Dresden Christmas market

The Dresden Streizelmarkt
The Dresden Streizelmarkt. (Photo © LHD/Dittrich)

The Christmas market in Dresden, Germany

Nothing says Christmas like a four-ton fruitcake. At least, that’s the fervent opinion of the fine citizens of Dresden, who parade their super-sized Stollen through the city on Dec. 8 to kick off the Christmas season.

Accompanied by the Stollenmädchen, or “Fruitcake Maiden,” the Saxon fruit loaf wends its way through the medieval streets before making its triumphal entry into the Striezelmarkt where, surrounded by 230 glittering crafts stalls and a 46-foot “Christmas pyramid” (really more of an open-sided German pagoda peopled by puppets), the Stollen is chopped into pieces that are inflicted upon the market-goers. (And you thought it was hard getting rid of the fruitcake your aunt Bessie sends each year.)

Dresden’s Striezelmarkt and its odd traditions date back to 1434, making it Germany’s oldest continuously running Christmas market—which attracts some of northern Germany's top artisans (Nov. 28–Dec. 24, www.dresden-tourist.de).

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The best crafts Germany has to offer. Top artisans from across Saxony arrive bearing all sorts of regional specialties: wooden crafts from the Ore Mountains, blown glass from Lauscha, Blaudruck indigo prints from the Lusatia region, incense burners shaped like nutcrackers, nutcrackers shaped like nutcrackers, and, of course, Dresden’s own famed blue-and-white ceramics.

The Dresden Streizelmarkt Stollen
The world's biggest fruitcake at the Dresden Streizelmarkt. (Photo © LHD/Dittrich)

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This article was by Reid Bramblett and last updated in October 2012.
All information was accurate at the time.

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Copyright © 1998–2013 by Reid Bramblett. Author: Reid Bramblett.