A couple of hours at Striezelmarkt

Dresden Travel Blog

 › entry 3 of 12 › view all entries
The pavillions near the tram stop

In case you haven't read the previous entries: Dresden's largest Christmas market is held on Altmarkt square and is called "Striezelmarkt" after the most famous food, the "Striezel" - which is a sort of fruitcake, a yeast dough with lots of butter, sugar, raisins, spicery (secret!). The market was first mentioned in 1434, thus it is one of the oldest in Germany, and very large with about 230 stalls, too. And IMO it is one of the most beautiful Christmas markets.

I usually start my Striezelmarkt visit at the stalls that you rarely find at Christmas markets elsewhere: At the northeastern corner, next to the tram stop, the Baker's guild has a wooden pavillion where they sell cookies and - more important - demonstrate the making of Dresdner Christstollen.

Pavillion of the bakers guild
You can see the ingredients, the Stollen in various stages of completion, the cast-iron oven outside next to the pavillion where the pieces are baked. Trust me, it's one of the best Stollen ever. The guys are happy to ask any questions, too. You can always try the Stollen, or you can buy small packs of 2 or 4 slices for a couple of Euros here.

Next door is another pavillion with the Tourist Information - all usual services offered. They also sell Striezelmarkt souvenirs and the "Striezeltaler" - 11 coins for 10 Euro, you can pay with them at Striezelmarkt 1 Striezeltaler is worth 1 Euro, so you save 10 % (not for Glühwein cup deposit). Please note this is not the information for the market - this one is in one of the neighbouring stalls, in direction of the Kreuzkirche (watch out for "Marktaufsicht" or so).
Dresdner Christstollen


There is another wooden pavillon next to the Tourist Information, where manufactures from the Erzgebirge show the procedures of woodcarving and turning, making the Christmas items. Each manufacture stays for one week, then it's the turn of another one. I like this very much, because you can chat with the guys, they also agree to make little special things for little money on the spot, like a wooden tree that you might want to replace at one of your Christmas items at home.

Of course there are lots of food stalls: My favourite is the one of Bean & Beluga, the gourmet restaurant. They sell the best Glühwein (I love the white one) and have the most delicious Bratwurst. Try their sweet specialties as well: small Baumkuchen pieces, pralines, Florentiner etc. Another favourite of mine is the stall of Hoflössnitz winery, all organic - they have white Glühwein (no red), and sell their own wines, all of them very good.
Pyramid, Christmas tree and the stall with postal service


About a dozen or more stalls of Dresden bakeries sell original Dresdner Stollen - usually they have samples that you can try just walking by. A half dozen stalls sell gingerbread, mostly from nearby Pulsnitz. I prefer the small manufactures like Groschky, Löschner e.g. If you get hungry and don't want Bratwurst, then there's a big variety, too: all sorts of grilled meat, burgers, Sauerkraut, fish, Crepes, Krapfen ... As for drinks, there is Glühwein in varieties, pure or with schnapps, or made of berries, or alcohol free (Punsch). And then there's Glühbier (mulled beer), which I don't like much I must admit, you can drink tea, coffee or hot chocolate - there's one stall offering really thick hot chocolate, so thick that you must use a spoon! Yummy!

In the corner near the Kreuzkirche are some timber-framed houses with special actions: Your kids will love the Christmas bakery for example.
Pyramid and tree
They are invited to bake cookies, gingerbread or Stollen themselves. There's also a "Wichtelstube", where they can learn doing handicrafts of all sorts, make little Christmas gifts for their parents or friends. Another of the small houses has a gingerbread manufacture - you can make your own. Or send them on a ride with the miniature train, or spend time with them in the fairy-tale castle. Not far is the historic double-decker merry-go-round, a big hit with the kids (and parents, but they can only watch ...)

Unlike many other visitors I rarely buy anything else than food at Striezelmarkt. Frankly, it's often more pricey than in regular shops. I make sure to go to the Erzgebirge (Ore mountains) at least twice every Advent season and buy wooden Christmas items directly from the manufactures.
I did buy a few pieces of lace from Plauen in the last days of the market when they reduced prices and I bought a piece of hand-made glass from Lauscha and a beautiful candle once, but that's it. It is fun to stroll over the market and watch the beautifully decorated stalls with the nice pieces, though.

There are different events every Advent. One weekend the Christstollen (Striezel) is celebrated with a big procession through the old town, a show on stage etc, another one it's Pyramid festival (with focus on the wooden Christmas items from the Erzgebirge), yet another is Pflaumentoffel festival, and finally there is a miners' parade on one Advent.
Stall with postal service and Kreuzkirche
Expect crowds, though.

The Striezelmarkt has strong ties to neighbouring Kreuzkirche. The church is of course open all the days of Striezelmarkt. In the second and third week they have free concerts at 5 pm on weekdays. Every Tuesday and Thursday are organ recitals at 3 pm, afterwards a guided tour of the church. One Friday (I think) is "Night of the Kreuzkirche" with more concerts, readings, the church and the steeple open until almost midnight. Of course there are concerts on weekends, too - one weekend is Christmas carols singing with the Kreuzchor, another one it's Bach's Christmas Oratorio with the Kreuzchor and the Dresden Philharmonic.

The market closes on 24 Dec, Christmas Eve, 2 pm - right before the first Christvesper in Kreuzkirche.

Please see the websites www.striezel-markt.de and www.striezelmarkt.org for more information.

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
The pavillions near the tram stop
The pavillions near the tram stop
Pavillion of the bakers guild
Pavillion of the bakers guild
Dresdner Christstollen
Dresdner Christstollen
Pyramid, Christmas tree and the st…
Pyramid, Christmas tree and the s…
Pyramid and tree
Pyramid and tree
Stall with postal service and Kreu…
Stall with postal service and Kre…
Nativity scene, since recently mod…
Nativity scene, since recently mo…
Christmas items
Christmas items
Food
Food
More food
More food
gingerbread from Pulsnitz
gingerbread from Pulsnitz
the historic merry-go-round
the historic merry-go-round
Bean and Beluga stall
Bean and Beluga stall
Christmas items from the Erzgebirge
Christmas items from the Erzgebirge
bakery stall selling Stollen
bakery stall selling Stollen
marionette theatre
marionette theatre
timber-framed houses - Wichtel hou…
timber-framed houses - Wichtel ho…
Christmas bakery for kids
Christmas bakery for kids
inside Christmas bakery
inside Christmas bakery
Gingerbread house (make your own)
Gingerbread house (make your own)
getting dark ... the pavillion wit…
getting dark ... the pavillion wi…
making wooden Christmas items
making wooden Christmas items
making wooden Christmas items (her…
making wooden Christmas items (he…
romantic ambience as its getting …
romantic ambience as it's getting…
Herrnhut stars
Herrnhut stars
lights at the buildings surroundin…
lights at the buildings surroundi…
Bean and Bealuge food/beverages st…
Bean and Bealuge food/beverages s…
white Gl├╝hwein from organic Hofl├…
white Gl├╝hwein from organic Hofl…
overview from Viba cafe
overview from Viba cafe
Dresden
photo by: aloneinthecrowd