The most beautiful Christmas decoration for your Christmas - Find in our Christmas store

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Seite 1 From 77

A Christmas full of tradition and craftsmanship with folk art from the Ore Mountains - Christmas decorations from the Ore Mountains

In our Christmas deco shop for folk art from the Erzgebirge you will find a large selection of products of traditional folk art from Seiffen, such as candle arches, Christmas pyramids, incense smokers, nutcrackers, Christmas tree decorations, advent chandeliers, Christmas figures, music boxes and much more. We hope you enjoy browsing through our range! If you need an individual gift or have not found the product of your choice, do not hesitate and simply contact us.

The magic of Christmas decoration from the Ore Mountains: Christmas and Ore Mountains - An Inseparable Link

Christmas is also called Weihnacht, Weihnachten, Christfest, Heiliger Christ or the Fest der Geburt Jesus Christus in Germany. As one of the three main festivals in the church year, Christians and non-Christians celebrate this as family celebration with mutual gifts. Christmas is the feast of love, a time for pause in which we spend carefree hours with our families and friends. In addition to Christmas carols, poems and good food that we share together with our loved ones also belongs to the festive mood through Christmas decorations, which young and old delights.

The origin of the Seiffen wood art - Fascinating tradition arises from a distinctive inventive spirit

The Erzgebirge, located in Saxony, attract many vacationer from all over the world every year, who not only walk through the wonderful forests and enjoy the rustic landscape, but also would like to get to know the widely known special customs and traditions of the people of the Erzgebirge. In the area between Chemnitz, Leipzig and the Saxon state capital Dresden, the low mountain range, which extends to the Czech Republic, in particular due to the geographical conditions, has its very own and unique tradition.

The typical dialect, the delicious cuisine and especially the famous wood and carving art are known far beyond the borders of the country. No other place stands for this tradition of the Ore Mountains like Seiffen.

The small spa town of Seiffen, with its approximately 2300 inhabitants and an average altitude of 650m above sea level, lies almost on the Erzgebirge ridge and attracts as a toy village or Christmas land with of its history and the sense of tradition still stuck there every year thousands of Visitors who admire the unique typical Erzgebirge folk art.

But how did the famous wood art come about in the first place? What traditions are associated with it? And what role does the spa town of Seiffen play for the Erzgebirge folk art?

Mining in the Ore Mountains as the starting point for folk art from the Ore Mountains

The settlement of the heavily forested country, which also includes Finsterwald or Miriquidi Silva began in the 12th century. While around the area of now known as Freiberg silver ore was found, discovered one in Böhmen tin ore.

Sabine Ebert, a very successful writer from Freiberg in Saxony, writes in her novels Hebammen - Saga (especially in the book "Das Geheimnis der Hebammen" – „the secret of the midwife“) very vividly about the German High Middle Ages and, above all, about the settlement of the Ore Mountains (Erzgebirge) and the beginning of silver mining in Saxony. For fans of historical novels, this book series is highly recommended.

At the same time as the settlement of the Erzgebirge, wood processing developed as more profitable, because wood was used both as pit wood in ore mining and for the construction of buildings and for the production of everyday objects such as furniture. Two electoral wooden regulations from 1560 and 1588 are evidence of the activities of wood craftsmen, which produced wooden vessels and tools.

Furthermore, the wood of the Erzgebirge was used in the glassworks of the Schwartenberg area. Some glassworks were still in operation from 1200 until the 19th century and at times even supplied the electoral court in Dresden at the time of the legendary elector Friedrich August I. von Sachsen (1670-1733), also called August der Starke. Finds show that even in the glassworks of the Schwartenberg region experiments on porcelain production were carried out, which was called "White Gold" about the alchemist Johann Friedrich Böttger led to the invention of European porcelain and finally to the well-known porcelain of Meissen.

In the large mining towns, almost every member of the Erzgebirge was active in mining professions. The Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) and the Seven Years' War (1756-1763) brought the extraction of the ore, however, for a long time to a standstill. Another problem for the economic situation was that after the mining of the ore-rich near-surface ores in the the so-called Iron Hat had to be penetrated into ever deeper areas. That led to the fact that in some places mining was no longer profitable and led to the cessation of the mining and quarrying. Due to the resulting lack of work, people had to look around for other gainful activities. This showed why the Saxons are now considered "fischelant". Fischelant popularly means something like "witty, skilful and busy". Because the natural climate conditions did not allow for high-yield agriculture. On the other hand, in the wooded region it was imperative to use wood processing. This quickly developed into new branches of production, such as wood carving in the west of the Erzgebirge (especially around Schneeberg and Annaberg) and wood turning in the centre of the Erzgebirge (around Marienberg, Pobershau and Seiffen). These regions are, even today, among the most popular places where wood art from the Erzgebirge is produced.

Necessity becomes a virtue: Seiffen history of wood art


The root of the spa town of Seiffen lies in tin mining. In the 13th century Cistercians from the Bohemian monastery of Osek came across a tin-containing soap deposit in the area of the Seiffenbach and began mining of tin. The first settlement in Seiffen is characterized by a letter of fiefdom from the year 1451 unequivocally documented. In the second half of the 15th century tin extraction began from the solid rock. Mining has been mainly operated by independent miners at their own risk. There the mining was not very profitable, the mining town of Seiffen grew only slowly. In the second half of the 16th century, a slow mining upswing and Seiffen grew steadily. 1618, i.e. at the beginning of the 30-year war, the population was about 240 and two years later a school was documented for the first time mentioned.
 
Due to the growing number of inhabitants - in 1660 there were already 380 people - the pressure on the labour market, because not all Seiffen citizens could find wages and bread in mining. Therefore at that time, all family members of a miner began in their distress utensils, figures and make Christmas decorations out of wood. Wood processing became the main occupation of the people of this region. Entirely new professions developed. 1650 and 1655 were the first time woodturners resident in Seiffen are mentioned in a document, including various manufactured everyday objects.

Early on, toys made of wood, in addition to everyday used objects, were in Seiffen made. The wooden toys and the wooden utensils were then called so-called wooden toys. "Seiffener Ware" and finally from 1760 via the trading centres Nürnberg and Leipzig sold throughout Europe or even exported overseas from 1784. The Seiffen wood products settled very quickly on the market and could displace other toy centers, especially because of the large variety of the assortment.

In 1810, the wood goods industry was expanded to include tire turning as a specialty of wood turning. In this process, which only a few toymakers master today, animals are created from wooden tires that serve as toys or for decoration.

In 1868, 937 out of 1,438 inhabitants earned their living solely through the production of toys and wooden goods,which until the first half of the 19th century became the determining economic factor in the Seiffen region around the Schwartenberg and Seiffen to the center of the Erzgebirge wood art. Today, the region around the small health resort, also referred to as "Seiffener Spielzeugwinkel" is known all over the world.

Wood art is the defining element in the toy village. The production and sale of wooden folk art products are present everywhere in the village. The numerous folk art shops and show workshops make the spa town of Seiffen unique.

In addition to the Erzgebirge folk art, the place offers many other sights. Before a visit to the Seiffen church, which was built between 1776 and 1779 in reference to the Dresden Frauenkirche, was built, should not be missed by any tourist. The Seiffen Church is also referred to as Motif used for a lot of Schwibbogen. In addition, the Erzgebirgische Spielzeugmuseum and the Erzgebirge Open Air Museum is a wonderful opportunity for its guests to experience the old and the to understand modern Erzgebirge.

Seiffener Holzkunst - Quality and tradition: No Christmas without Christmas decorations from the Ore Mountains


The first turned and hand-painted figures were thus created more than 300 years ago. All known products, such as the candle arches, the incense smoker, the pyramid or even Christmas pyramid, the nutcracker and the traditional angel and miner figures were used in the region between Seiffen and Olbernhau. Nowhere in the world are more candle arch builders, carvers, toy manufacturers, wood designers, tire turners, chip tree engravers and turners to find than in Seiffen.

Wood art from Seiffen combines tradition and quality Made in Germany. Today, Seiffen is home to the only wooden toy making and turning school in Germany. Here, young people are trained in traditional craft professions. The quality of the trained wood designers and the ingenuity of the "fischelanten" Saxons unite loving craftsmanship, high quality and years of experience with wood as the basis for the production of the unique folk art articles from Seiffen.

The production of folk art products still takes place today mainly in small and medium-sized family and craft businesses or workshops. Particularly popular is the production of the historical figures of angel and miner, the imposing nutcracker, the incense smoker as well as the decorative advent chandeliers and decorative pyramids. Nestler - Seiffen.com OHG has been producing its candle arches since 1996 in its own small workshop.

Wooden art set the scene: Traditional festivals and festive customs in the Ore Mountains

The people from the Erzgebirge are very traditional and maintain old customs and traditions. Especially during the Christmas time, they inspire numerous visitors with the care of their customs.

In the many small villages of the Saxon Erzgebirge, so-called „Tage des traditionellen Handwerk“ days of traditional craftsmanship can be found to demonstrate the early technologies of woodworking to the audience and to make them tangible. These include above all the art of carving, wood turning, as well as tire turning. Another traditional craft for which the Erzgebirge is famous is lacemaking. At these days, visitors can enjoy the individual work processes and development steps at the follow and marvel at ancient machines or bobbin stands. It is for young and old a special experience to look over the shoulder of the craftsman at his work.

Furthermore, the Christmas customs of the Erzgebirge are known all over the world and therefore attract numerous visitors to the Erzgebirge every year. In the Advent and Christmas season, the candle arches, angels and miners shine in almost all windows in the Erzgebirge. The houses and apartments are decorated with traditional Christmas decorations, such as incense smokers, nutcrackers and of course the beautiful multi-storey Christmas pyramids, as well as the small  figures from the Erzgebirge.

In the many small towns of the Saxon Erzgebirge, Christmas markets take place every year, including in Seiffen, which turns into Christmas land during the Advent season.

A particularly beautiful custom are the traditional mining parades, which each year in different places in the  pre-Christmas period. This custom remembers in a lively way to the Saxon mining history. The mining parades inspire year after year thousands of visitors, as well as the light parade of Seiffen on mining trails. Mining in the Erzgebirge is also still present in everyday life, after all, very close in Freiberg with the Technical University Bergakademie Freiberg is the oldest mining science university in the world.

Especially on Christmas Eve, of course, a visit to the Seiffen church or the Bergkirche Seiffen, as it is correctly called, is not missing. As a landmark of the place, this is probably the most common in wood depicted church house of the world. As soon as the tower blowers play after the mass, only  the famous feast will round off an enjoyable Christmas day. In the Erzgebirge, and thus also in Seiffen, it is customary that on Christmas Eve the typical Erzgebirge „Neunerlei“ or „Neinerlaa“ is served to experience good luck and blessings in the New Year.

From the smoking man to the candle arch: The Erzgebirge folk art

The folk art of the Erzgebirge includes many different forms of expression of artistic creation, such as the production of figures, sculptures and pictures, but also folk poetry and literature, as well as the Erzgebirge songs. At this point, the Erzgebirge folk poet and inventor of the song postcard Anton Günther should be mentioned. The Erzgebirge claims to be the largest closed folk art area in Germany. The "Erzgebirgische Volkskunst" is a registered word mark of the association of artisans and toy manufacturers from the Erzgebirge.

The handicrafts from the Erzgebirge are only alive when they develop. With this year after year, new creations are created by the artisans of the Erzgebirge, who cause a stir for lovers and collectors. Some new ideas are strongly rooted in tradition, some craftsmen revive an old technique with new momentum, others go completely new ways and present figures that have never existed before. Discover the creativity of our manufacturer and browse through our folk art novelties on seiffen.com!

The following products made of wood belong especially to the folk art of the Erzgebirge:

wooden nutcracker
music boxes
room, table and wall decorations and dioramas
pyramids from the Erzgebirge (Christmas pyramids)
decorative figures (nativity scenes)
incense figures, smoking cans, incense houses, incense smoker
Easter decorations made of wood (Easter figures, Easter eggs and Easter bells made of wood) birthday numbers, birthday figures
chandeliers made of wood
candle arches and candle holder
turned wooden parts for handicraft work
toys of wood, straw or textile materials, also in combination
Christmas tree decorations of wood, straw or metals, also in combination
Christmas decorations from the Erzgebirge (bells for Christmas trees)
angels and Christmas angels
angel and miner
houses of lights
advent chandeliers
hand-carved wooden figures

A small summary...

The Erzgebirge fascinates many visitors: the mining of silver and tin ore from the 12th century shaped the region in the south of Saxony culturally and historically. Customs developed that to this day bring people together not only on holidays. The second acquisition of the miners' production of Erzgebirge folk art is still today the economic pillar of the region and the unique selling point of the Erzgebirge.

Above all, the spa town of Seiffen with its tradition, its toys and its wood art is one of the most famous tourist destinations in Saxony. The wood art of Seiffen is one of the most important cultural assets in Germany through the combination of production, tradition, history and innovation, their preservation with the designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Mining Region Erzgebirge is sought.

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