Golden Tissue

Celebrating a traditional Dresden speciality – the Stollen Festival

If we look back into history we can see a giant stollen – weighing some 1.8 tonnes,pulled by eight horses – raising cheers in the Saxon court. It has often been told, and this tallies with historical facts, that Saxony's most famous king, Augustus the Strong, the Elector of Saxony and King of Poland, was passionate about the pleasures of life in all their forms.

Augustus loved art, women and grandiose festivals. And he loved Dresden Christstollen®. In 1730 the Saxon king put on a magnificent display at the Zeithain Encampment. The four weeks the court spent at the military exercises were crowned by a huge festival: 24,000 guests were invited to an opulent meal which ended with the serving of this giant stollen.

Johann Andreas Zacharias, a master baker from Dresden, baked the stollen in a specially built oven. Eight days of heating with beechwood provided the correct temperature and roughly 100 bakers and master bakers completed the task of baking the giant stollen together. It was cut with a specially designed 1.6-metre knife.

Today, Dresden Christstollen® is still celebrated at the Dresden Stollen Festival, traditionally held on the Saturday before the second Sunday of Advent. A week before the festival, the bakers and pastry makers of Dresden's Stollen Association bake the giant stollen together just as history tells us they did in 1730. The giant stollen is put together from several separate loaves.

At the Stollen Festival the scent of stollen wafts through Dresden. Traditionally the giant stollen is unveiled on Schlossplatz, then the enormous loaf is presented to the people of Dresden and their visitors in a parade through the historical Old Town before, at noon, finally being sold on the Dresden Striezelmarkt, the profits going to charity.

This year you can enjoy the Stollen Festival on 3 December 2016. For more information on the schedule and programme, click www.dresdnerstollenfest.de

In 2012 Dresden Christstollen was at the centre of the festivities as usual.

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