Offbeat Video

By Josh Saunders


A fairy-tale theme park inspired by the Brothers Grimm tales has turned into a nightmarish derelict disaster after being abandoned ten years ago.

Eerie photographs capture the decomposition of the once grandiose Glück Kingdom in Hokkaido, Japan.

PICS BY BOB THISSEN / CATERS NEWS

It was inspired by the tales of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, the Brothers Grimm, who published folklore stories including Little Red Riding Hood and Hänsel and Gretel.

The attraction that opened in 1989 was designed to allow Japanese people to get a glimpse of what medieval Germany was like, without leaving the country.

To guarantee its authenticity, replica German statues and materials were imported, including a 400-year-old granite pavement from Berlin and Dresden.

PICS BY BOB THISSEN / CATERS NEWS

But since closing a decade ago, the attraction is now far from a fairy-tale says photographer Bob Thissen, 31, from Heerlen, the Netherlands.

The once majestic mansion is now mould-ridden, the furniture covered in fluorescent fungus and the castles are covered by overgrown forestry.

PICS BY BOB THISSEN / CATERS NEWS

Bob, an urban explorer, said: “The theme of the park is inspired by the Grimm brothers and their fairytales like “Little red Riding Hood”, Hänsel and Gretel, The Thorn Princess and more.

“It was very impressive to see they copied German buildings and even moved old buildings from Germany to Japan.

“They made exact duplicates of statues with casts and certificates in Germany and shipped them to Japan.

PICS BY BOB THISSEN / CATERS NEWS

“They even imported 400 year old granite pavement stones from Berlin and Dresden to reproduce the medieval pavement, everything had to be perfect.

“They hired German professionals and specialist to build and paint the German buildings.

“It must have been like the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale in real life, it even has a fairy tale castle.

“It would have been a crazy project, which involved a lot of money and effort, but now certain parts are very decayed.

PICS BY BOB THISSEN / CATERS NEWS

“Vines are growing against the castle and there is mould, grass and fungus taking over the interior.

“Offices with the green mould carpet were one of the most impressive parts, everything was still in the exact same place as when it closed.

“There unopened letters, cups of coffee and other things to suggest this.”

PICS BY BOB THISSEN / CATERS NEWS

The regal resort had a theme park, hotel, museums, shops, restaurants and offices. It’s believed low-levels of tourism led to its closure in 2007.

Bob said: “The castle has 67 different hotel rooms from one to five star ratings, all in a Baroque style, with fine custom made Italian furniture.

“Some rooms are still in a good condition while other are completely decayed.”

Artists and builders were hired to ensure the site replicated Germany as closely as possible.

PICS BY BOB THISSEN / CATERS NEWS

Some copies of iconic places include: Schloss Bückeburg, Hanau’s city hall, Röder Gate of Rothenburg, Prince Maximilian’s villa and Grimm’s House.

Bob said: “The park is huge, you can stroll around for days and there is a lot of variety so it doesn’t become boring.

“It was a great discovery and it has the perfect atmosphere, it’s definitely in the top five abandoned locations I’ve been to.”

Despite being closed for a decade, some areas seem unaged and undamaged.

PICS BY BOB THISSEN / CATERS NEWS

Bob said: “There’s a lot to discover what makes it a great experience, everything is left like it was abandoned many years ago, even the souvenir shops were still intact.

“While walking through this park I could feel the sadness of the failure of this park, it is a broken dream.”