Friday, December 23, 2011

Frohe Weihnachten

Nuremberg, Germany is home to Europe's most famous Christmas Market.  More than 2 million people visit the Nuremberg Christmas Market every year, and this year we were among them! 


The market features over 180 beautifully decorated stalls with stall holders selling everything from traditional decorations, gingerbread, and of course, Gl├╝hwein (mulled wine) and Kinderpunsch (a non-alcholic version).


We stayed at the Sheraton, which is well located just outside the walls of the old city and an easy walk to the markets.  The hotel has adjoining rooms (hooray!) which is perfect for our family.   We found this hotel to be very kid friendly- even handing the little ones free Playmobil figurines on arrival.

We were lucky enough to be met in Nuremberg by our German friend, Wolfy.  He showed us around, translated (although nearly everyone we met spoke English quite well) and kept us company.  It was wonderful to reconnect with our old friend.
The highlight of the trip was, of course, visiting the markets.  It is often described as "The Little Town of Cloth and Wood" and the stall holders take great pride in making their stalls beautiful.  It was amazing to see.  

Gingerbread, candied nuts, mulled wine, pretzels, ornaments, Christmas pyramids, nativity scenes, sausages, toys, and my personal favorite- prune men.  These little figures made from dried fruit have been a traditional souvenir of the Nuremberg Christmas markets since the 17th century.  Following tradition, there are 14 stalls offering these little figures which can be seen wearing a wide variety of costumes. 

Much of our time was spent in the Kinderweihnacht, or Children's Market.  The kids loved the traditional rides, the Playmobil activity house, decorating their own gingerbread cookies and dipping candles.  There was even a little puppet theatre which put on a German version of Little Red Riding Hood. 



There is also a post office stall in the middle of the market where you can mail letters with a unique Christmas Market postmark and buy tickets to take a ride on a horse drawn stagecoach. 

The Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt was definitely something to see.  Walking the cobblestone streets of the old city, taking in the sights and smells, sipping a mug of mulled wine all while the snowflakes gently fall is magical.  And a wonderful start to our Christmas holiday.

Frohe Weihnachten to you all! 

4 comments:

  1. Merry Christmas! We loved the markets in Germany, it was freezing, lights everywhere and hot mulled wine...perfect!

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  2. That will definitely be on our to-do list for next year. Looks like you had a nice time. Merry Christmas!

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  3. I am absolutely jealous beyond belief! We were lucky enough to have family *from* Germany visiting this year and may be lucky enough to go to Berlin in the summer, but to be at the Christmas markets... *sigh*!

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  4. Even though I only spent one Christmas in Germany, those pictures make me feel incredibly nostalgic. Nurnberg was our favorite town nearby, and all of the sights in these photos are very familiar. I'm so glad you got to go-- nobody does Christmas like Germany!

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