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© / Kristof Göttling

Prune Men

The Nuremberg Prune Men - little, crumpled and totally funny

Who doesn't know them, the charming Nuremberg prune men? Of course, they are not just men, but also women who are tidily standing on the shelves of the market booths waiting for someone to buy them. For centuries, these quaint figures of prunes and figs have been sold at the Christmas Market and are popular souvenirs and gifts for both tourists and locals. More than 350 different figures are available - from St. Nick, to elves, to guitar players and chimney sweeps, cooks and mushroom hunters, to couples and skateboarders - you can find almost everything!

Where does the typical Nuremberg prune man come from?

The thing that this illustrious society has in common is the complicated and elaborate craftsmanship with which they are produced. It can take up to an hour to produce a prune man or woman - in some cases even longer. By now you must be asking yourself how a prune man is made:
Wire serves as the skeleton that holds everything together, which is stuck into a birch disc. Prunes serve as legs and arms; figs form the body. Walnuts are used for the head, as smooth as possible so that it's easier to paint on a face. Then the clothes and "accessories" are added and it's finished!

Learn where the Nuremberg prune man came from

Fun Fact:

Prune men can be up to 50 years old or even older! They need little care: Dusting is enough and if their bodies turn grey, it isn't mold, but fructose. It can be removed quickly and easily with a brush and water (some people use alcohol). And if you still want him shiny: Spray a little hairspray on the figure and it will last another 20 years! And it's worth it if you believe the following saying: "Hosd an Zwetschgamoh im Haus, gäid dir es Geld und Gligg ned aus." (Translation: If you have a prune man in the house, you'll never be without money and luck!)

Who makes prune men?

Sad but true - there are only two people left who continue the tradition of the original Nuremberg prune man. And those are sisters Susanne Schrödel and Helga Scheller and their families, who create these unique figures in the fifth generation with careful and elaborate craftsmanship.

The Scheller family - Helga and her son Julian Scheller (also two unique Nuremberger) - are proud that today, a time in which values and traditions seem more important than ever, they can make people happy with their original prune men ... something that can still please both young and old!

More about the Scheller family

The Schrödel family - Susanne and Klaus Schrödel and their two children - can be seen in the video series Nuremberg Originals "Come into the prune manufacture of the Schrödel family" (only in German).

More about the Schrödel family

What you should know:

The prunes that are used to make prune men have to be dried in a special process. Not everyone can do this - currently, the sisters order (they buy together to get a large enough order) their prunes from a wholesaler in the USA. The figs come from Greece. Both are only used if fresh.

More interesting information

If you buy a prune man, you'll support a real Nuremberg craft tradition! So, head off to the Christkindlesmarkt and the booths with the funny prune men and women. And by the way: They're not safe to eat, so don't!



Le Méridien Grand Hotel Nürnberg

Le Méridien Grand Hotel Nürnberg