The Prague Christmas Tree
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Fun Facts about the Prague Christmas Tree
It’s a dominating decoration on the Old Town Square throughout December and early January but there’s something even more special about what is known as the Prague Christmas Tree. It’s roughly the same each year so let me explain where the tree comes from and how it gets to the Old Town Square. Remember that you’ll learn about the tree, the market and Czech Christmas traditions on the Prague Christmas Markets Walking Tour.
Did you know that the Prague Christmas Tree is selected from a choice of more than 20 different options and NONE of them are from a public forest. You have to know that there are two reasons for putting a tree forward as a candidate for the Old Town Square market. Firstly it’s prestige and the knowledge that your tree will be admired by hundreds of thousands of people. But secondly, it’s money. The owner does not receive one penny for the tree but neither does he have to meet the cost of cutting or transporting it.
The Prague Christmas tree this year 2019 again comes from a private estate close to Liberec about an hour drive north of Prague. Finally checked by Dendrologists and confirmed safe, it’s a Spruce tree (what the Czechs call Smrk). When felled it measured 29 metres but on the square it will be closer to 23 metres installed. Prague still has memories of a similar sized tree that blew down in 2003 seriously injuring three people. The reason it was put forward as an option was because it was getting too big for it’s location and as it was growing alone it had both attractive and almost symmetrical foliage making it a suitable candidate. The tree is 55 years old.
So this years Prague Christmas Tree will be cut on November 26th and transported to Prague for placement on the following night pictured below (they have some issues getting the tree down Paris street because of the low hanging branches). The market then has four days to both construct and decorate the actual market itself PLUS the decorating the tree ready for the market opening day on the first Saturday before December 5th. But they always seem to get it done in time. Be sure to enjoy the Prague Christmas Tree Sound and Lightshow video which is everyday during the Old Town Square Market from 4-30pm to 9-30pm.
The 2018 Prague Christmas Tree was bought by a private company and will be turned into furniture, let’s see what they do with this one.
So here’s to another safe and festive Prague Christmas Markets season.
Picture Credits: idnes.cz