It’s the time of the Christmas markets. There are around 2,500 in Germany – from trashy to romantic. At the Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg things are traditionally contemplative.
Known and loved worldwide
More than two million visitors stroll through the Christkindlesmarkt on Nuremberg’s main market square in the heart of the city every year, including many tourists from all over the world. The Gothic Frauenkirche from the 14th century offers the perfect backdrop for Christmas atmosphere. The market will open on December 1st. You have until December 24th to visit.
Centuries-old booth magic
Christmas decorations, sweets, toys and of course mulled wine: more than 200 dealers are represented in the “Budenstadt”. Mainly typical Nuremberg products are sold. The Christkindlesmarkt has existed since 1628, as indicated by an inscription on a wooden gift box, where the “Kindles-Marck” is mentioned. This makes it one of the oldest Christmas markets in Germany.
Christ Child and Master of Ceremonies
The market is officially opened by the Christ Child, flanked by two gold foil angels. From the gallery of the Frauenkirche she speaks the prologue, a poem that has been repeatedly revised over the years and adapted to the times. This ceremony was thought up in 1933 by the National Socialists, who wanted to use it to enhance their own annual festival calendar.
The symbol of the Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt is the gold foil angel, popular as a tree decoration. According to legend, a Nuremberg doll maker designed it when his little daughter was lying in bed terminally ill and he heard an angel flapping his wings. The gold foil angels used to be made of wafer-thin beaten brass, today they are made of aluminum foil.
What would a Christmas market be without food stalls? Typical specialty and popular far beyond the city limits is the Nuremberg Rostbratwurst. It is only seven to nine centimeters long and fits perfectly in a bun. They are served as “Drei in an Weggla” – three in a bun. The name is protected: only sausages made in Nuremberg can be called “Nürnberger Rostbratwurst”.
After the sausage, there’s still something sweet: Large and round or square, with lots of almonds, nuts and honey – this is how Nuremberg gingerbread is baked. And has been for 600 years. It was probably monks who were the first to produce honey cake in the region. In any case, this is indicated by the use of wafers as a base.
Dried fruit souvenirs
Dried plums for arms and legs, a fig belly and a walnut for the head – this is how a plum man is made. These typical figurines represent priests, devils, elves or, like here, musicians: there are 350 variants. The plum men are ideal as a souvenir – they are said to last up to 50 years. Unfortunately, you can’t eat them.
A ride in the carriage
Anyone who has had enough of walking – after all, the market is 5,000 square meters in size – simply gets on the stagecoach. Market tours have been a popular attraction since the 1950s. The carriage is an 1874 model that was replicated in 1939. The fun is also affordable: Adults pay 4 euros, children 2.50 euros.
Gift ideas from all over the world
On the town hall square next door there are arts and crafts and specialties from all over the world. At the Nuremberg Twin Cities Market you can buy coffee from Nicaragua, pies from Nice in France, icons from Greece and products from many other countries. How about a plaid tie from Glasgow in Scotland?
Free ride to Christmas happiness
The children’s room of the Christkindlesmarkt is behind the main market, on Hans-Sachs-Platz. At the “Children’s Christmas” the offspring can pull candles, bake cookies and – of course – ride the carousel. Even Santa Claus comes by four times a week and gives everyone a free spin on the nostalgic carousel.
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