I am referring to Schloss Grafenegg, of course. The palace in the Wachau Valley has it all: gargoyles, buttresses, stained glass windows and even a moat. Diagramming the ownership of the palace over time would result in a spirograph-like tree; since the 1970’s, though, it has primarily been a cultural venue and, on one weekend in December the palace hosts its Adventmarkt.
We are the two tiny people facing the camera. Alternative caption: wherein Tony has not learned what the “zoom” feature on my camera is for.
Did I mention it is cold here in Austria? The thermometer on my car only read 0°C on Saturday. And that was with the sun shining on it.
The market is a little different in that most of the artisans and craftspeople are indoors; wandering throughout the palace rooms as we browsed the items for sale adds to the fun. I loved this gorgeous handmade pottery, but surprisingly did not bring any of these pieces home with me.
The handmade cast of a puppet theater company was rather popular with Austrian children.
As were the ocarinas, a member of the ancient flute family dating back 12,000 years. Variations of this instrument exist across the globe, including the green turtle that we now have in our home!
So many angels.
We found it necessary to look up as we moved around the palace, to admire the many decorative ceilings. The ceiling of the schloss chapel was quite striking, and even twinkled with the sun shining through the stained glass.
In fact, most of the ceilings we walked beneath were quite striking.
As were the individual furnaces throughout the wings of the palace.
It was fitting that the book sale was in the palace library.
The palace courtyard plays host to the stalls offering glühwein, roasted chestnuts, and all of the other common Christmasmarkt treats, and was a warm and cozy place from the several small firepits scattered around.
We did wander through the more traditional, outdoor market on the palace grounds, as well, with market stalls of specialty items from Niederösterreich state. Anyone for Wachtel (Quail) Egg Liquor?