Remember last journal I told you about my trip to the main Christmas market in Bamberg
and the Advent market
Well, yesterday I made a trip to Bamberg to check out the Medieval Christmas market. Through my research for the freelance article on this market
, I discovered that Bamberg’s tourist info office hires a company that puts on the Medieval markets for townships and other groups. This year it was a company called Kramer Zunft und Kurtzweyl. I have to say that they did a fantastic job! I SO enjoyed this market!
Their tents were Middle-Age-ish as well as their costumes. I think I even detected a German version of “thee” and “thou” and “m’lady” if I know how to detect that at all. Here’s the blacksmith, who, out of all of them, looked like he’d rather be ANYWHERE rather than here. But he had a good bellows!
You had to get by this guy (i.e., buy a ticket for 3.50 Euros) to get through the gate:
The market was held at Schloss Geyersworth, which is an old castle adjacent to the Tourist Information Office. It’s such a great setting for this scene. The stone walls are high and covered in vines, which are, of course, bare this time of year. It has two courtyards which made the market appear generously large for the price.
The first courtyard had mostly stalls of things for sale. Here’s the honey wine/mead booth. You can see the women on the stage in the distant background. They were dancing and singing songs that sounded like they came from India. Unfortunately by the time I made it back that far they had finished their performance.
One of my favorite stalls was the bookbinder. There were all manner of hand-tooled leather journals for sale, as well as quill pens and ink.
I bought a bar of handmade soap from this nice gentleman for a friend’s Christmas present. Don’t tell my girlfriend Cheryl – this is a test to see if she reads my articles or only looks at the pictures.
This guy was selling ceramics. He was great! He would call children over and demonstrate the ceramic whistles. You can see them at the front of his booth – they have blue tops. They looked like little teapots. He would fill one with water and blow into the mouthpiece on top. The water would warble the whistle sound so that it truly sounded like a real bird! The kids were so enthralled with this and I stood by to enjoy his spiel more than once. You could tell he really liked what he was doing. And he sold more than one of those whistles while I was listening in.
A stall with one of the biggest crowds was the one selling roasted meat of some kind on a hard roll. It smelled wonderful! And there was the added attraction of the fire that people were happy to stand near. Me included!
There were stalls for sausage (Bratery
) and garlic bread (Knobi-Brot
), plus desserts and hot drinks.
In the other courtyard were demonstrations of Medieval trades.
Here is a stonecutter demonstrating how he transfers the drawing onto stone then chips out the shape:
This booth didn’t really demonstrate bows and arrows, they just sold them.
This guy was my favorite! I’m still not sure what exactly he was doing but I think he was grinding grain into flour. However, the sign looks like it says ‘Brewery.’ Regardless, the look on the guy’s face sums up the entire performance. I was laughing so hard I could barely take his picture. He was NOT into this demo! However, I think I made him smile a little by laughing about the whole thing.
As I said, I truly enjoyed this market. They really seemed to have put together a great show.
However, all good things must come to an end, and pretty soon I found myself back outside the castle walls. But there was plenty more to see that day.
I had assigned myself the task of visiting some of the Nativity scenes on Bamberg’s famous Nativity Trail
. There are over 40 Nativity scenes on this route, and I didn’t intend on seeing all of them, but I visited a few. Overall they were not as impressive as the ones I’d seen in the past. But I will try to visit those locations this season and post those pics when I do.
For now, here is the Nativity scene at St. Elisabeth’s. You might remember this church as the location of the Advent Market I posted photos of last week.
This crib scene was behind Plexiglas right inside the big, heavy wooden church door. There was a huge, wrought-iron gate barring entrance to the church nave. I had to grope in the darkness to find the light switch. When the light finally came on, this is what I saw:
The figures are only about six inches tall. And you tell ME what was going on there related to Jesus’ birth! Nuthin.
So I made my way to the “official” first stop on the Nativity Trail, Bamberg’s Cathedral, or Dom
. I wasn’t too impressed by this, either, though I admit that the normally chilly church was a welcome warmup from the wind on top the hill it sits on. Here’s their crib:
While I was in the cathedral, I shot my favorite church scene – people at the candle-lighting table. I managed to catch this group gathered around it. It was available light – no flash!
After the cathedral I made my way to St. Michaels. On the way I happened upon St. Jacob’s Church, which is so beautiful inside! I wish there had been enough light to shoot some interior shots, but it had gotten too dark. As it was, I had to “illegally” use flash to record their Nativity scene, also with figurines that are about six inches high imprisoned behind Plexiglas.
I just dig the little plastic chickens! And that’s not the Holy Spirit glowing near Mary’s feet – it’s glare from my flash!
I finally made it to St. Michaels, or Michelsberg
as it’s known locally. But I’ll be darned if I could find a Nativity scene! The café and other stuff was closed up, so maybe it was behind one of those locked doors. Oh well. Anyway, I got this nice shot of the car park near a wine café next to it. It’s the outdoor wine cafe in summer.
Because at that point I could no longer feel my feet, I decided to get back downtown and have dinner at my favorite café. On the streets near the café, I discovered what the shop owners had done for Christmas decorations: positioned a Christmas tree on either side of each door. Though this photo is a little blurry, I thought you’d like to see the effect of this decorating scheme:
After I finished dinner, I stepped back outside, intending to catch my bus back home. However, it was snowing! It was so beautiful that I ended up staying another hour or two to photograph the streets and big Christmas market on Maxplatz that I reported on last week. The snow really dressed it up!
Bamberg’s Langestrasse in the snow:
A florist’s tent in the Christmas market district:
A stall with honey-related items: beeswax candles, honey soap, honey for tea, etc.
I love this!
After becoming numb in my lower extremities, I caught the last bus home to thaw out. A hot bath and a cup of tea or two fixed me right up!
Next weekend I’m visiting the fifth and final Christmas market in Bamberg – the Artisan market
, so stay tuned!
Photo for No Apparent Reason: