The snow-covered market village.
The magic of Christmas displays in snow-covered woods The magic forest of ‘Zauberwald’, in Lenzerheide in Switzerland, is more than your standard Christmas market: from 13 to 30 December, it combines the bustle of a market with live concerts, a programme for children and sophisticated light installations. Located in the middle of Alpine landscapes, the magic forest creates a unique, snowy Christmas atmosphere. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN I PHOTOS: JOHANNES FREDHEIM, CEMIL ERKOC, STEPHAN KORITSCH
The idea for the Zauberwald was born seven years ago with the aspiration to give the traditional Christmas market a new and more contemporary flair. “In Lenzerheide, we have a forest that was simply a perfect fit for our idea,” says artistic director Primo Berera. Together with the cofounders, Claudia Züllig-Landolt and Giancarlo Pallioppi, he defined the three main areas, which are still key features today: market village, live concerts and a circular walk with light installations. The small market village, which serves as the Zauberwald’s traditional core, lies in the midst of snow-covered trees. Here, visitors will find first-class regional dish72 | Issue 81 | December 2019
es and drinks, as well as various gifts – in short, everything visitors could expect from a classic Christmas market. “Most of our visitors decide when to visit the Zauberwald based on the live concerts,” says Berera. For 16 days, national and international music acts play concerts in the evenings (www.zauberwald-lenzerheide.ch/ programm). The music ranges from rap to pop and all the way to folk music, so that the programme offers something for every taste. The true highlight for many visitors is the circular walk with light installations. “The Zauberwald was the first-ever Swiss light-
ing festival and, still today, it is the only one that is held completely outdoors,” says Primo Berera. The light installations lie in the middle of the snow-covered winter woods, and range from glowing angel wings and ‘Trees in Motion’, to the sculpture of an iceberg. The light installations play with art, emotions and current topics like the melting Polar caps. A particular highlight for families is the glowing playground. Here, young and old can playfully discover light objects. Every year, the Zauberwald’s light installations are chosen in an international competition (www.zauberwald-lenzerheide.ch/ lichtkunst). The Zauberwald is unique in Switzerland: the combination of market village, music and light installations only exists in Lenzerheide, and that makes a visit such a unique experience – for music lovers and art enthusiasts, and for families, couples or groups of friends. www.zauberwald-lenzerheide.ch