The famous German Rapunzel and her true story

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The famous German Rapunzel and her true story

Rapunzel is one of the most famous fairy tales in history. This old German folk tale has also inspired popular cultural products in many different fields from cinema to literature for many years. Thus, hundreds of years after it was recorded and first recorded by the Brothers Grimm in the 17th century, it has never lost its popularity.

The tale of Rapunzel, as almost all of you know, is about an innocent girl who is condemned to life’s solitude by an evil witch who is locked in a tower in a deserted forest. Another notable element of the old German fairy tale is the meter-long, golden-blond hair of the legendary Rapunzel, the main character of the tale. Because Rapunzel’s “cool” hair is also the only thing that can contribute to our hero’s escape from the desolate tower and a life of loneliness! However, Rapunzel, like many other ancient tales, contains very important clues about the societies that lived in the past. However, Rapunzel’s origins go back hundreds of years, to the third century AD. Moreover, the historical facts that gave rise to the story of Rapunzel are very interesting! Here’s the real story behind the world famous Rapunzel story…

Rapunzel first appeared in the Grimm Brothers’ “Tales of the Child and the House” in 1812.

Compiled by the Brothers Grimm, the book contained hundreds of different tales. Moreover, almost all of the tales were tales with a history rooted in hundreds of years and were passed down orally from generation to generation. The story of Rapunzel, one of the most fascinating stories in the book of fairy tales, begins bleakly unlike many of the fairy tales in the book, shedding light on the darker side of Germany and all of Europe in a broader sense.

The original story, adapted from the Brothers Grimm’s book of fairy tales, begins with a narration about a poor couple and a rich woman who lead a lonely life.


We later learn that the reclusive woman is an evil witch and that the couple are Rapunzel’s parents. Before Rapunzel was born, her mother had become obsessed with a plant in the evil witch’s garden. It is estimated that this plant was given the name “Campanula rapunculus”, which was very popular in Europe for a while. Another name for the plant is Rapunzel!

Rapunzel’s father is forced to “steal” plants from the witch’s garden due to his pregnant wife’s obsession. But after a few successful thefts, he gets caught! The witch spares the poor couple’s life only on condition that they give her the soon-to-be-born child. After a while, the child is handed over to the witch according to the agreement and imprisoned on the top floor of a high tower in a deserted forest. Our hero’s name also by the evil witch: Rapunzel.

The old German fairy tale turns into a love story in the following pages.

A prince wandering near the tower hears Rapunzel singing and can’t help but turn towards the sound. Rapunzel’s legendary hair climbs the tower and Rapunzel and the prince fall in love. Furthermore, Rapunzel is pregnant. Of course, at this point the sinister element of our story comes into play! The price of Rapunzel’s love is the loss of her amazingly beautiful hair! The evil witch cuts Rapunzel’s hair! Moreover, he had kicked him out of the tower! The Rapunzel years are over.

However, he was left alone in a wilderness he had never known, completely alien to him… When the prince returns to rescue Rapunzel, he encounters an abandoned tower. Unable to bear the pain of losing Rapunzel, she jumps off the tower and goes blind!

Unlike many folk tales, Rapunzel, which began very bleakly and continued in the same way, fortunately, had a happy ending.

Rapunzel and the Prince meet years later in a deserted forest. Miraculously, the prince’s eyes were healed and they went to the prince’s country to live a happy life with their twin children… This is how Rapunzel’s story ends. But the true story’s origins are much older than 1812, when the tale was first written down.

The tale bears dangerous resemblance to “Persenette,” written by the French novelist and poet Charlotte-Rose de Commune de la Force in 1698.

Persinette’s story also includes a poor husband, an evil witch, a prince, a woman with long hair, and a desolate tower, just like Rapunzel! However, it cannot be said that the original Rapunzel is Persinette. Because there’s another place where Persenite’s story got inspired, too!

The true inspiration for “Saint Barbara” Rapunzel, who is believed to have lived in the 3rd century BC and is considered a martyr for Christianity


Barbara, who is believed to have lived in Eastern Europe in the 3rd century, was imprisoned in a tower by her father, then murdered in the tower where she was kept for many years because she was a Christian. Rapunzel’s origins go back around 1,500 years before the tale was first written!

Rapunzel created an allegory for the “Maiden in the Tower” motif prevalent in early Europe


From early Europe to the Middle Ages, it was not uncommon for young girls to be imprisoned or at least forced to live a captive life so that they could “maintain their chastity”. Behind the true story of Rapunzel, the motif of Europe’s “Virgin in the Tower” is just as important as the life of St. Barbara.

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