“Osterbrunnen”, the decorated Easter Fountains in Franconia

Easter Fountain

Decorating an “Osterbrunnen” is a German tradition of sprucing up public fountains with garlands and painted eggs for Easter

It all began in the early 20th century in Upper Franconia (Fränkische Schweiz) but also has spread to other regions. The decoration is usually kept from Good Friday until two weeks after Easter

The Tradition

The tradition of decorating an Easter fountain is still relatively young. A little over 100 years ago, the women of the town got together to paint bright colored eggs and braided garlands out of evergreens

Osterbrunnen, decorated Easter fountain by P. Eckert
Osterbrunnen Heiligenstadt by P. Eckert

The town of Aufseß is said to have been the first locale in 1909 to decorate its small village fountain. The original reasons for the annual adornment are unclear. However, there are different assumptions. According to the Franconian Tourist Office, which is based in Ebermannstadt, the Easter fountains can be traced back to the region’s lack of water.

All this decorating is done to spruce up the village fountain a couple of days before Easter
  • Osterbrunnen, decorated Easter fountain
  • Osterbrunnen, decorated Easter fountain
  • Osterbrunnen, decorated Easter fountain
  • Osterbrunnen, decorated Easter fountain
  • Osterbrunnen, decorated Easter fountain
  • Osterbrunnen, decorated Easter fountain
  • Osterbrunnen, decorated Easter fountain
  • Osterbrunnen, decorated Easter fountain
  • Osterbrunnen, decorated Easter fountain
  • Osterbrunnen, decorated Easter fountain
  • Osterbrunnen, decorated Easter fountain
  • Osterbrunnen, decorated Easter fountain
  • Osterbrunnen, decorated Easter fountain
  • Osterbrunnen, decorated Easter fountain
  • Osterbrunnen, decorated Easter fountain
  • Osterbrunnen, decorated Easter fountain
  • Osterbrunnen, decorated Easter fountain
  • Osterbrunnen, decorated Easter fountain
  • Osterbrunnen, decorated Easter fountain

In the past, residents in higher places had to carry water up the mountain hill in barrels. Water was therefore a valuable commodity, especially for the people who lived in higher elevations.

Some sources say, that over century ago people were looking for ideas to attract tourists to the region. Accordingly, the invention of the Easter fountain would be called “Tourism Marketing” today. Be that as it may – the fountains are always beautiful to look at.