Rattenfängerhaus – Hameln’s Rat-Catcher’s House is Now a Restaurant:
Hameln’s Rat Catcher’s House (Rattenfängerhaus) has nothing to do with the rat-catcher in the Pied Piper story. The house got its name from the inscription on the side upper facade of the building which records the 1284 disappearance of the 130 children from Hameln:
“A.D. 1284 – on the 26th of June – the day of St. John and St. Paul – 130 children – born in Hamelin – were led out of the town by a piper wearing multicoloured clothes. After passing the Calvary near the Koppenberg they disappeared for ever.”
Rattenfängerhaus was built in 1602-03 for Hermann Arends, a councilor of Hameln. The building is a good example of Weser Renaissance architecture, the charming north German variety of the serious Italian architectural style.
Typical characteristics of this Weser Renaissance style are bay windows, lavish gable decorations with diamond-shaped stone ornaments and volutes, masks and gargoyle-type reliefs, borders, coats of arms, inscriptions and richly decorated constructions.
As can be seen from Rattenfängerhaus, the entire front is decorated with a multitude of small-sized ornamental forms.
Since 1917, Rattenfängerhaus is owned by the City of Hameln and the building is now used as a restaurant. It seats 200 people on the two-and-a-half floor space. The Pied Piper theme is carried through in the restaurant and diners can choose to dine in the Rat Hole, the Pied Piper Room or the Hamelin Room, etc. You can even try one of Hamelin’s local specialty here ‘flambéed rats tails’. Rattenfängerhaus has been serving this delicacy for over 40 years now – but don’t worry, owner Karl-Heinz Fricke assures that the rats tails are actually made from strips of pork fillet.
We were told that the food is good although we didn’t have the time to try it. If anyone has dined here, we would love to hear of your experience.