German Christmas markets 2011

Over the past few weeks in most German towns, little wooden huts have sprung up on squares and along the main shopping streets. Behind shutters we heard scuffling and hammering, mysterious bags and boxes were unloaded, cables laid, lights tested… wafts of aniseed and cinnamon and ginger…  a general air of mystery and excitment.

And now, this weekend most of the Christmas market stalls are finally opening up. The bratwurst and waffles are sizzling, the wine mulling, the stalls full of craftwork and sweetmeats are overflowing with novelties.

I walked through part of the Duisburg Christmas market yesterday lunchtime and got an impression of what they have to offer there… for a start the choice of food was surprising. One stall was just beginning to roast a whole hog…

Spit roast

Why settle for a Bratwurst when you could eat the whole pig?

Another was starting to flame-grill some salmon…

Salmon smoking

The smoking ban clearly doesn't extend to salmon...

Traditional sweets, nuts and candied fruits are everywhere…

Toasted Almonds

It wouldn't be Advent without toasted almonds

Being only a short distance from the Dutch border, there are plenty of specialities from the Netherlands too – sold from Dutch gabled huts


Poffertjes are technically a Dutch speciality - but the Germans love them

I’m not entirely sure why there was a Viking ship in the town centre selling Glühwein – but it certainly stood out. I didn’t see any Vikings, and the figure of Saint Nicholas on board looked decidedly tipsy…

Glühwein stand

Glühwein served from a Viking longship? Well, I suppose it gets cold up North....

No Christmas market is complete without a German Christmas Pyramid. This one was a fine specimen because it actually has an integrated Glühwein stand…  no German city should be without one!

German Christmas Pyramid

Glühwein served from a German Christmas Pyramid



Filed under About Germany, food, German festivals, Life in Germany

7 responses to “German Christmas markets 2011

  1. Raucherlachs! I dare not think about it, lest it drive me mad with desire.

  2. How I would love to change places with you.
    I’ve tried Birmingham and Manchester Christmas Markets and London in the past, not a patch, I tell you, not a patch!

    Reibekuchen, Gluehwein, Bratwurst, and lots of beautiful wooden figures. (the real thing, not the ones from the Far East).

    I come from just across the Rhine at Krefeld, and although neither Duisburg nor Krefeld have much to recommend them in the scenic stakes, they are a heck of a lot more festive during Advent than my local towns in the UK.

  3. Very nice pictures. Thanks for lovely trip. 🙂

  4. I dare not think about all the goodies you’ve pictured here. I do miss the German Christmas market, especially the Glühwein! We have a Christmas market here in Kitchener, Canada, but it’s not the same. I just have to make my own Glühwein! Prost.

  5. I am green with envy. We Brits just do the same old thing every year. I must go back to Cologne at Christmas one year – I understand they have eight markets in the city

  6. Wow I love the viking ship stand. We don’t have anything that spiffy looking at ours.

  7. jimpanse

    In the year 883 there was a viking attack at the city of Duisburg. That’s why the ship stood on the Weihnachtsmarkt.

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