A 1890 photocrom[1] postcard showing the “Rattenfängerhaus” (Rat–Catcher’s House) in Hameln, a German town of the Lower-Saxony well known for the legend about a rat–catcher hired by the city council to lure rats away with his magic pipe. The Reinassance stone facade dates from 1602, but the building is actually much older. The picture shows the adjacent “Street without Music” (Bungelosenstraße) with a view of buildings that no longer stand today. The house is named after an inscription on the building wich states that the facts of the “pied piper” would be take places in 1284.

Anno 1284 am dage Johannis et Pauli war der 26. juni — Dorch einen piper mit allerley farve bekledet gewesen CXXX kinder verledet binnen Hameln geboren — to calvarie bei den koppen verloren.

«In the year 1284 on the day of John and Paul (Saints) on 26th June 130 children born in Hamelin were led away by a piper in many colours to their Calvary near the Koppen, and lost.»
What really happened in 1284 remains a mystery.


  1. [1]Photographic-based chromolithography