8. Dresden Christmas Market (Dresden Striezelmarkt)
Dresden is one of the most romantic cities in Germany, and its charm is sometimes surpassed on the eve of the holidays. The streets and squares of the historic center turn into one big Christmas fairy tale. No matter how trite it may sound, if there is somewhere a place that will cheer you up, which is not, then this is pre-holiday Dresden! The glow of lights, the hot aroma of spiced wine and baked apples, and the sounds of Christmas music spread throughout the city.
Of course, the main decoration of the city in December is the Christmas market, one of the oldest and most beautiful in Europe. Like almost 600 years ago, Germany’s oldest fair is held on the Altmarkt market square. About 200 merchants from all over Saxony come to Dresden to sell their goods: traditional souvenirs, household items, Christmas decorations, and food.
The very name of the market was given by the Christmas “stritzel” – braided stuffed with poppy seeds or apples. The main event of the fair is connected with it: Stollenfest Christmas Cake Festival. A giant Christmas cake weighing about 2.5 tons is solemnly carried through the city streets. Then the royal court baker and the most beautiful girl of the holiday (Stollenmädchen) cut it into pieces. Pieces of the pie are sold to the guests of the fair, and the proceeds go to charity.