How many eggs can a tree hold? In the German city of Saalfeld in beautiful Thuringia a very special tree is holding 9200 eggs. Trees decorated with eggs are called “Eierbaum”, “Osterbaum” or “Ostereierbaum” in German,.
The video below shows how they decorate the tree and this every year before Easter.
It was in 1945 when Volker Kraft as a child saw a beautiful decorated tree in his home town at Easter and he decided to have a tree exactly like this. It took some years to realize the tree but in 1965 his dream became true. The first Eierbaum with 18 colorful decorated eggs (out of plastic) could be admired in his garden.
Over the next years more and more eggs decorated the tree, multi-colored eggs painted by his children and these eggs can be seen today, aged but they are on the tree.
When Volker’s and Christa’s children left the family home, it did not take long and his grand children continued the tradition of the egg tree, and they started to paint eggs which was meanwhile a nicely grown tree.
The Kraft family started to count the eggs now, Christa Kraft started to crochet eggs and the patter for the eggs became very artistic with gold and silver. Christa crocheted until 2008 more than 1000 eggs and 300 of them contain pearls.
Volkers daughter Gabriela Rumrich is the artist of the family, and she designed landscape and city motifs. But not only eggs are decorating the tree. Christa planted the beautiful German crocus flowers all over the lawn around the tree which are blooming every year in March – there are now 1200 crocus flowers!
How long does it take to decorate the tree?
At the beginning it took 1 day, in 2002 5 people helped and it took them 1 week. And to remove them it takes the same time. After the Berlin wall fell, nearby a rehabilitation clinic was built and this brought the first “tourists” to the Kraft family’s home. Suddenly it was a famous tree, media got interested and the egg tree was in newspapers, radio and TV.
Nowadays visitors from around the whole world are admiring the Osterbaum; it got filmed in 2008 by Marijke Amado and maybe Stephen Spielberg will find it one day too…
Volker Kraft is called the “egg man” by the Saalfeld folks, and his greatest joy is to see the smiles of the people when they see his unique creation, the Osterbaum of Saalfeld.
They start to decorate the tree 4 weeks before Easter each year, and it will be cleared 1 week after Easter.
At Easter it is open for the public from 9am the whole day. There is No admission fee and if you come from far away or with a group call ahead so someone will be there to open the gate.
Tel.: 03671 / 511772