Steinau an der Straße
Steinau an der Straße is a town of around 10,000 in the Main-Kinzig district, in Hesse, Germany. It is situated on the river Kinzig, 32 km southwest of Fulda. Its name, meaning "on the road", refers to the historic trade route Via Regia from Leipzig to Frankfurt on which it was located. Steinau is best known for the Brothers Grimm who spent part of their childhood here.
Steinau an der Straße
|• Mayor||Malte Jörg Uffeln (-)|
|• Total||104.88 km2 (40.49 sq mi)|
|Elevation||174 - 490 m (−1,434 ft)|
|• Density||98/km2 (250/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)|
Steinau is located at an elevation of around 175 m above NHN in the valley of the Kinzig river which divides the hills of the Spessart (to the south) from the Vogelsberg (to the north). The municipal territory extends into both ranges.
The neighbouring communities are from the north (clockwise): Freiensteinau, Neuhof, Flieden, Schlüchtern, the unincorporated area Gutsbezirk Spessart which completely surrounds the Stadtteil of Marjoß, Bad Soden-Salmünster and Birstein.
Archaeological evidence indicates that there was a small settlement in this area in the 8th century. The first church was built in the 9th century. In the mid-13th century, St. Catherine's Church was big enough to accommodate burials on its grounds.
On 4 July 1290, Emperor Rudolf von Habsburg granted a charter awarding Steinau the status of town and permitting it to hold a weekly market. This may have been motivated in part by Steinau's position on the Via Regia connecting Frankfurt and Leipzig. This charter is considered the municipality's founding document.:32
The town's heyday was in the 16th century, when the town church was rebuilt in Gothic style and increased in size. In 1528-55 the castle, since the 13th century a residence of the Counts of Hanau was rebuilt as a Renaissance palace. Schloss Steinau with its 35 m high bergfried remains the town's landmark. In 1561, the town hall was built, followed a year later by the Amtshaus, seat of the Amtsmann, the local representative of the ruler. Like many other towns, Steinau suffered severely during the Thirty Years' War which brought plundering, fire and the plague. Another setback followed in the 18th century during the Seven Years' War. Only in the later part of that century did an economic upturn set in.:32
The Brothers (Jacob and Wilhelm) Grimm, famous for their collections of fairy tales and folklore, lived in Steinau during their childhood. Their grandfather, Friedrich Grimm (1730-1777) had been a Protestant minister in Steinau, and their father, Phillip Grimm, returned to his boyhood home as Amtmann (clerk) in 1791. The family lived in his official residence (Amtshaus) until 1796, when Phillip died.:32
Jacob and Wilhelm went to live with their aunt in Hanau to finish their education, and the rest of the family remained in Steinau until 1805 in a house, Die Alte Kellerei, that still stands today at Brückentor. It is one of many half-timbered buildings that can be found throughout the town.
- Schloss Steinau
- Town hall
- Katharinenkirche (town church)
- Märchenbrunnen (fountain)
- 700 Jahre Stadt- und Marktrechte, Festschrift 1290-1990, Stadt Steinau an der Straße, printed by Märchenstraßen-Verlag.