The Steinbach Family
Originally from Austria, the Steinbach family history dates back to the 13th century. Family members worked as judges, merchants, and architects. Erwin V. Steinbach was a famous architect and built the Muenster (Dome) in Strasbourg (France) during the 13th century.
Because of many wars and religious persecution the family was forced to change their domicile and settled in the German Erzgebirge long before they thought about the first Steinbach Nutcracker. Life was rough during that time and people had to fight hard just to stay alive.
The German Erzgebirge
The Erzgebirge ("Ore Mountains") is a low mountain range in the east of Germany. It lies in the south of the German State Saxonia and nowadays is certainly one of the most beautiful and most traditional regions in Germany. Altogether the mountains extend a length of 90 miles and a width of 25 miles. The mining industry helped the Erzgebirge become very wealthy. Hundreds of magnificent castles and impressing churches are an interesting sight for tourists from around the world.
Also, the culture of the Ore Mountains was shaped considerably by the mining industry. During their daily work, the miners were constantly confronted with wood and developed special talents to shape the wood. After the end of their workday, the miners carved figures and scenes of their everyday life.
When the mining industry lost importance the population had to find new ways to make a living. They decided to use their skills in woodworking to start a new trade. From these roots in the course of time, all of the today's variety of products (including the wonderful Steinbach Nutcrackers) was developed from. Today the skilled craftsmen manufacture Nutcrackers, Christmas Pyramids, Incense Smokers, Schwibbogen (Candle Arches), Music Boxes and many other wonderful wooden Figurines & Miniatures.