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Travel

Stollen festival at Dresden's Striezelmarkt

Some 100,000 people are expected on the second weekend of Advent at Dresden's Christmas market, known as the Striezelmarkt. A huge stollen about four meters long will be paraded through the historical old town.

In Dresden, 35 bakers and pastry-makers have put together the giant cake-like fruit bread from about 350 individual loaves weighing eight kilograms (17 pounds) each, according to a long-established plan. Tradition dictates that its exact size will first be revealed at the Stollen Festival. 

On Saturday, the enormous stollen will travel on a horse-drawn wagon through the old town center, from Schlossplatz, Palace Square, to the Striezelmarkt. There it will be cut into pieces and thousands of individual portions sold to festival-goers. Some of the proceeds will go to charity.

The first giant stollen dates back to 1730. Saxony's Prince Elector Augustus the Strong commissioned royal master baker Johann Zacharias to bake a Christmas stollen weighing 1,800 kilograms for more than 24,000 guests. 

The Dresden Christmas stollen is also called striezel, and it's a specialty that's known far beyond the city limits. It gave the Striezelmarkt, Dresden's Christmas market, its name. 

ks/ms (dpa)