Monday, 14 January 2019

Christmas in Harz


Christmas in Harz









This is an area of Germany seldom covered in travel reviews. I have been fascinated by this region because of its association with the Grimm Brothers and almost every Disney fairytale ever told!


The region consists of cottage-style houses with beams, cobblestone streets, dark forests and stunning mountains. The towns feel so familiar because these are towns from all our childhood stories from Disney films. The Brothers Grimm collected their stories from various places, including the Harz Mountains and when you visit you can see why. You almost expect to walk out singing from one of the cute houses or can just see a witch going into her cottage in the mountains laden with dark forests.














You won't find many English-speaking tourists or locals but the area is so magical and charming , I hope more people will make the trip and see these half-timbered towns and beautiful forests. The atmosphere is incomparable and if you go skiing in the mountains near Braunlage, where the ski trails go through acres of forests, be careful you don't get mesmerized by the sheer beauty of the mountains and turned to stone :-)




















I also absolutely loved the witches and pagan themes, statues and dolls everywhere. For Apparently witches of Harz are really famous. Goethe  even included a Walpurgisnacht witches gathering on the Brocken (highest peak in Harz) in “Faust.”
















Quedlinburg










Quedlinburg is a stunning little town and a UNESCO World Heritage site, ruled by women for most of its history. Quedlinburg was Germany's first capital during the Middle Ages.


Its colorful buildings make it one of the prettiest towns I have ever seen!



















We  found some beautiful miniature crafts all over the Harz region but none more beautiful than in the one or two souvenir shops in Quedlinburg which I highly recommend you visit when there. The miniatures are mostly made of wood and crafted beautifully by hand, each telling a little story and honestly very reminisce of Disney. I felt like I was a child again - it was all very nostalgic!
















There are numerous colorful and charming houses in Quedlinburg but at the same time you find buildings with a gothic feel.  I personally loved the  medieval look and layout of the town.


























The ancient town is built around a large square (Markt) and perches on two hills with the river Bode running through the middle.










The town square is lined with beautiful medieval and Renaissance buildings and several old hotels. Breite Strasse, which heads north out of the Markt, has some lovely half-timbered houses.












Braunlage










Braunlage is a town located in the Goslar region of the southern Harz mountains. Braunlage has skiing access to wurmberg mountain , second highest peak in Harz. The Wurmberg Cable Car provides access to a large number of slopes, trekking routes and sport areas.




















The wurmberg mountain is another must see place - acres of snow in winter with dark forests covered in more snow! If you want a magical scene go there!. I felt I wan in a fairytale the whole time! It was a beautiful experience










The place literally seems frozen in time




























Wernigerode


Wernigerode is a beautiful town filled with half-timbered houses and cobbled streets where the Christmas fairs were in full swing.












It has a gothic town hall, which was built in the 16th century and is an impressive building. It is on the main square along with houses now converted to cafes and restaurants.













You can walk down Breite Strasse, the long pedestrian-only street, to see many of the elaborately-carved wooden homes and some beautiful restaurants and cafes.






Sitting above the town is a lovely medieval castle, with gargoyles guarding the approach, the Wernigerode Castle. The architecture is just stunning and definitely worth a visit.










The castle was built in the 12th century and was the seat of the Counts of Stolberg, until the communist government confiscated it in 1945. It is now a museum.














Food in Harz


The only thing that did not impress me in the region was the food - its all local dishes but rather bland and seem very poorly cooked which was strange but I guess it was catering for tourists. Also the menus are not in English and no one speaks English so I had a tough time Google translating dishes before ordering!!






Winter style
So this involved a lot of jumpers, coats and polo necks!


Jumper: Mango; Jeans: JBrand; Boots: Mountain Warehouse; Bag: Chloe







Mountain Warehouse look
Add caption


Sweater: Club Monaco; Scarf: Joseph;
Jeans: JBrand; Boots: Mountain Warehouse; Bag: Chloe






Overall, a lovely time with family and a fairytale place I do wish to visit again







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