The iconic Portland hotel continues its long-standing holiday tradition with an intricate gingerbread display of the beloved Lichtenstein Castle
PORTLAND, Ore. – (November 30, 2017) – A distinguished 46-year holiday tradition continues as The Benson Hotel invites the public to view this year’s Gingerbread Masterpiece, on display in the grand lobby through December 27. Designed and built by culinary artist Chef David Diffendorfer, this year’s structural accomplishment evokes the cheery holiday spirit with an elaborate candy-and-gingerbread representation of the beloved fairytale treasure, Lichtenstein Castle (Schloss Lichtenstein), located in the Swabian Alps of southern Germany.
Chef Diffendorfer’s luscious design incorporates the Gothic Revival–style characteristics that make the castle unique and uses the edible features for which he is known. His interpretation of the Lichtenstein Castle combines elegant vertical lines with enchanting lofty towers, set atop a steep mountain overlooking an edible forest and lake. This year’s replica required approximately 150 pounds of gingerbread, 20 pounds each of white chocolate and marzipan and was created by hand.
Designed by Carl Alexander Heideloff in 1840, the actual Lichtenstein Castle has been described as the “fairytale castle of Württemberg.” Inspired by Wilhelm Hauff’s romantic novel Lichtenstein (meaning “shining stone”) and completed in 1842, the modern castle overlooks the Echaz Valley near Honau, in the Reutlingen district of the state of Baden-Württemberg. In Chef Diffendorfer’s version, The Benson hopes to honor the original castle’s history and impressive design.
“The Gingerbread Masterpiece is a time-honored Portland tradition, and this season we’re excited to share the Lichtenstein Castle with the public,” said Anne Grothe, hotel manager of The Benson Hotel. “Chef Diffendorfer has been creating these masterpieces for us for over 25 years, and we love sharing his magical works of art with locals and visitors alike.”
Past gingerbread creations by Chef Diffendorfer include representations of Château de Chenonceau, Château Loire, St. Vitus Cathedral, Neuschwanstein Castle, and Boldt Castle, as well as several of his own designs, including “Santa’s North Pole,” “The Isles of Gingerbread,” “An Austrian Hillside Town” and his first American castle, “Biltmore House.”
While the viewing of this year’s Gingerbread Masterpiece is free, attendees are encouraged to donate unwrapped toys to Make-a-Wish Oregon to help local children battling life-threatening medical conditions celebrate the holiday season. For more information, please visit www.bensonhotel.com.
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ABOUT THE BENSON
Established in 1913, the historic Benson Hotel combines European elegance and charm with modern luxuries. Located in the heart of downtown Portland near popular sights, tax-free shopping, nightlife and performing arts venues and museums, The Benson Hotel features 287 guest rooms and suites with high-definition LCD televisions, high-speed wireless, alarm clocks with iPod/MP3 stations, organic bamboo robes and slippers, Sealy® Tempur-Pedic sleep-system beds and more. The property is also home to The Palm Court restaurant and bar, as well as more than 18,000 square feet of versatile meeting and event space. For more information visit www.bensonhotel.com. If you would like to stay in touch, please “like” us on Facebook at The Benson Hotel or “follow” us on Twitter at @TheBensonHotel and Instagram at @TheBensonHotel.
ABOUT MAKE-A-WISH® OREGON
Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. The Oregon chapter is one of 62 in the United States. With the help of generous donors and 300 volunteers, the Oregon chapter has granted more than 3,300 wishes in Oregon and Clark County, Washington. For more information about Make-A-Wish Oregon, visit oregon.wish.org and discover how you can share the power of a wish®.