Seiffen: A winter fairytale

Some 25 years ago, it happened for the first time. Three weeks before Christmas, my grandmother handed me a wooden box. She gave me one of those looks, reminding me to take special care of it. Her eyes, however, were warm and smiling. Bursting with curiosity, I opened my little treasure box. And there they lay, one by one: The famous wooden figures from Seiffen. I fell in love with them almost instantly.

Kindheitserinnerungen küsst Seiffen ganz zart wach: Hier zu Besuch in der Schauwerkstatt des kreativen Kurortes in Ostdeutschland. / Foto: Anna Zell

Seiffen gently brings up childhood memories: Visiting a workshop of this curious & creative little town in Eastern Germany. / Photo: Anna Zell


25 years later: Wohoo, let’s go to Seiffen!

The pretty little town Seiffen is located in the Erzgebirge (Erz mountains) in the east of Germany. From Vienna, we had to drive some four hundred and fifty kilometres by car. If you, like me, are looking for a feel of Christmas, then you have come to the right spot. The houses look like straight out of a fairy-tale, with their pointed roofs and rich wooden covers along their facades. For more than one hundred years, craftsmen & women have practised the art of making wooden figures and pyramids. For most of it, Christmas tales serve as inspiration: Nativity sets, countless angels but also the famous nutcracker of Tschaikowski’s opera ballet is what we find here.

Unglaublich zart und dabei so zerbrechlich: "Der Kuss" in Seiffen!

Just so very tender: “The kiss” in Seiffen! / Photo: Anna Zell


Hier lässt sogar der "kanadische Elch" uns Besucher grüßen! / Foto: Anna Zell

Even the reindeers from Canada have their say here in Germany 😀 / Photo: Anna Zell


Beschaulich: Kindheitserinnerungen an die "Figuren aus Seiffen", wie meine Oma sie mir damals als Geschenk überreichte. / Foto: Anna Zell

Beautiful: My childhood memories come rushing back at me when looking at this cute little wooden figures. / Photo: Anna Zell


Süß !! "Mein Freund, der Rächermann". / Foto: Anna Zell

Sweet !! “My boyfriend is a smoking man”. / Photo: Anna Zell


“Smoking men” can be all kind of figures. They usually have a foot or stool of some sort: At their centre is an aromatic concentration of herbs that are being lit. The body, empty on the inside and with a hole on top, is being placed on top of the herbs for the steam to come out and fill the room with pleasant aromas. Most of the time, this symbol is the man’s mouth, or even a “steaming pot” filled with “dumplings”. Nice, ay?

Ich finde ja auch diese Nikoläuse ganz umwerfend. Ihr? :) / Foto: Anna Zell

I like all those cute little images of “Nikolaus”, or Father Christmas. You? 🙂 / Photo: Anna Zell


Winterzauber im kreativen Hotspot Seiffen ... / Foto: Anna Zell

Winter magic in the creative hotspot of Seiffen … Even the street laterns convey some of the crafts magic that is happening around here. / Photo: Anna Zell


Go creative in the workshops of Seiffen & try your own hands at crafting wooden figures!

If you are among the happy visitors who were able to still make a booking in the weeks leading up to Christmas, I recommend you check out the overview of creative events happening around here. The best thing is: All the workshops welcome visitors to try their own hands at being creative! Talking to the locals, you realise that they are full of passion for their work, never losing faith in all those decades! One example is Karin Eisenach, who has already spent more than 45 years of her life crafting wooden figures in her showroom workshop. Wow!

Über die Schulter geschaut: Karin Eisenach in ihrer Kreativwerkstatt in Seiffen. / Foto: Anna Zell

Check it out: Karin Eisenach in her creative workshop in Seiffen. / Photo: Anna Zell


Blick auf die Werkbank in der Werkstatt von Seiffen. / Foto: Anna Zell

This is where the charming wooden figures are created that I first fell in love with as a child all those years ago! / Photo: Anna Zell


Sind sie nicht wunderschön? Pyramiden aus Seiffen. / Foto: Anna Zell

Aren’t they beauties? Pyramids from Seiffen. / Photo: Anna Zell


Seiffen is a true winter fairytale that you have to experience once in your life. No matter whether you choose to follow the beautiful “smoking men’s aromas” or the colourful lanterns, you are sure to delight in all your senses here.

My tip for you is this: Seiffen is working on producing their famous figures all throughout the year (they even make Easter bunnies!) so why not visit any time you want? Of course, the winter does its magic, what with all the snow covering the hillsides and wrapping up the village in its beautiful white blanket … like I say, a fairytale! 😀
Die besten Leckereien sind hier praktischerweise gleich ausgeschildert! / Foto: Anna Zell

Fortunately for us, all the good bites are very well signposted! / Photo: Anna Zell


Wunschzettelbriefkasten! Klasse. :) / Foto: Anna Zell

Fancy feeling child-like joy again? Here, you can post your letter to Father Christmas 🙂 / Photo: Anna Zell


Der Favorit: Die für mich schönste Figur, die ich in ganz Seiffen gefunden habe. Stimmt Ihr mir zu? / Foto: Anna Zell

Isn’t she a beauty? The prettiest figure I found in Seiffen. Would you agree? / Photo: Anna Zell


Thank you so much to Anna Zell, who takes us out into her home country Germany on this trip introducing us to a very special, creative hotspot. I am really intrigued by visiting this charming little village Seiffen myself one day, including its fascinating wooden crafted figures.
What is your favourite winter fairytale?

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