Ore Mountains


Vancouver, B.C., November 18, 2017


The Ore Mountains are a range of hills in the east of Germany in Southern Saxony and are the heart of many traditional handcrafts and folkart.

The tradition of mineral wealth, worked by generations of small groups of craftsmen (gold and silver, lead and copper, tungsten [wolfram], and pitchblende), helped the region to become very wealthy. Nowadays, it is an interesting site for tourists from all over the world due the hundreds of impressive castle and stunning churches. On top of that, is it known as the Christmas Wonderland, with its Christmas markets, as well as Christmas pyramids, nutcrackers, incense burners, wooden angels and candle arches ( ‘Schwibbogen’) which are to be seen everywhere.

During Christmas time, the pyramids are seen in nearly every German household and are one of the most fascinating works of art in the Ore Mountains. The ascending heat of the candles drives the impeller of the pyramid, which then sets it in motion. The figures on the pyramid start to turn and mostly show Christian motifs, trees, crib scenes, mountain parades or pictures from the Ore Mountain landscape. Little stories are told to young and old into the Christmas spirit.

As a special highlight, there are often Christmas market pyramids several meters high, which can be seen in almost all the cities and villages of the Ore Mountains.

Incense burners and cones
Incense Cones, known as "Räucherkerzen", the fine-smelling cones from the Ore Mountains, are an essential part of the Christmas time. In Neudorf, HUSS has been producing exceptionally fine cones made of entirely natural materials based on an old family recipe since 1930.
As well as incense cones, HUSS produce a variety of incense burners, ovens and more. Their quality and loving attention to detail are obvious for all to see. The incense cone burner in different shapes and sizes burns your incense cones safely. The smoke exits through the different openings in the burner, for example coffee mug or chimney, and spreads a lovely scent in your home.

A angry, grumpy look, a big mouth with huge teeth, strictly in uniform and armed with a rifle — that’s how the wooden character can be described. The nutcracker is the guardian of Christmas. Why? Well, for that we have to jump back to 1870 and the birth of the nutcracker. At that time, gendarmes and generals, kings and soldiers were a constant threat to human beings. But the citizens of the Ore Mountains took this hard time with humor, and as an insult, they made dignitaries out of wood that would open their nuts for them. That is why the today’s nutcrackers still have a gloomy look when they open your nut!

Candle arches (Schwibbogen)

If one travels through the Ore Mountains during the Christmas season, one experiences a magical sight. All the windows glimmer in the Christmas lights of the candle arch. The German name, Schwibbogen, refers to a type of arch constructed in gothic times when an arch between two walls was called ‘Schwebebogen’ (floating arch). It symbolizes Christmas and the longing for light of local miners, who hung their burning pit lamps in a semi-circle around the pit entry hole before they started their last shift before Christmas.
The Ore Mountains an invite to take part in good old traditions!

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