Go Inside the Bayernhof and Share a German Christmas

DOORS OPEN Pittsburgh is hosting a series of virtual holiday events focused on the area’s unique traditions, including a German Christmas Market.
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Despite the pandemic grinding most holiday gatherings to a halt, DOORS OPEN Pittsburgh is finding new ways for people to connect through a series of virtual events that explore some of the area’s unique institutions and traditions.  

The nonprofit — best known for its annual October event that gives people insider access to Pittsburgh’s most storied buildings — is hosting several holiday-themed presentations. 

Dubbed DOP Stories, the events are lived-streamed weekly from 7:30 to 8:15 p.m. on Mondays throughout December. 

Things kick off Dec. 7 with “To Pittsburgh with love, from Germany: Holiday Market Tradition,” which uncovers the stories and sources of the German Christmas markets of today and yesteryears. The event is hosted by the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, which will share behind-the-scenes aspects of the market, and DOORS OPEN volunteer Judy Casturo, a retired German teacher and European guide.

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For those wanting to indulge in the outlandish, the “Bayernhof Museum: Music Boxes and Other Obscure History” tour on Dec. 14 gives an in-depth look at one of Pittsburgh’s most unusual mansions. 

Once owned by Charles Brown III, founder and CEO of Gas-Lite Manufacturing Co., the quirky 19,000-square-foot manse in O’Hara Township includes hidden doors, secret passages and a rooftop observatory, plus an indoor cave, a swimming pool with a 10-foot waterfall and a completely restored copper still. There’s also a world-class collection of music boxes and other antique automatic music machines. 

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On Dec. 21, raise a toast for the “Holiday Cheers” event at Engine House 25 Wines, a private wine cellar under the Clemente Museum in Lawrenceville. 

Although virtual, this is a hands-on (and glasses full) gathering. Participants can pre-order wine to participate in a live tasting while head vintner Duane Rieder explains Engine House 25’s winemaking process. Wine purchases are available separately through Engine House 25.

Participants are asked for a minimum $5 donation to attend the pay-what-you-can presentations. For more information, or for tickets, visit here.

Categories: Nest