Atmospheric Advent in the Salzburg region
ecember in the SalzburgerLand is world-famous for its many beautiful, authentic Christmas markets. The festive atmosphere at these often small, traditional markets is far removed from the usual commercial hubbub of the season, allowing you to dive into a Christmas wonderland and awakening memories of childhood. The finest Christmas pastries and biscuits, the enticing scent of roasted almonds and chestnuts, baked apples, shimmering Christmas tree ornaments and children’s baking workshops awaken a festive mood in young and old alike. There are many Advent traditions to enjoy, including brass music and nativity plays, while festive baking and craft workshops give visitors a chance to join in and try out traditional crafts.
Near the GROSSARLER HOF, the Innergebirg region surrounding Salzburg is home to particularly atmospheric Christmas markets which also offer fun and varied children’s and event programmes.
In Grossarl itself, you’ll find everything imaginable for an authentic Salzburg mountain Advent. Around 30 small Alpine huts offer regional crafts and specialities while singers, musicians and young shepherds create the perfect setting and festive atmosphere. The village nativity scene with its life-size hand-carved figures is a particular highlight. It is located at the start of a beautifully devised nativity walk, which leads to the parish church via 15 different, handmade mangers. A cookie bakery, Christmas workshop, fairy tales and a ‘little angels’ post office makes for a fun-filled programme for the little ones.
Highlights of Grossarl’s mountain Advent:
- Nativity walk
- Village & animal nativity scenes
- Nativity scene exhibition
- Advent calendar with ‘Images from the Bible’ painted by Sieger Köder
- Mary & Joseph searching for lodgings at the Christmas market
- Children’s bakery
- ‘Little angels’ post office
- Christmas workshop
- Fairy tales and ‘little angels’ photo studio
The Advent of Cultures in the ‘silent night’ location of Wagrain combines the world-famous carol with Christmas traditions from all over the world. Every year, there is a guest country alongside local exhibitors. Make a wish for the world, the Christ child or your fellow human beings at the wishing tree in Wagrain’s market square, which is bathed in red light throughout the Advent periods. Red symbolises life and the lime tree represents our wishes, hopes and goals.
The Advent Market of Delights in Altenmarkt-Zauchensee is one of the most romantically atmospheric Christmas markets in the Salzburg region, with wooden ‘angel’s gates’ at the market’s entry points. In the glow of the fire pits, you can admire the giant Advent wreath, bedecked with countless baubles and wooden stars. The tables are lit by candles in silver candelabras, adding to the romantic atmosphere – just like the Advent stage, which is decorated like a Tyrolean home at Christmas time – and festive scents from regional delicacies at the wooden stalls delight your nose. The Altenmarkt ‘Search for the Inn’ is played out against the backdrop of Altenmarkt’s unique collection of buildings around the town’s Gothic church. Mary and Joseph’s unsuccessful search for lodgings before the birth of Jesus on Christmas Eve is a Christian tradition in many regions. A special nativity show at the museum of local history showcases the unique 18th century mechanical Grundner nativity scene. It has 120 figures, including 80 moving ones. The over 250-year-old structure created in Altenmarkt is a true gem.
Hohenwerfen Castle’s 11th Romantic Christmas Market takes place in a medieval courtyard which acts as a backdrop for happy, atmospheric afternoons. Original Pongau regional customs, Salzburg crafts, local specialities, a nativity play, and authentic folk music make for plenty of festive fun. Younger visitors enjoy the dedicated children’s programme, including gift-making, cookie-baking and listening to fairy tales.
St Johann-Alpendorf entices visitors with its Advent of Lights at the Schiffer-Park in the city centre. The Christmas market combines modern, urban design with the wintry mountain surroundings of the Pongau region. Light installations and festive lighting on the surrounding buildings transport visitors to an Alpine Christmas wonderland – the stuff of childhood magic! The Advent stalls enchant visitors with festive delicacies such as mulled wine, punch and homemade liqueurs.
Magical moments await visitors to Zell am See at the Star Advent Markets. The prettily decorated stalls entice visitors to while away the hours: splendid woodwork, toys, fragrant mulled wine, freshly baked Christmas biscuits, roasted almonds and knitted items create an atmospheric backdrop for a varied festive offering. Musical performances and a range of children’s events rounds off the agreeable, festive atmosphere.
The Christmas market at Salzburg‘s Domplatz and Residenzplatz squares is always worth a trip. It is the largest and oldest in Salzburg. The roots of the event go back to the 15th century, when it was known as the ‘Tandlmarkt’. The market has been taking place in its current form since 1974. Visitors can enjoy a fine selection of crafts, toys, Christmas gift ideas and culinary delights. Highlights include tower trumpet fanfares on Saturdays in Advent, when Salzburg’s tower brass band plays Christmas music from three towers around the Residenzplatz. The festive atmosphere around Hellbrunn Palace is hard to beat. During Advent, it is transformed into an enchanted forest of over 400 conifers, decorated with 13,000 red baubles and strings of lights that add sparkle to the market as darkness falls. Crafts, original gift ideas and culinary specialities await visitors at the lovingly decorated stalls, and children can enjoy pony rides, a petting zoo and a Christmas post office.