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Christmas holidays are around the corner, and feeling the spirits already in the air, I am going to share some of my favorite experiences throughout my years in Europe, from many different places. And with so many opportunities to live in different cities every Christmas, I had the opportunity to get to know one of the most beautiful traditions in Europe these wonderful markets, full of lights, colors and gadgets that make us children again. So do not miss this tour and get to know the Christmas markets of Europe that invite you to daydream.
Santa Lucia Market, Barcelona
This is without a doubt the most beautiful and classic Christmas market in Barcelona. It is held every December, with a wide variety of stands where you can buy Christmas trees, ornaments and typical food. It is also a place to buy a Caga de Navidad Tió- a character with a friendly face that is an important tradition of Catalan Christmas.
If you visit Barcelona during these Christmas you have an obligatory appointment to the Santa Lucia market, especially at night, when the market lights shine in the context of the impressive cathedral in which it is located.
Olde town square, Prague
Prague is a paradise for lovers of Christmas shopping. From the beginning of Advent until the beginning of January, the city hosts Christmas markets and although you will find them in almost every corner, one of the largest and most atmospheric markets can be found in the Old Town Square. The largest Christmas tree in Prague and the life-size scenes of birth add to the atmosphere.
In wooden cabins, you can buy traditional wooden crafts, Christmas decorations and other attractive local products. And no visit to a Christmas market would be complete without the traditional Czech Christmas cakes and pastries like vánočka, pleated yeast dough, half-moon vanilla cookies, gingerbread and other sweet treats. And while children enjoy sweets, their parents can try delicious drinks, such as mead (medovina) or mulled wine (svařák). And let’s not forget the tasty sausages of many kinds, czech bread and their famous Pilsner beer. The air is filled with all these smells and flavours, impossible to ignore.
The traditional Czech Christmas decorations are also excellent gifts. They include hand-painted ornaments, wooden or paper garlands and decorations made of straw.
Berlin: The capital of Christmas in Europe
Berlin can be cataloged as the capital of the Christmas market in Europe, thanks to its three famous and colorful markets are you ready to meet them.
Alexanderplatz Christmas Market
The whole of Alexanderplatz becomes every December a huge Christmas market with many small wooden huts during the festive season. Under the shadow of the television tower, potters, blacksmiths and glassblowers exhibit their work and Christmas treats, crafts and many more gift ideas on offer.
The centerpiece of the market is the largest Christmas pyramid in Europe, with more than 5,000 lights that add a festive glow to the seasonal bustle at Alexanderplatz. Visitors can enjoy a warm wine and hearty Christmas meals on the ground floor of the pyramid, while the first floor offers a wide panoramic view of the market and a band on the second floor. The classic upper part of the pyramid is decorated with carved figures, making their rounds tirelessly.
The extensive Christmas market at the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in Ku’damm, in the west of the city, is a charming light and color. When leaving the train at Zoologischer Garten, you will find a maze of stalls that sell the most commercial part of the Christmas Market. There are many food stands and even brighter lights for you to be in a festive mood. In this place you will find 20 foot Christmas trees in the center of everything. You can also find a lot of Christmas ornaments or just walk around and absorb the atmosphere.
Visiting the Church is a pleasure in itself. Built in the 1890s, the large building suffered heavy damage in a bombing in 1943. The renovation of the Church, which took place between 1959 and 1963, still retains the fractured needle.
The Dresden Christmas market is traditionally called Striezelmarkt and is the oldest in Germany, with a long history dating back to 1434. Its name derives from Hefestriezel, a sweet delicacy that centuries later is known as & quot; Dresden Christstollen & quot; (German Christmas cake).
The Dresden Striezelmarkt is located on the Altmarkt square, in the historic city center. It is surrounded by several themed Christmas markets, which extend to the main train station and Albertplatz.
Most gifts, toys and traditional Christmas decorations were invented hundreds of years ago in the Erzgebirge (Mountains of ore), when the supply of ore was exhausted. The Erzgebirge is located a few kilometers from Dresden, near the Czech border. Today, most of the Christmas markets in Germany are still being supplied from this region.
The traditional Dresden Christmas Market, with its romantic and festive charm, is an inspiration in itself, a true treasure of authentic handmade crafts.
All visitors will find Christmas pyramids, smoking figures and candelabra from the Erzgebirge mountains, printed indigo textiles and Lusatia pottery, Pulsnitz gingerbread, Filuen lace products from Plauen, Herrenhut Advent stars, and many others handicrafts.
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