Hygge made in Spreewald: the Spreewald is especially cozy in the wintertime. Tips and inspiration for a winter trip to the Spreewald with a lot of Brandenburg coziness.
What is actually "Hygge?
Maybe you have already seen the word "hygge" this year, it's possible, because: the Danish trend for coziness is on everyone's lips. It is anyway already quite well known that it can be lived well in Denmark and the Danes belong to the happiest peoples of this earth. This is surely due to the talent of our Danish neighbors to make themselves comfortable inside – especially when it is cold outside and the weather is not very nice. "Hyggelig" it can be however naturally also somewhere else than in Denmark.
Hygge outside Scandinavia
The English make themselves particularly "cosy" by the fireplace in the pub and for us Germans the good old coffee klatsch with a nice piece of cake belongs to the Gemutlichkeit. Lately, I've been to places in Germany that have felt particularly "hyggelig" to me. Because, such is the definition of "hygge": there is no universal. Even if some people automatically associate the Danish "hygge" with stylish apartments in "Danish Design", this is not necessarily the case.
"Hygge" is a feeling for the moment, which can be a warming fireplace, a piece of melting chocolate or a particularly cozy couch in which you sink into. What does "hygge made in Germany" look like?? From Mecklenburg to the Franconian Forest to Lake Constance: what Germany has to offer in terms of "hygge", I show in my "Hygge in Germany" series. The Spreewald in winter makes the beginning. Get out the blanket, pour some tea and let's go!
Hygge in the Spreewald: 7 tips for a cozy winter in the Spreewald
On a weekend trip I discovered how "hyggelig" it can be in the Spreewald in winter. No matter how thick the foggy soup, no matter how cold the temperatures or how fickle the weather: in the Spreewald you can make yourself especially comfortable in winter. Have fun with my 7 tips for that very special "hygge" feeling in the Spreewald!
1. A visit to the Cottbus pyramid cake factory
No, Baumkuchen was not invented in Cottbus, but the city of Salzwedel in Saxony-Anhalt can boast this attribute. Cottbus, however, has a long tradition of handcrafting Baumkuchen, which was interrupted during the socialist era and blossomed again after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
In the Cottbus Baumkuchemanufaktur you can watch how Baumkuchen is made – and what a huge job it is! Layer by layer, the mass becomes (don't say "dough")!) applied to the rotating iron and the Baumkuchen then baked at extreme heat. So it gets very hot during the Baumkuchen show baking, but that doesn't bother the Baumkuchen master, who has been doing it almost every day since the 1960s.
Whether he eats then at all still Baumkuchen, I ask the Baumkuchenbacker, after so long time. "Na schau'n se hier," he says laughing and tapping his shapely belly. He's right, the man, and we're glad to be able to try different variations of Baumkuchen. My favorite: Baumkuchen with chocolate coating (how could it be otherwise). But there are also crazy variations like Baumkuchen with Matcha – of course, for the Japanese Baumkuchen is a mandatory souvenir from Germany and I remember that I was constantly asked for the famous pastry in South Korea, too.
2. Snuggle up with a fireplace ride
How does it sound: a barge in the Spreewald, you and a few friends. Snuggled up in a blanket you sit at the table fireplace, drink mulled wine and let yourself slowly drift into the sunset and the beginning of the night. When the moon rises above you, you see the clear starry sky above you. You hear the water flowing, the fire flickering and now and then a duck quacking. And otherwise: nothing. The chimney ride from the Snake King in Burg in the Spreewald was about the most relaxing thing I've done this winter. If you know the crowded Spreewald during the summer high season, you should definitely go here again in winter. It's completely different, so quiet, so beautiful, so magical, as you can also read here at Inka from blickgewinkelt.
3. Watching (and snacking on) the Klemmkuchen being baked
In the ironworks and fishery museum Peitz you can watch how Klemmkuchen is baked in the hot charcoal oven. Actually, the Klemmkuchen is more native to the neighboring Flaming or Lausitz, but to see how it is made, the museum in Peitz is a very good address. The pastry was traditionally eaten at carnival time and is quite substantial – the hot iron is rubbed with a piece of greasy bacon to keep the dough from sticking. Here in the Spreewald, besides the live baking, there is also a small but nice exhibition of historical clamp irons to see.
4. Enjoying high patissier art in Luckau
Paris, Brussels…Luckau! The small town in the Spreewald can consider itself lucky, because with the confectionery Klinkmuller they have a real gourmet temple for sweet tooths and sweet tooths. The handicraft business founded in the 1980s is famous, among other things, for its stollen, which come in a variety of flavors: as a classic marzipan stollen, but also as a Christmas stollen variation with cranberry, baked apple or elderberry tonka bean. All extremely delicious and even award-winning as the best public stollen.
My personal highlight, however, were the cupcakes and chocolates that the new boss and son of the founder Rene Klinkmuller makes with an obsession for detail that is unparalleled. Klinkmuller has studied with the best of the best, in Luxembourg and Lucerne, is constantly winning prestigious awards and, in addition to his patisserie skills, is also highly regarded as a juror. In addition to the mini tarts, the chocolates are also a real highlight. Seriously, just for one of these sweet sins I would go to Peitz (I'll probably do that soon).
5. Let yourself be taken care of by the Spreewald-Christl
Gisela Christl, the "Spreewald-Christl," has made it her task to maintain and pass on the customs of the Sorbs and Wends. She does this among other things with her spinte program, which we were allowed to attend. You can't get much more "hygge" than this: everything delicious that the Spreewald has to offer is served – of course Spreewald gherkins in all variations, salads, lard sandwiches, cheese and homemade cake.
In addition the Spreewald-Christl entertains, sitting at the spinning wheel, and tells of creepy legends, old memories and lived tradition. When she then holds out the accordion and we are all forced to sing along…er animated, then a very pleasant feeling sets in. The secret star of the Spinte program is of course Kater Walter, who is allowed to enjoy this Spreewald wellness cure every day. Who would not like to be a cat there?
6. Probably the most beautiful store in the Spreewald has a secret
In Luckau, there's a clothes store on the market square called byanci, and it's quite hygge in itself. There are not only very cozy clothes for the winter to buy, but the interior is designed in such a way that you would like to stay there right away: cozy armchairs, a piano, old travel suitcases – very instagramable! byanci is housed in a building where stagecoaches used to stand – you can still see that today in the vaults. By the way, picturesque below is a table that seems to be just waiting for you to have an afternoon tea at it.
The true secret of byanci, however, lies a few meters below: a tangled cellar vault with rooms that are only opened once a year, namely for the Old Town Night. It takes place in September, so there will be no hyggeligen evening at the cellar bar (yes, down here drinks are served) in the colder season. But don't be sad: even in winter it is very cozy here, because in the above-ground store readings and concerts take place during the tranquil Luckau Christmas market.
7. Romanticism without kitsch: Prince Puckler Park Branitz
A winter walk in the Furst-Puckler-Park in Branitz near Cottbus is one of the most beautiful things you can do in the Spreewald during the cold season. Early in the morning, at sunrise, you meet almost no people here, only a few pretty red squirrels. Prince Puckler (yes, the one with the ice cream)!) once had this area redesigned according to his own wishes, based on the high English garden art.
Where the park itself is a real highlight in Cottbus, it also holds a very special feature: the Pyramid of the Prince. Prince Puckler has created a monument to himself with this pyramid, which is located on a small island, because here he, "the green prince", found his eternal rest.
This article was written as part of a press trip to the Spreewald, in cooperation with the Spreewald Tourist Board. Thank you for the invitation!