Christmas was born along the Elbe (part 2: baubles)

Proper baubles are made of glass.  Traditional glass ornaments come from two regions, Thuringia and northern Bohemia.  Why there?  To answer that, we have to look at the history of glass. Glass has been made since ancient times (before the Romans), but it was in Venice that glass production became specialized.  Venetians quickly capitalized on […]

Christmas was born along the Elbe (part 2: baubles)

Christmas was born along the Elbe (part 1: the markets)

Dresden’s Striezelmarkt, the oldest Christmas market This is not one of my usual environmental post. But since I have been researching the Elbe River for its environmental history, I’ve noticed how much our Christmas traditions have been developed there. Christmas is coming, so instead of deploring the state of our environment, I thought I’d indulge […]

Christmas was born along the Elbe (part 1: the markets)

Christmas Stollen (Weihnachtsstollen) by Anja Dunk

Stollen is a quintessential part of German Christmas, and the most renowned version originates from the East German city of Dresden, where it is called Christstollen. It is sold in Christmas markets up and down the country, but in Dresden itself they even have a special festival (Stollenfest) just before the second Sunday of Advent, […]

Christmas Stollen (Weihnachtsstollen) by Anja Dunk