Fairy tales are of huge significance to a person's development. Inspiring and full of magic, they introduce a different and mystical world to youngsters.
But have you ever wondered how they originated? It turns out that not all of them are based on wonderful and joyous events. Here's what hides behind some of the favorite stories we've known since childhood.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
The story was inspired by the harsh fate of Bavarian noblewoman Margaretha von Waldeck, who lived in the 16th century. Her inhumane father forced children to work in his mines.
The conditions there were incredibly severe and some of the children became seriously disabled. In their attempts to feed themselves, they sought the apple tree of a local farmer. He, in turn, sprayed his fruits with poison to punish the tortured children.
Margaretha's stepmother hated her so much that she sent her to the royal court in Brussels. There, she experienced a romance with the Spanish prince Philip II. However, his father was not too pleased about their relationship and ordered Margaretha poisoned.
The tale of Rapunzel was based on a story from the 3rd century A.D. A merchant from Asia Minor loved his daughter jealously. He did everything in his power to protect his daughter from the glances of men and forbade her to meet any men. To ensure this whenever he went on a trip, the merchant kept his daughter locked up in a tower.
According to sources however, the daughter accepted Christianity and whenever her father locked her in the tower, she began screaming prayers so loudly that people in the streets could hear. Knowing of this, he presented her to the local Pagan Council.
The members of it announced that if she did not give up Christianity, she would be beheaded. They threatened that they would take away all of the father's wealth if he did not bend to their will. The girl did not renounce your faith and so lost her life.
Hansel and Gretel
It is believed that the fairy tale is inspired by a story that took place sometime between 1315–1317. At that time in Europe, there was severe hunger rampant and some people even turned to cannibalism. In those dark times, many parents preferred to abandon their children since they could not provide them anything.
The character of the witch was borrowed from the persona of a baker named Katharina Schraderin, who lived around the year 1600. Another baker, jealous of her successful business, began spreading rumors that Katharina was using magic. Out of fear, the people burned the woman in her own furnace.
The story of the beautiful, unfortunate girl is also not completely made up. Long ago, a blonde, Greek young woman was taken as a slave to Egypt. Because of her lovely appearance however, she attracted the attention of many men. The pharaoh Ahmose II also heard of her unearthly beauty and that is how she became one of his wives.