The Bridal Dress of Genoveva is not a fairy tale that springs to mind straight away when you think of Efteling, as you cannot always see it. That is because this fairy tale lives, in the form of a flock of multi-coloured birds.
Image from vijfzintuigen.nl
Well, not any more.
As from today, the birds will remain their natural white colour. The fairy tale is actually one of the original tales told in the park, opening back in 1952, when they decided to spray the pigeons in different colours. Part of the story includes the tower where the birds live, which is located behind the Snow White building. This could not always be clearly seen due to ivy, but after the recent renovation of Snow White, the ivy has been removed and it is much easier to see the birds flying in and out of their home.
Efteling have said in a Facebook comment that this change has nothing to do with how the birds were coloured, as that has always been done in a cruelty-free manner, but that they think that the white birds better represent the natural theme of the park. There have been comments online however, that questioned the dying of the birds for entertainment purposes.
To me, it isn’t necessarily a change for the better, as it was always fun to see the coloured birds, however I’m sure we can all learn to appreciate them in their natural form too!
Don’t know the story? Here it is:
Prince Arthur would marry the beautiful princess Genoveva.
Often the couple went out walking and then the prince said: “Look, the yellow of the buttercups and the blue of the cornflowers and ooh … That red of the poppies … All those beautiful colors should be in your wedding dress, dear Genoveva.” An old weaver lived in the land of Prince Arthur. Only she could make the princess’s wedding dress. Unfortunately, the old woman had become blind. “I can not help you prince, my hands can do it”, she said, “But … I can not see the colors anymore.”
The prince returned sadly to the palace and the old woman went to feed her pigeons. She cried with grief.
A wise owl heard of the story and said to the birds: “You know the colors right? Can not you do something back for the old woman? “The next day the old weaver was mourning at her loom. “Now I knew what green was,” she sighed, and immediately she felt that a little bit of hair pushed a strand of silk between her fingers. “And now the blue of the sky.” Together with all the birds, the woman worked on the carpet and shone with happiness. When the dress was ready, she let the prince come. He too was happy. “My bride will be the most beautiful in the country.” And the birds? They had been so busy with all the colors that their feathers had been colored.