If you’ve ever visited Germany, you may remember seeing remnants of its rich history in almost every town. Heavily influenced by the traditions of Germanic and Celtic tribes around the time of the roman empire, Germans have adopted many customs and traditions of these tribes. The Oberpfälzer Schlossteufeln or Upper Palatinatian Castle Devils are a unique group in Bavaria whose goal is to keep German traditions alive in their old form by appearing at public events, such as medieval festivals, to entertain and educate the crowds.
Not All Scary Creatures
Not only do the Schlossteufeln dress up and re-enact truly creepy witches, krampusse (devilish companions of Santa to take care of naughty kids), they also show case good angels and, of course, St. Nikolaus himself as part of their Christmas performances.
Our Encounter with the Oberpfälzer Schlossteufeln
We’ve stumbled upon the Oberpfälzer Schlossteufeln in Regensburg at the Bürgerfest – the City Fest – two years in a row. As we walked through the gates to one of the market squares in town, we were wowed by the spooky costume display (first picture above). As we entered the market square, we were greeted by some creepy fellows, whipping heavy chains around and messing with people.
Not even my husband, Don, was spared from their pranks, as you see in the pictures below.
I must say, these Castle Devils were the highlight of our Regensburg trip that day. Don’t forget to check their events calendar before you travel to Bavaria. It’s definitely something worth checking out.
UPDATE 1/11/14: Here is the coolest and most recent video that my friends from the Schlossteufeln just sent me.
It was awesome and pretty spooky at the same time. Of course, I’m still wondering how they avoided to light each other’s fur on fire. Anyway, knowing me, I probably would be one of those people taking a few steps back when one of those creatures would get into my face as they do in the video (blush)… And those glowing eyes!!! Seeing the Christmas lights in the background also made me a little homesick. I really missed all the Christmas markets and festivities overseas during the holidays when I watched this clip. Gosh, I wish these guys and gals could make it to the States one day (preferably Colorado Springs, of course, but Denver will do, I suppose.) Anyway, enjoy!
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Until next time,