The Dergem people and their Wurstmarkt
When people talk about the Wurstmarkt in Bad Dürkheim, the excitement is great. In fact, the anticipation is so great that there is even a countdown at the entrance to the site, counting down the days, minutes and seconds until the next Wurstmarkt.
For many in Bad Dürkheim, the Wurstmarkt is the most important date of the year! They don’t go on vacation during the second and third week of September to be there every day. Some even take extra vacation for the Wurstmarkt!
The Wurstmarkt is nowadays the biggest wine festival in the world with more than 600.000 visitors, not bad for a city with only about 19.000 inhabitants! It is a paradise for wine lovers, because they can choose between 294 excellent wines and sparkling wines at a total of 57 different tapping points – the 36 Schubkarchstands, the wine village or the festival tents.
Hover Box Element
Hover Box Element
But why the name Wurstmarkt? It is simple! Sausages have always been popular, especially at the Wurstmarkt. In 1750, 11,000 pieces were eaten, in 1835 the number was up to 64,000.
That’s why in 1832 the name “Wurstmarkt” was first officially mentioned. Until 1867 both names were used, but then only the name Wurstmarkt was used.
Facts and figures about the Wurstmarkt
So why is the Wurstmarkt so famous and loved nowadays? There is a market in Bad Dürkheim since the Middle Ages and it was called St. Michael’s Market at that time. First it takes place up at St Michelsberg because of the many pilgrimages. The pilgrimages were always there on September 29, because the day was the name day of St Michael.
As with so many successful events, the market became too big for the mountain. That is why in the middle of the 15th century the market was moved to its present location at the Wurstmarktplatz. Most of the year the Wurstmarkt Square is a parking lot, but at the beginning of September the area is transformed.
In the Middle Ages the market was only three days long, but nowadays the market lasts 11 days, including 2 weekends. Bad Dürkheim citizens like to go even during the week, although the fair rides and some stalls are closed.
In 1949, Bad Dürkheim celebrated the 500th anniversary of the Dürkheimer Wurstmarkt. But actually the date is not correct! After a research it was discovered that the market is much older and dates back to 1417. This was not so wrong, because in 2017 Bad Dürkheim could celebrate the 600th anniversary of the Wurstmarkt! All citizens were relaxed!
The market has many traditions and offers something for all ages: many stalls, rides, live music, high fireworks on the two Saturdays, Palatine literary morning pint and good mood. Every year they hold the enthronement of the new wine princess of Dürkheim.
One cannot forget the well known Bad Dürkheim invention of the Dubbeglas! It has 36 dubbe (Palatine for dots), which give a stability and grip to the hand. There are two sizes – 0,25l and 0,5l. In the past, the glasses were filled only with wine and drunk among a group. The person who drank the last drip had to buy the next one. Nowadays the drink is called a wine spritzer – a mixture of wine and sparkling water. But beware. The glass is 3/4 filled with wine! You can buy the glasses from the Schubkarch stands or from the wine village as a souvenir. Each winery has its own design engraved on the dubbe glass.
In 1938 there were 53 covered Schubkarch stands, but since 1953 they are limited to 36 (exactly the number of Dubbe!). There is a long waiting list! In addition, there are numerous booths selling everything from candy, souvenirs and food to jewelry, clothing and household items.
The Dergemer Barrel
There is another world record in Bad Dürkheim – the giant barrel. It is the biggest barrel in the world! It stands on the Wurstmarktplatz at the opposite end of the Saline and oversees the whole event. The barrel (called Dergemer Fass in dialect), was built in 1934 from 200 fir trees. The barrel was built in the traditional way and shape and could hold 1.7 million liters of wine. An unreal amount, but it has never been filled and has always been a restaurant. Our many decorative barrels standing around the front look identical, but on a much smaller scale, as the barrel is 13.5 meters in diameter!
Cheers! See you next time!