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Hartensteiner Weihnachtssterne

The Hartensteiner Christmas Star manufactory, managed by the Härtel family, is located in Hartenstein, about 20 km southeast of Zwickau. Embedded in a charming landscape and full of historical sights, Hartenstein is also known as the "Pearl of the Ore Mountains". The city is surrounded by large forest areas where you can wonderfully hike and relax. The town got its name from the County Hartenstein.

About the company history

In 1908, master bookbinder Oswald Härtl opened the factory in Hartenstein with an affiliated workshop. One winter the skilful craftsman designed and built an illuminated Christmas star for himself which from then on belonged to the family's Christmas decoration. Only one photo of this very first Härtel star survived the Second World War.

Oswald's son Martin Härtel - also a master bookbinder - began to develop a similar star on the basis of this photo - until it was finally ready to be taken apart and packed away in a storage box. He exhibited this star at a trade fair in 1948, which marked the beginning of the Christmas star production in the Härtel workshops. From 1960 onwards, Härtel's bookbindery produced exclusively the popular “Hartenstein Christmas stars”. The grandson Peter Härtel also became a master bookbinder, joined the company and continued the business in a leading position since 1971. In the meantime, the 4th generation has started with his daughter Beate Heyn (née Härtel), who has been working in her parents' workshop since 1999. Since 2005 Beate Heyn continues the family business, following the tradition of her ancestors.

Hartensteiner Christmas Stars

Illuminated advent stars have a long tradition in the houses of the Erzgebirge. When the light in the centre makes the warm colours of the stars shine up, a magical Christmas atmosphere is created by itself which is difficult to describe with words.

"All handmade": this is the slogan for the Christmas stars made by Härtel. They have an unmistakable design in the charming combination of aluminium and coloured paper, and the unique snap system makes installation extremely easy. In order to produce the beautiful, multi-coloured tips, triangles are cut from aluminium foil which are then punched with a fixed pattern and broken out by hand. Luminescent paper in different colours is glued behind the resulting gaps. No less than 154 individual parts are assembled for each star in elaborate manual work. The finished tips can later be simply placed on the body of the star and removed again using an unique and very durable snap system invented by Martin Härtel.
White or a sophisticated combination of white and coloured luminescent paper is glued into the basic structure of silver or golden aluminium. The results are just beautiful: noble cool white with silver, warm red or orange shades in combination with white, or more unusual star variations such as white-blue with gold or white-purple with silver. All "Hartensteiner Christmas Stars" have a diameter of 68cm and are only suitable for indoor use, due to the delicate paper that was used.

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