer Klaus Zimmer and sponsored by the Rotary Club of Hamelin.



Many tourists arriving by coach walk right past the 8 x 13 meter Pied Piper Relief at the gate to the Buergergarten. Walter Ihle unveiled it at this location in 1960. It originally adorned the now-demolished auditorium of the School on the Muensterkirchhof and had been packed in cases, albeit not the original, a copy was taken by elastomer from the relief before the building was razed. 



All through the old town, the rats have returned in the form of Rat-Stones. If you follow them, they take you on a jaunt through the city past many important sights. Originally painted on, they have now become three-dimensional bronze artworks during the 2011-13 renovation of the pedestrian area. They charm a smile onto the visitors and are a beloved photo opportunity. 

A nine meter high rat monument can be found along the river, the Dancing Weser Rat. It is the product of the 2004 Rat Art Festival in the city, where 65 colourful rat figures were on display, some of them up to this very day. The remainder were auctioned off to fund the permanent artwork by Elena Glazunova that was finished in 2009 and can be viewed at the quay adjacent to the lockworks.