Advent in Kufsteinerland

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Advent in Kufsteinerland

The magic of Christmas at the fortress, seductive scents at the Stadtpark

The first snowfall transforms the Kaisergebirge peaks and Inntal valley around Kufstein a moving winter fairy-tale. Here in the north of Tyrol, Advent is one of the most emotional times of the year. And this is due to both the atmospheric landscape and traditional events which take place here. Visitors of all ages are captivated by Advent at the historic fortress, the Christmas ambience at Kufstein’s Stadtpark (city park), the village nativity in the spa resort of Bad Häring and the World of Christmas at the Hödnerhof Flower World.

Visitors are transported on a journey back in time and it does not just appeal to children. First the walk through the historic central square at the heart of Kufstein and then the journey up by lift to Kufstein fortress. Behind the walls, which are many metres thick, there is a whole Christmas adventure world filled with nostalgia. Culinary treats, local crafts and selected gift ideas can be found within the old casemates of the Josefsburg and outdoor area of the fortress. But this is just one of the many highlights of Advent in Kufsteinerland.

Knights replaced by the seductive scents of mulled wine and cinnamon

Kufstein Fortress, the landmark of the region and one of the most impressive buildings in the state of Tyrol, has an imposing history dating back to the 13th century. It also provides a unique backdrop for the atmospheric Christmas market here.

During the weekends in the run-up to Christmas from 24 November until 16 December, visitors can explore a romantic magical world from 11.00 until 18.00 which captivates the senses and leaves everyday life far behind. And there are plenty of culinary delights, local craftworkers with their creations and a Christmas workshop and bakery for the little guests on offer.

Kufstein’s Stadtpark becomes a gourmet Christmas world

Taking a trip into the centre of Kufstein is an Advent classic. The historic houses in the Unterer Stadtplatz square and along the Römerhofgasse are popular destinations, as is the nearby Stadtpark. The Christmas market in the Stadtpark is an ensemble of indulgences including Tyrolean treats such as ‘Zillertaler Krapfen’ (doughnuts), ‘Kiachln’ (pastries), punch and mulled wine. There is also the chance to bake bread twists over a bonfire as well as a roundabout, nostalgic steam train, storyteller for the little ones and live music at weekends. From 23 November until 23 December 2018, the opening times are: Tuesday to Friday from 16.00 until 20.00 and Saturday and Sunday from 13.00 until 20.00.

The Brothers Grimm make a guest appearance at the Hödnerhof Flower World

The World of Christmas at the Hödnerhof Flower World in Ebbs, close to the northern edge of Kufstein, conjures up an exceptional fairy-tale atmosphere. The popular fairy-tale figures can be admired in flower form throughout the extensive greenhouses from mid-November until 23 December. The World of Christmas is open daily from 9.00 until 18.00. Admission is free.

A life-sized village nativity with a story to tell

Advent is a particularly romantic time on the plateau above the river Inn and around the spa town of Bad Häring. And this historic former mining village has one very special Advent feature to explore. The village nativity features life-sized characters in recreated traditional costumes and is installed right in the village centre opposite the church. You could almost say that this village nativity scene is brought to life because the scenes and figures change over the Advent period. They tell the story of the run-up to Christmas, starting with Mary and Joseph’s quest for a place to stay, riding on the back of a donkey, through to the birth of Jesus and the visit of the Three Wise Men. The idea came from Bad Häring’s rifle association and the figures and costumes are made by the village residents.

When the traditional ‘Klöpfler’ musicians come knocking on doors

The people of Ebbs still maintain a very thoughtful custom. In the Tyrolean Unterland region, ‘Anklöpfeln’ is an old tradition whereby men dress up as shepherds and farmhands with long beards, shepherd’s crooks and lanterns and go knocking on doors in the evening, performing speeches and songs. They start out on their rounds during Advent as night begins to fall. Schnapps distiller Albert Schmid has many stories to share from Advent. He introduces his visitors to the tradition of schnapps distilling during several sessions at his ‘cutler’s house’ which was built in 1536. During the cosy get-togethers, various anecdotes and wisdoms are shared. And Kufsteinerland has much more to offer during Advent too. For example, the night watchman tours of Kufstein at Advent, the gathering of the ‘Perchten’ devil-like creatures in the deep snows of Hinterthiersee and the Father Christmas processions in Ebbs, Erl, Niederdorf and Thiersee.

Festival of 1000 Lights

Before the Christmas period comes to an end, it’s time for the Festival of 1000 Lights in Kufstein on the eve of the Epiphany. The Unterer Stadtplatz square and old town come to life with celebrations, candles and torches from 16.30 until 20.30. And for those who love a good story, the mountain storyteller shares tales about light in the vaulted chamber of the town hall and the night watchman leads evening tours through Kufstein’s old town.

The magic of this peaceful time of year can be booked as part of a special Advent package from 1 to 9 December 2018. 2 nights plus admission to Kufstein Fortress with the Magic of Christmas and panorama lift are available from 109.00 euros per person in a double room with breakfast. For more information on all Advent events, see ....