Last year, the Christmas Market was at an all-time high in Nuremberg, from what I’ve experienced. Even if the Christmas Holidays were tainted in Germany by the radical Islamic terrorist attack from Berlin, tourists were flocking in Nuremberg in 2016 also. I’ve visited the Nürnberger Christkindlesmarkt right from the first day of opening.
It took me more than three hours to visit all it’s 180 wooden stalls, where various producers and artisans displayed their hand-crafted goods. Dating back from 1628, The Christmas Market is Nuremberg’s most famous event, at the same level of importance being maybe only the Spielwarenmesse (Europe’s biggest Toy Fair).
With a food offer so spectacular, you would think you’re in a Christmas fairy tale, the Christkindlesmarkt is absolutely a paradise for foodies and gourmands, from all over the world. Starting off with the famous and traditional Glühwein, in an overwhelming list of spicy versions and with Nuremberg’s most famous export-“Lebkuchen” (gingerbread), continuing with a local street-food delicacy “Drei im Weckla”-(three Nuremberger sausages in a bun) and finishing with an infinite offer of sweets, hand-baked and handmade by small pastry confectioners from the region (from the city boundaries but also from the whole Frankonia).
But there’s more to see and to buy, than just traditional German delicacies. This Christmas Fair is world-wide famous for the hand-crafted Christmas decorations and wooden toys which many artisans display every year. You won’t find here mass-produced items. Small, family-owned independent shops, ateliers or companies, crafting unique glass, metal or wooden objects are represented each year at the Christkindlesmarkt. For many of them, it is a century-long family affair, a long tradition, a very rich heritage spanning even to the Middle Ages, when Nuremberg was one of Europe’s cultural and commercial centers. Just by looking at their logos, almost all of which are represented by old German Blackletter typography, you can feel a strong sense of traditionalism and authenticity.
Germany’s most famous market is not just a paradise for foodies and a magical place from where you can buy archetypal Christmas Tree decorations. It is also a complex display of Nuremberg’s centuries-long rich cultural heritage.
Here’s what can you experience at the Nuremberg Christmas Market.
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