Osterbrunnen – Easter Fountains

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 As Easter is approaching, so is the annual tradition of decorating the wells and fountains.

Osterbrunnen in Bieberbach. Picture by Alma

The history of decorating the local fountains with flowers goes back to pagan times and was done in spring to appease the spirit of the well, the most elaborate one of these festivals would be the “Brunnenfest” in Wunsiedel at the end of June.

Osterbrunnen – Easter Fountains

Decorating the local fountains for Easter is said to have started in the small municipality of Aufseβ (famous, as it is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records to have the most breweries per capita) over a century ago and spread from there to all over the “Fränkische Schweiz” (Franconian Jura) in Upper Franken. Water is scarce in this region and the maintenance of the local water supplies was always a high priority for the well being of the people and animals. So during the annual spring cleaning of their well(s) the tradition of decorating them was established and is now done in over 200 towns and villages.

The wells and fountains are decorated with evergreens and painted Easter eggs like the fountain in Bieberbach above. Decorated with thousands of eggs it actually made it into the Guinness Book of World Records in the year 2000.

Over the years these villages attracted more and more visitors during this time and nowadays there are “Photo Safaris” with buses coming from as far away as Berlin and Munich. The unofficial count for one of the locations hit more than 80 buses in one day.

Naturally the more than 70 local breweries with their excellent “Bier(s)” and the numerous “Gasthaus(es)” with their mouth watering “Brotzeit(s)” and other famous local dishes make a trip there even more appealing, especially on a bus with the freedom to enjoy more then one beer.

Heiligenstadt, picture vertacross.net

vertacross.net has an excellent selection of Easter fountain pictures, click on the names on the left of the different towns or villages to see the fountains, if you follow the red arrow at the bottom of the page it will forward you to the next page and is actually very easy to click through these excellent pictures, thanks “vertacross” for sharing them. (German language only)


Aufsess, picture vertacross.net

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