Bremen City in detail

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The Fantastic Four

In the Brothers Grimm fairy tale, the Bremer Stadtmusikanten (Town Musicians of Bremen) never actually make it to Bremen, though you'll see statues and other references to them all over town. Starting with a donkey, four overworked and ageing animals – fearing the knacker's yard or the Sunday roasting pan – run away from their owners. They head for Bremen, intending, like many young dreamers, to make their fortune as musicians.

On their first night on the road, they decide to shelter in a house. It turns out to be occupied by robbers, as our heroes discover when they climb on the donkey to peer through the window. The sight of a rooster atop a cat, perched on a dog, which is sitting on a donkey – and the ‘musical’ accompaniment of braying, barking, meowing and crowing – startles the robbers so much, they flee. The animals remain and make their home ‘where you’ll probably still find them today’.

On Sunday from May to September, this story is charmingly re-enacted at noon in Bremen’s Marktplatz.