mercatini di Natale in Germania

The Christmas markets in Germany: from Bavaria to Hamburg

The Christmas markets are one of the most evocative aspects of the end-of-year tradition (also in France and in the rest ofEurope) and a great way to get into the holiday spirit. And I am one very ancient tradition: for centuries in fact, the Christmas markets in Germany, they were an important moment in the life of cities and villages and added a touch of light and color to the long winter nights.

Their history, as mentioned, is very ancient and according to the traditions, the forerunner of the Christmas markets is considered the Dezembermarkt from Vienna which dates to 1296. The emperor Albert I granted merchants the right to hold a market, for a day or two, in early winter so that citizens could stock up on the supplies they needed to survive through the harsh winter months. Then, over time, local families started setting up more and more stalls to sell baskets, toys and wood carvingsas well as selling almonds, roasted chestnuts e pappery bread. And these have often become the gifts of Christmas.

The Christmas markets in Germany: a long history

Centuries have passed from the stalls to today’s big parties but one fact seems to have been established: it is Striezelmarkt from Dresden the oldest market in Christmas in Germany. It is held from to 1434 in Altmarktor the historic central square until the day of Vigil and attracts crowds of visitors who enjoy the festive atmosphere, the lights and sounds but also the sausages and the Glühwein. At Christmas, as well as being good, one is also greedy.

So let’s start our journey through the Christmas markets in Germany right from Dresden. The market is traditionally called Striezelmarkt and his heart is inAltmarkt, in the historic center of the city. It is surrounded by various themed Christmas markets, stretching all the way to the main railway station and theAlbertplatz. Here everyone here will find objects that very often come from Erzgebirge mountains as well as textile products and ceramics Lusatiagingerbread of Pulsnitzlace of PlauenAdvent stars of Herrenhutblown glass of Lauscha. Then there are the two symbols of the Christmas market in Dresden: one is the famous arched candelabrum that comes from the Ore Mountains (i.e. the Erzgebirge). The other is the large wooden step pyramid over 14 meters high.

Christmas markets in Germany

Two million visitors every year

Over two million people arrive here every year, queuing up in front of the hundreds of stalls that occupy various areas of the city, from the so-called Christmas millet along the Pragerstraße where there is also a gigantic tree and where concerts are held. Also not to be missed is the market near the church of our lady (ie the Frauenkirche) and then continue towards the Neumarkt where you can find splendid toys, even antique ones, and watchmakers’ stalls. Finally, the visit continues towards what is called the Augustus marketin the pedestrian area of ​​the district of Neustadt where is also that of St. Nicholas.

The Angel of Nuremberg

Nuremberg has a charming historic center but is in the period of theAdvent which reaches the maximum of its pleasantness. The Nuremberg Christmas Market takes place on the main square with a spectacular opening celebration. The Christkind (the Christmas angel), played by a local girl, reads a solemn proclamation from the balcony of the Cathedral and in this way starts the celebration.

Christmas markets in Germany
One hundred and eighty huts

Mentioned for the first timeto in 1628this is one of the oldest Weihnachtsmärkte of the country and still attracts more than two million people who flock throughout the month to stroll among the 180 huts traditionally decorated – and more than 30 of those still used today date back to the 1890s. Most of the goods sold here are locally produced with quality materials in a style that is still truly artisanal: and this is something increasingly rare around the world. the world and not only among the Christmas markets in Germany.

The locals affectionately call the market”our little city of wood and cloth” also because the houses are traditionally decorated with cloths red and black. The aim of each of the exhibitors is to have the most beautiful stand: it is needed to have more customers, of course, but there is also a prize up for grabs called Plum menschen golden. One of the strengths of this market is the large range of gastronomic products: not to be missed, for those who love the genre, are the Nuremberg sausages hey lebkuchen meaning gingerbread cookies as well as little man-shaped treats made of plums.

Christmas markets in Germany

The Christmas markets in Germany: Munich

Our journey through the Christmas markets in Germany necessarily continues a Monk where takes place Christkindlmarktwhich has its heart a Marienplatz, in the center of the old city. A big Christmas tree over twenty meters high, it illuminates the area and musical performances are repeated practically every evening. The opening is given by burgomaster in person at 17 on Friday which anticipates the first Sunday of Advent. And for that occasion the square explodes with people.

A stone’s throw from the square is the Neuhauser Strasse where the largest market specializing in figures for the nativity scene in the country is hosted: if you are looking for details to personalize your Nativity scene, here you will find everything you are looking for while a historic nativity scene is set up inside the Town Hall.

Christmas markets in Germany

Here too the gastronomic specialties are at the center of the party: apart from the classic mulled wine flavored are to be tasted sausages and the potato omelettes while very typical are the apples ei fried treats in lard. For the rest beyond 140 stalls they offer a huge choice of classic decorations, gift ideas and traditional products often, as far as food is concerned, certified as organic.

Cologne, the market near the cathedral

Also Colony respects the tradition and the great passion for the Christmas markets in Germany. Here one of the largest trees in the country is set up and the center of the festival occupies the heart of the city, right in front of the famous and majestic cathedral. But not only in this square: the whole city is involved and cheerfully occupied by over 150 houses where, unmissable, the spiced sweets which reproduce the shape of the cathedral.

Christmas markets in Germany

The market then continues in the other squares such as Neumarkt where the houses are made special by the rich reproductions of little angels while not far away there is also another sector dedicated to gnome market. The party continues in the park in the center of the city while the area dedicated to children is located in Rudolfplatz where everything is designed to evoke the environment of fairy tales Grimm brothers. A very particular atmosphere is the one that reigns in the market that is set up in the area of ​​the port of Cologne where about eighty houses are built that play with the style of the sailors and gods pirates.

The Christmas markets in Germany: an air of the Middle Ages

It is certainly not a metropolis or one of the most famous cities in the country: but among the Christmas markets in Germany that of Rothenburg ob der Tauber it has its own role and its certain charm. It is a small town of only 13,000 inhabitants Bavaria famous for having kept its medieval appearance. And in fact it is among the favorite destinations among those traveling along the Romantic Road. This is particularly true at Christmas when its market seems to have come straight out of a fairy tale.

The best thing is to start from the stalls found in the Altstadt to then get lost in the alleys and among the ramparts drinking mulled wine and nibbling on the local sweet called Schneeballe. Then an unmissable stop is at the shop Kathe Wohlfahrtat number 1 of Herringasse offering three entire floors of ornaments and decorations. It prides itself on being one of the largest specialty stores in the world. Here is also a Christmas museum founded by a family of enthusiasts who have collected themed items ranging from 1870 to 1950. And it’s open all year round. This country is located about 250 km north of Monk and the best way to get there is by car or a private bus service.

At the market in Augsburg in Bavaria

Staying in Bavaria to talk about the Christmas markets in Germany, it certainly deserves a stop Augsburg: it is very ancient and particular and the whole city is filled with colors and scents. The center of the party is given by the square overlooked by the town hall while in the center there is a large tree. The most curious aspect of the party is given by the show of the musician angels that is to say Engelspiel. On weekends at 6pm town hall windows they turn into one boxes huge advent calendar from which lean 24 people, taken among the inhabitants, who impersonate precisely the angels who play to protect the city.

Christmas markets in Germany

Now let’s go to the north: to discover other Christmas markets in Germany we leave for Hamburg where the party atmosphere invades the central square, the Rathausmarktin front of the town hall continuing for Mönckebergstrasse with over 150 stalls that even come to invade part of St. Pauli, what is famous for being the transgressive district of the city. But there are also other markets scattered around the center such as around the church St. Petri or the one in front of the famous church of St. Michaelis. The Christmas style is also found around the port where the stalls offering traditional food are located. But there are also imported flavors as happens in the market Gansemarkt.

The Christmas markets in Germany: the capital

Finally to conclude our tour we can only propose Berlin. Which prides itself on having well sixty different markets on its territory. These are very different places and, for some, far from the traditional Christmas spirit that is sought in this period.

However the first to recommend is what you keep in front of Charlottenburg Castle. There are around 100 stalls and it is decidedly elegant like the area in which it is set up. You come here to eat i Lebkuchen cookies and to drink Glühwein. While the children love the little trains and carriages which are located near the castle’s orangery.

If you are looking for a less postcard Christmas, but very Berlin, go to the market in the neighborhood of Neukölln. Is called Alt-Rixdorf and occupies the Richardplatz where the buildings frame lively stalls where you can eat warm apples and rye bread. There is also a stage where choirs come to perform and fill the square with life.

Finally, very lively and always crowded, there is the market of Alexanderplatz. Two hundred stands are set up here offering everything: from Christmas items to improbable gifts and objects of dubious taste. But there is also one ferris wheela hut where to drink beerto eat currywurst and listen to music of various genres. All at the foot of the television tower which is still, perhaps, the symbol of the Berlin that was.

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