Those you you, following me on Instagram already know, where I was: I was in the Erzgebirge. The region has surprisingly (at least for me) the same name in English, so I translate the two parts for you: “Gebirge” means mountain range like the Alps, the Hindukusch or the Himalaya and “Erz” is the German word for ore. This region in Saxony borders to the Czech Republic. Several ores were found here and the mining tradition started very, very early: around 1100 a.c. They found amongst others silver, cobalt, nickel and tin.
Beside mining, the region is well known for their wood crafts. During winter, the people crafted statues. The oldest forms were a miner in parade uniform and a female shaped angle, representing their wife.
The big gallery below is a collection of images from the whole trip. We were based in a small town called Seiffen. In German the name is based on the word Seifenlagerstätte, which is called “placer deposit” in English. In geology, a placer deposit or placer is an accumulation of valuable minerals formed by gravity separation during sedimentary processes. Nowadays, there are no mining activities anymore. But, many of the traditions still exist, like parades of the miners in their traditional uniforms. (Some of the older men once were miners, but the younger men are only members of tradition clubs. These clubs want to keep the ancient customs and traditions alive.
Seiffen is well known for crafted wooden toys, candle pyramids, wooden nutcrackers and many other Christmas related things. You can find craftsmen workshops everywhere and you can visit many.
During Advent, you can find many, many Christmas Markets in the towns, just like in most of the other German towns, too. I’d recommend visiting the Christmas Market in Seiffen, Annaberg-Buchholz and Thum. They are fantastic. This is the region, where Christmas is at home 🙂