In 1434, the Dresden City Council received the green light from the powers that be to allow a Christmas Market to take place in Dresden on Christmas Eve. The outdoor Christmas Market sold meats that revelers could purchase to serve on Christmas Day. Dresden’s Christmas Market was so successful that it ultimately became one of Europe‘s largest and most celebrated Christmas Markets.
Dresden’s Christmas Market, known as the Dresden Striezelmarkt, is famous for its Striezel, or Stollen – a type of sweet bread stuffed with almonds and fruit. At Christmastime in Dresden, Striezel is served, and one of the grand highlights of attending the Dresden Striezelmarkt is sampling the delectable food. Vendors offer sweet treats such as gingerbread cookies, savory offerings like grilled sausage and potato dumplings, and piping hot mulled wine known in Germany as Gluhwein.
Striezelmarkt opens on November 29th and operates every evening through Christmas Eve. The Christmas Market features 240 vendors who sell handmade Christmas decorations, toys, and stockings. It is adorned with shining strings of golden Christmas lights, Christmas trains populated by smiling wooden passengers, and wooden Santas and elves galore.
The Handicrafts Showroom showcases handmade items from the Ore Mountains, known as Erzgebirgische Volkskunst. Craftsmen from the Ore Mountains demonstrate how they carefully carve and paint wood to produce folksy nutcrackers, mushroom houses populated by dwarves, and ornate Christmas trees that become cherished family heirlooms.
Visitors can take a ride on a Christmas-themed Ferris wheel or merry-go-round, listen to live Christmas carolers, and hand their letter to Santa to some eager elves who will pass it along to Jolly Old St. Nick. There are also numerous opportunities to meet and greet Santa Claus so that you can tell Kris Kringle what you would like for Christmas in person.
According to Guinness World Records, the largest Christmas Pyramid in the world appears at Striezelmarkt. The Christmas Pyramid, nearly 46 feet tall, features 42 figurines that depict beloved Christmas characters such as Frosty the Snowman and Biblical characters like the baby Jesus. The Christmas Pyramid slowly rotates so that onlookers can stand in one spot and view every figurine.
The Christmas Season in Dresden is undeniably cold, but the abundance of warm food and drinks and the festive atmosphere of Striezelmarkt will leave you feeling toasty and jolly. If you love Christmastime, a trip to one of Europe’s most beloved Christmas Markets is the ultimate way to celebrate the season.