German Language Blog

The Oldest Brezel Ever Found Posted by on Oct 31, 2016 in Culture, Food, Language

Who doesn’t know them? Brezel (pretzels) are known worldwide mostly as a Bavarian delicacy. The salty dough product is super popular throughout Germany. As it turns out now, not only its taste is superb, but also its best before date… How old is that oldest pretzel? Read on to find out!

Lecker! (Image by Superscheeli at under license CC BY SA 2.0)

Lecker! (Image by Superscheeli at under license CC BY SA 2.0)

Where does the word Brezel even come from?

The word Brezel is not a common German word, nor is it similar to any other particular German word. It actually originates from the Latin word brachium. Through the years, this transformed into brezzila and then into Brezel. The Latin word brachium means “arm”: The ends of the Brezel are crossed like arms. Makes sense!

The oldest Brezel in the world

Last year, Archeologen (archaeologists) from Regensburg (just below Nuremberg) found some very old Backware (baked goods). They found the remains of a Semmel, a Hörnchen (croissant) and a Brezel on the Grabungsstätte (archaeological site) Donaumarkt (Danube Market).  Against all odds, the salty Brotzeit (snack) managed to survive for over 250 years. How?

The Backwaren were apparently verkohlt (burnt) and so the 18th century Bäcker (baker) threw them away into a Abfallgrube (waste pit). This Grube was later overbuilt, and that is why the Brotzeit survived. It is now on display in the Historisches Museum von Regensburg (The Regensburg Museum of History).

Of course, this is the oldest Brezel found – but the Brezel has existed long before that. So it might just be that there are even older preserved ones! After all, the oldest Brot (bread) ever found is almost 6,000 years old, found in Switzerland. Nevertheless, this is an important Fund (find), because it reveals something about daily life at the time.


Would you like to see the Brezel on display? Do you like Brezel? Have there been astonishing cultural finds in your area? Let me know in the comment section below!


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About the Author: Sten

Hi! I am Sten, both Dutch and German. For many years, I've written for the German and the Dutch blogs with a passion for everything related to language and culture. It's fascinating to reflect on my own culture, and in the process allow our readers to learn more about it! Besides blogging, I am a German-Dutch-English translator, animator and filmmaker.


  1. Mehrdad:


  2. Anonymous:

    Just love your blog. I speak Afrikaans and have some German ancestry. Dankie!