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  • Kati and Roger

Moravian Stars


moravian stars where to go in europe dresden

A display of Moravian Stars in the Dresdner Striezelmarkt, celebrated since 1434

These beautiful paper lanterns found in the Dresdner Striezelmarkt (Dresden's main Christmas market) are called Moravian Stars. Moravian Stars can be found during the Christmas season in Saxony's capital of Dresden as well as throughout the entire region.

moravian stars where to go in europe dresden

Moravian Stars adorn the Christmas tree before the Frauenkirche in Dresden

Their name comes from the Moravian Church, one of the oldest Protestant denominations in the world that is a later manifestation of the 15th century Hussite movement begun in the Czech Republic. How did a symbol of the Moravian Church become so prominent in Germany?

moravian stars where to go in europe leipzig

Inside the Thomaskirche in Leipzig (also where the great composer Bach is buried)

The Counter-Reformation led to the suppression of the Moravian Church and persecution of its members who were forced to go into hiding. In the 18th century, the Moravian Church experienced a revival when a group of its members fled to the Kingdom of Saxony, where nobleman Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf permitted them to establish the village of Herrnhut.

moravian stars where to go in europe leipzig

Moravian Stars may have as few as 20 and as many as 110 points, but are most commonly found with 26

Although Zinzendorf was temporarily banished from Saxony for his religious views, he would become a bishop of the church and, on his return, was encouraged by the government to form more communities like Herrnhut.

moravian stars where to go in europe dresden

Dresden's Christmas market around the Fraunkirche, one of many sprinkled throughout the city

It was near Herrnhut at the Moravian Boys' School that the first Moravian Star was created in the 1830s as a geometry lesson. A graduate of this school went on to establish a Moravian Star factory in Herrnhut, where they are still being produced today.

moravian stars where to go in europe dresden

In the tower of Dresden's Frauenkirche

Although they began as a geometry lesson, Moravian Stars quickly became an Advent symbol for the Moravian Church and are now widely adopted as holiday symbols throughout the entire world.

moravian stars where to go in europe leipzig

Leipzig's Old Town Hall

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