A Spooky Christmas Market in the Woods!

| December 12, 2014

bavarian weihnachtsmarkt, schoenseerland, advent in the woods

Unfortunately, it’s too late for you to head on over to Advent im Wald this year–it ran last weekend, and only last weekend.  But it’s worth keeping on your radar for next year, perhaps in conjunction with the market at nearby Schloss Guteneck.

We were spending the weekend in Bavaria specifically to visit Guteneck, when we noticed a sign for Advent im Wald (Advent in the woods). Naturally, we headed that way. We came upon parking for Advent im Wald, and assumed it was near the market. In reality, it was near the bus with “Advent im Wald” printed on a sign taped to the bus window. Naturally, we boarded the bus, still no idea where we were headed. “In the woods” was all we had to go off of.

Because we were close to the Czech border, people around us were speaking not only an unfamiliar German Bavarian dialect, but also Czech. This added to the disorientation of riding a bus into an unknown forest.

weihnachtsmarkt advent in the woods

When the bus stopped, we got off and just started following the masses that were trudging uphill. We assumed that eventually we would be able to see our destination. Lo and behold, soon we could detect lights shining through the trees. We came to a kiosk where we had to pay a few euros to continue on to the market, which was just ahead.

weihnachtsmarkt, schoenseerland bavarian, advent in the woods, candlelit paths

Wooden signs welcomed us to Advent im Wald. There was a light layer of snow covering the forest floor, and light was reflecting off of it. We were surprised to find that it was candlelight lining the footpath—row after row of jarred candles wound up the hill, to a giant lighted star.  The only electric lights were in kiosks, in buildings, and the giant star.

bavarian weihnachtsmarkt, schoenseerland, advent in the woods

When we passed through the forest gate to enter the market, we paused to ring a bell and make a wish. The market was crowded, so the path was challenging to navigate. Since the candles were not flooding the area with light, we had to be very careful of the steps and branches—all while avoiding bumping into folks. This is not a market for the disabled or those with poor eyesight.

bavarian weihnachtsmarkt, schoenseerland, advent in the woods

Although there were plenty of food and sweets, and liquor from Glühwein to beer to Schnapps, we could not find one single cup/bottle/sip of water throughout the whole market.

Scattered in the forest were wooden sculptures, some with taxidermy incorporated into the scene.

gonzo sculpture, weihnachtsmarkt, schoenseerland advent in the woods


My personal recommendation would be to show up in the afternoon while it’s still light out, so you can navigate the market and really see what they have to offer.  Then, stay through darkness to fully appreciate the lights.  Arriving in total darkness was cool for the candlelight, but we really couldn’t see a damn thing.

This website should be updated next year with the info for  the 2015 market: Advent im Wald.

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Category: Christmas Markets, Christmas Markets, Europe, FAMILY, Family Travel, Germany, Travel, Uncategorized

About the Author ()

Kari Martindale is a writer and ESL instructor. She’s visited all 50 states and 37 countries, including many of the big cities of Europe and a ton of Christmas Markets. She spends her days straddling the fence between a sense of adventure and a sense of dread. She is married to what is clearly a patient man and has a daughter who, frustratingly, is just like her. Her academic and professional backgrounds are in linguistics and foreign languages. When she's not teaching ESL, she's writing. When she's not writing, she's thinking about her next trip.

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