First documented in 1434, the Striezelmarkt is Germany's oldest Christmas market. It is inextricably linked with its namesake, Dresden's Christstollen cake, also known as striezel. The market has retained its distinctive features, despite some changes over the years. Visible from far and wide is the world's largest Erzgebirge Christmas pyramid, which, at a height of 14.62m, made its way into the Guinness Book of Records in 1999. Every year more than 2.5 million people visit Dresden's Altmarkt square to soak up the bustling atmosphere of this charming market. The traditional stollen festival is held in honour of the speciality Christmas cake. These annual celebrations see a giant stollen paraded through the baroque old quarter on its way to the Christmas market, where it's ceremonially cut into slices. However, the market did not originate from striezel sales but rather from a decree passed in 1434 by Elector of Saxony Frederick II permitting a free market. Originally meat was sold in the area now known as the Altmarkt (old market), but the range of goods soon expanded. Visitors today can expect a varied selection combining refined culinary delicacies with traditional fare, and, of course, traditional crafts from the Erzgebirge mountains. Alongside the wooden pyramids there are candle arches, incense burners and other decorative products, all lovingly hand-crafted. Dresden is also renowned for its pflaumentoffel – chimneysweep-shaped treats that are made of prunes and are said to bring good luck. Other popular classics include the market stalls selling blue-printed items and pottery from Lusatia, spicy gingerbread from Pulsnitz and star-shaped paper lanterns.