Let yourself be enchanted on a visit to the famous Erzgebirge region in Saxony. Especially in the Christmas season the beautiful countryside and charming villages invite you to take part in good old traditions. It is famous for its wooden Nutcracker and Christmas decorations, as well as for wooden toys. During the Advent season, many colorful events and Nutcracker-markets are held throughout the region. Take the opportunity and visit the Spa town Seiffen and the Nutcracker Museum and next, give your kids a special treat in the Spielzeugdorf Seiffen or the Toys-Village.
The Erzgebirge, Ore Mountains are a mountain range, which for many centuries formed a natural border between Saxony in Germany and Bohemia in today’s Czech Republic. In the west the Ore Mountains adjoin the lower Bavarian Fichtelgebirge, with the Fichtelberg, 1214.6 meters above sea level, being the highest mountain on the German side.
In the fifteenth century, the discovery of silver and tin ore led to the settlement of the mountains and the foundation of cities. Due to the richness in mineral resources, including fluorspar, iron, copper, cobalt, and uranium, as well as silver and tin, the German-speaking population called them Erzgebirge, which literally means metal ore mountain range. Silver found in Joachimsthal was used to mint coins known as Joachimsthaler or Thaler, from which Dollar is derived.
Seiffen in the East Ore Mountains is a center of the wooden toy industry. As the ore deposits and related business declined in the eighteens century, former miners had to look for new ways to feed their families. In addition to lace making and weaving, the inhabitants went into wood carving, producing toys and religious figures. In the following decades, the Erzgebirge region became famous for many Christmas traditions. Nutcracker, Räuchermänner, Christmas pyramids, carousels with figures of the Christmas story or from mining and Schwibbogen, wooden arches with candles in the windows, representing a mine entrance, are some of many Christmas goods made in the Ore Mountains.
Today the mountains are also a popular winter sports resort with many activities. The cross-country ski run Ahornbergloipe and Ortsloipe are scenically diversified and offer a great view of the Toys-Village in Seiffen. Another cross-country ski run will take you along the Erzgebirge mountain ridge and open great sights across the mountains to the Czech Republic. Whether you fancy Alpine skiing, cross country, snowshoeing, sledding, snow tubing, snowkiting, or are just looking for some fun in a snow park, the region of the Erzgebirge has it all and more.