Easter fountains, or “Osterbrunnen” in German, are a popular tradition in Franconia, Germany. They are decorated fountains with Easter-related themes, such as eggs, bunnies, and flowers.
Easter fountains are a traditional sight in Franconia, Germany, where beautifully decorated fountains are adorned with colorful eggs, flowers, and other Easter decorations. Some of the best locations for Easter fountains in Franconia, Germany include the following places.
Note that I also have a guide for you on how to rent a car in Bamberg or take advantage of train ticket deals to get around the region so you can check out these Franconian Easter fountains with ease.
Top 10 towns to see Easter Fountains in Franconia
The historic town of Bamberg is famous for its photogenic city center and its main city fountain, the “Gabelmoo” (a statue of the Greek water god Poseidon), is decked out in hundreds of Easter eggs. These are part of a charity organisation. You donate money, they hang up an egg for you.
There’s also an Easter fountain by the ERBA island. (Near the bus stops.)
The medieval city of Nuremberg is known for its medieval buildings, castle and also has its own beautiful fountains, which are decorated with Easter eggs, flowers, and other Easter-themed decorations during the Easter season.
The city of Bayreuth is home to several Easter fountains, including the one located in front of the Old Town Hall.
The city of Erlangen is quite compact and you can easily walk around the historic center of town, which also has fountains.
The small town of Forchheim is home to quite a few beautiful Easter fountains. The main ones are located in front and inside the yard of the city castle. Others can be spotted when walking around the main shopping streets right in the center.
The town of Waischenfeld is located in the Franconian Switzerland region and is known for its beautiful surrounding scenery. It also has an Easter fountain, which is located in the town center and decorated with colorful eggs and flowers.
Just cross the river and you’re in the community of Pretzfeld, which is also known for its cherry blossom trails in the nearby mountains. You can park your car on the main parking lot at the edge of the forest, wander underneath the cherry trees and into the center. Next to the church lies the Easter fountain.
This little town is just a short drive from Forchheim and you can find a lavish Easter fountain in the main marketplace.
One of the prettiest cities in Franconia is Coburg. It has a fortress and multiple castles in its surrounding lands, the town center is gorgeous half-timbered houses and right at the marketplace is also where you can take a look at the Easter fountain.
Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Probably the most iconic Franconian town is Rothenburg, which is highly frequented by tourists for good reasons. It’s ridiculous picturesque, feels like you stepped into a German fairy tale and there are
When you are driving through Franconia, feel free to stop in smaller towns, villages or communities as they all tend to have their own Easter fountain in the center. Look for the townhall and marketplace and that’s where you usually find one.
There are plenty more Easter fountains all over Franconia, way too many to list in this article. If you have any questions or would like to book us as your designated vacation photographer to capture your special moments in Bavaria, get in touch.
To learn more about why the Easter fountains are even a tradition, read on.
why do germans decorate fountains for easter?
Decorating fountains for Easter is a tradition that originated in Germany’s eastern regions, particularly in Franconia, which is a region located partly in the German states of Bavaria and Thuringia, as well as the state of Saxony.
The tradition is known as “Osterbrunnen,” which translates to “Easter fountain.” And as the name suggests, it is a typical Easter tradition and cannot be experienced at any other time of the year.
- “Ostern” = Easter (listen to the pronunciation here)
- “Brunnen” = fountain (listen to the pronunciation here)
This means, you have a small time window in which to enjoy those Franconian Easter fountains.
The decorations typically stay up for several weeks following Easter, and the local communities often hold festivals and other events to celebrate the occasion. Decorating fountains for Easter is a beautiful way to bring people together and celebrate the arrival of spring and the renewal of life.
The tradition of decorating fountains for Easter began in the early 20th century as a way to celebrate the arrival of spring and the renewal of life after the long, cold winter. Villages and towns in these regions would decorate their fountains with elaborate arrangements of colorful Easter eggs, flowers, and other decorations.
Essentially, these are things that represent spring, new life and the awakening of nature.
Over time, the tradition has grown in popularity and spread to other parts of Germany and neighboring countries, such as Austria and the Czech Republic. (In Romania, for instance, there is a region that specialises in elaborate hand-carved and painted Easter eggs. Check out Bucovina.)
Today, the Osterbrunnen tradition is an important part of Easter celebrations in many Franconian communities, and it has become a popular tourist attraction in some areas as well.
When can you see Easter fountains?
The tradition of decorating Easter fountains (Osterbrunnen) is a popular custom in Germany that usually takes place in the weeks leading up to Easter. The exact time can vary depending on the region and local customs, but it typically begins in late March or early April and continues until Easter Sunday.
In some parts of Germany, the Easter fountain decorations are put up on Palm Sunday, which is the Sunday before Easter. In other regions, the decorations are put up earlier, such as on the first day of Lent (Ash Wednesday) or on the first day of spring (March 21).
The decorations usually stay up for several weeks after Easter, so visitors and locals alike can enjoy the festive atmosphere.
What do Franconian Easter Fountains look like?
Luckily, I’ve got some nice photos of Easter fountains around Franconia in southern Germany for you to have a look.
But to describe them for you too, picture a historic stone fountain. They are usually circular or geometrical, low and have a stone arch from which the water buckets used to be pulled to retrieve the fountain water.
Nowadays, those fountains are purely for historic and aesthetic reasons and no longer in use. In fact, there is a metall gate at the top to prevent people from falling in or throwing stuff down.
Note that throwing coins down fountains is just a superstition and actually just pollutes the water and requires the city to regularly remove the coins at an expense. So please refrain from doing it.