Thursday's Child: European Christmas markets

Thursday, December 23, 2010
I’ve been writing this month about some of the beautiful markets I’ve been fortunate to visit around the world.  This week, it’s wishful thinking: I’m posting about the wonderful Christmas markets in Europe, one of which I’d love to visit someday.  The Christmas markets appeal to me in the same way that I love attending a carol-filled church service, or building a snowman on the front lawn – a beautiful reminder of a simpler time.

Dresden Christmas market, photo courtesy of Tom Smith travel
How could anyone pass up the Christmas market in Dresden, Germany, which boasts a four-ton fruitcake?  I like fruitcake, but even by my standards that's a lot.  The cake is carried through town by a procession of pastry chefs before being brought to the central market to be divvied up and sold.  The Dresden market also features the world's largest nutcracker and a host of carved wooden toys and puppets.  This festival has been running continuously since 1434, making it the oldest in the world.


Munich Christmas market, photo courtesy of Marriott,
Renaissance Munich hotel
Munich has one of the most famous German markets.  Imagine a hundred-foot tall tree, decorated and standing in the middle of the Marienplatz, the main city square.  A brass band and carolers entertain the crowd nightly from the town hall at the front of the square.  And craft markets abound, featuring the most beautiful of German handiwork.

Christmas at Tivoli Gardens, photo courtesy of Tunliweb
The German markets are the most traditional, but could anything be more magical than Christmastime at Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens?  As at most of the markets, native crafts are sold in small booths.  But Tivoli also offers a lovely outdoor skating rink and a toboggan run for the young, and mulled wine for the adults.  Stunning ice sculptures in holiday themes adorn the park for everyone to enjoy.


This is my last post before Christmas.  I’d like to wish all of you a wonderful holiday season, whether you spend it far from home or in your own living room.  May you be blessed with the peace, joy and love that come with the true meaning of Christmas.

20 comments:

Jess said...

Thanks for the magical photos~Merry Christmas!

Rita said...

They are just beautiful! Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Valerie said...

Merry Christmas to you and you family, Beth! Thank you for all your kind words and thank you for starting this wonderful blog!
Cheers!

Faith said...

How fun this must've been! Merry Christmas to you, your family and friends!

Kayte said...

Merry Christmas to you, too, Beth! Thank you for this post, it was fun to see/read all of it. My virtual escape for a bit always. Hope your holidays are just filled with love and wonderful memories!

shaz said...

May you and your family have a wonderful Christmas Beth. I'd love to visit the Christmas markets one day too. Although I have been to Munich and the "ordinary" markets were pretty special too :)

Hanaâ said...

Those markets look lovely. The closest I got to Dresden was Weimar :o)
A very happy holiday season to you and yours!!

Heavenly Housewife said...

I've never been to one of these Christmas markets, it must be loads of fun. I imagine it must totally inspire a person with the spirit of the holiday.
Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas.
*kisses* HH

comfortablydomestic.com said...

Tivoli is a magical place anytime, but I would love to see it during the Christmas season. Some day...

Merry Christmas to you and your family, Beth!

Raina said...

I have heard about these wonderful Christmas markets and would love to visit one too.

Merry Christmas to you and your family too:)

Medeia Sharif said...

Those pics are magical. Happy holidays!

Tasha said...

Wishing a blessed and Merry Christmas to you.

ezsrecipes.com said...

Beautiful photos as always. I am so envious of the amazing things that you get to see! Merry Christmas!

allieksmith said...

The pictures truly are magical, thank you for sharing! Merry Christmas :)

katerina said...

Germans have a special way to celebrate Christmas and Munich is a beautiful city. Merry Christmas to you Beth and wish to you more trips, more new experiences. After all these memories stay with us for our entire life.

Foodessa said...

Christmas in Europe is magical. Thank you for reminding me of some great times. Now, most of my holidays are spent here in Canada...and boy, am I happy I'm not stuck in some airport in Europe ;o)

Beth...here's wishing you and your loved ones a great holiday period and all the best that the New Year has to offer.

Ciao for now,
Claudia

Angie's Recipes said...

Stunning pictures, esp. the one of Renaissance Munich hotel.
Merry Christmas!
Angie

Joanne said...

Maybe I'll have to convince my parents that we should spend next Christmas in Europe. These markets sound lovely!

Merry Christmas Beth!

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

Those markets are magical! The lights, the huge Christmas tree, the food. What an atmosphere that would be.

Have a Merry Christmas! Enjoy your day as well.

Amie Kaufman said...

I've been to Christmas markets in Berlin, Cologne, Frankfurt and Prague--they're wonderful! With your hands and face going numb you hurry from stall to stall, trying gluhwein and hot apple cider with cinnamon sticks in it. There are lights everywhere and steam coming from all the stalls. I can't wait to go back!

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