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Fall festivals near Berlin: Historisches Apfelfest

Gone are the days when summer used to be a part of our daily lives here in Berlin. I remember walking down Kastanienalee, watching the people at the buzzing cafes, soaking up the sun, slowly drinking their beers and ice lattes, and just living the typical summer dolce far niente in Berlin.

At the end of August, I felt a slight shift in the season. And with the first days of September, the fall was already here. So goodbye lake beaches, summer clothes, and ice lattes. And welcome to the long and grey autumn days, with rains that don’t seem to stop anymore, falling leaves, long scarves, and cozy sweaters. One of the things I have a great time doing is going to as many seasonal food festivals as I can, which is why, when I heard about a traditional medieval festival, I was more than happy.

Historisches Apfelfest (The historic Apple Festival) is a mix of traditions, food, and history and takes place every year at the beginning of September in two locations near Berlin – Oranienburg and Potsdam.

In Oranienburg, the festival is held in Schlosspark Oranienburg (Oranienburg Castle Park), the oldest baroque castle in the Brandenburg region. The castle, first mentioned in 1288, was once transformed into a hunting lodge, then in 1579, it was rebuilt and restored to its original destination.

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Once there, I was pleasantly surprised to see a colorful and bustling medieval market, a place where farmers, with their red and yellow sunny apples, and the knights in their shining armor are living together in a moment frozen in time. Viking boats waiting on the shore of a small lake, ready for a cruise in the warm afternoon light, food stands, medieval workshops, horses and fairytale characters, medieval theatre, and music shows – you could find them all in Oranienburg Park, now turned into a cheerful ancient world.

Not to forget about the apple exhibition, where you could find out a lot about a great variety of apple and pear types. Those who have apple trees at home and want to know more about their fruits can take a test to determine the fruit variety.

And if you’re hungry, you have a choice. Although the market is focused on apples, there are a lot of other delicious options on offer. The elderflower wine, apple, and cinnamon cakes were delicious; bread with cheese, eggs, and garlic was surprisingly good!

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With these said, Historisches Apfelfest was a really nice experience and such a good way to spend a chilly autumn Saturday afternoon.

Tip: this weekend (30 Sept – 1 Oct), a new thematic festival will take place in Oranienburg Schlosspark – Gaukler Fest, so if you’re in for some good atmosphere and traditional food, don’t miss out on visiting it.

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