Travel Germany. Canaletto Christmas Market 2023 in Saxony’s Pirna

Pirna, a small town in Germany between Dresden and Saxon Switzerland National Park has a picturesque little Christmas Market.
The 38.200 townspeople obviously put all their effort into turning the market square into a little magical Christmas heaven. The Market is named after the Italian painter Canaletto, famous for his large-scale paintings of Venice and also of Pirna. Every night during the Christmas Market his work gets projected on the facades of the baroque buildings. When looking at the massive Christmas tree, the colourful lights, and all these smiling faces of the people one wouldn't believe that Pirna was hit by the biggest drama only recently.

In the summer of 2013 Pirna was heavily flooded

It is indeed a big plus for a town to sit right on the banks of the mighty Elbe, but not when the river can't hold its water anymore and flows into the unprotected cobbled lanes. Stores were flooded, and goods and interior heavily damaged by water, and when the water receded there was mud literally everywhere. A shop keeper at a bakery tells me they had to close for a year, and after reopening now hopes that it won't happen again so soon. Cross fingers.

Pirna and the Sonnenschein Castle

Go and visit Pirna, they have done an excellent job at rebuilding their town. To be precise, they rebuilt it again, after they only had just done so after the cold war ended. At the over 40 stalls you get everything from traditional Christmas decoration and toys, homemade soup to mulled wine. There is also a merry-go-round for the little ones. If you climb up to Sonnenschein Castle, the view over Pirna and its Christmas Market is simply fantastic. The castle used to be a mental hospital from 1811 and became a Euthanasia Clinic of the Nazis. Fast forward to today, after detailed restoration works it opened its doors to visitors in 2012.

Information Canaletto Christmas Market Pirna 2023

18 November 2023 to 30 December 2023. Monday to Wednesday 11am to 7pm. Friday and Saturday 11am to 9pm. Thursday and Sunday 11am to 7pm.

Pirna view. Travel Germany The Canaletto Christmas Market in Saxony’s Pirna

 The article has been updated in October 2023 for accuracy.