Nuremberg Christmas Market, Germany

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Continuing the blog’s feature: Throwback Tuesday Post (TBTP)!

Every Tuesday, I re-post a past blog I think is relevant and that you might enjoy seeing again.

This post was originally published on December 26, 2011, and updated on December 18, 2018.

As I said in my last post, the Kronach post was to be my last travel journal this year. However, my new friend Elke and her husband Tilman (“Til”) invited me to their city to see one of the most famous Christmas markets in Germany. I met Elke because she took English lessons during the summer and I was her teacher. Note: she didn’t need many lessons because her English is so good, but I’m glad she wanted them because it made us friends. She is a judge in the courts in Bamberg and her husband works as Siemens. I can tell I’ve been in Germany a while because when I tell people he works for Siemens, I don’t laugh anymore!
Anyway, Elke and I have lunch every few weeks and we three have similar tastes in restaurants, wine, etc. So when they offered to meet me at the Christmas market last Sunday I jumped at the chance.
Nuremberg’s was the very first German Christmas market I ever visited. My husband took me there in 1987 when we were just newlyweds. I remember how cold it was and how the Gluhwein (mulled wine) warmed us so well. I remember the man calling out, “Heisse Maroni!” I had no idea what it was, but I loved the sights and sounds! BTW, it means “roasted chestnuts.”
Bamberg, where I live, has a Christmas market, but it truly doesn’t hold a candle to Nuremberg’s. Nuremberg’s is much bigger and somehow has a better feel. There are far more people, but it’s worth it.
So, in an effort to extend what is a wonderful Christmas, I’m posting photos from the market. Cheryl, who visited me this summer, will recognize the Catholic church presiding over the market square with the lovely Schoener Brunnen in the foreground of this shot:
A view over the top of the stalls of the market in the main square:
Every burg in Germany has its own sausage specialty. Nuremberg’s is its bratwurst. Every other stall of the market was food!

This man was scowling until he saw the camera. I caught him midway between his scowl and the smile he mustered for me. He is surrounded by dolls made of – get this – dried plums, figs and walnuts!

These nativity scenes are hand-carved from olive wood:

My hosts and tour guides, Til and Elke:

More bratwurst – don’t forget the mustard!

I wasn’t brave enough to risk getting trampled by the horses to get a clear shot, but the guy on the other side of the driver is playing strong, clear notes of Christmas carols on a trumpet. You can see the trumpet if you try.

An indication of the crowds:

Nuremberg is REALLY famous for its Lebkuchen Christmas cookies, called gingerbread in English. I made them myself again this year with Hilde using her secret recipe. Check out my post from last year for what that’s like. Elke and Til told me they have an official competition in Nuremberg every year for the best Lebkuchen. Here is one of the top contenders:

We had our standing lunch of Nuremberg bratwurst (Til is also a photographer):

To my sister Cheryl:  Don’t look at this next picture:

Many towns have sister cities all over the world. For example, New Port Richey has a sister city on the French Riviera. Go figure. Anyway, my point is that Nuremberg has about a dozen sister cities. There was a section of the Christmas market with a stall for each of the sister cities. Each one sold specialties from that town, of course. For example, Vienna’s stall had lovely masks:

One of the sister cities was Atlanta, Georgia, USA. I was intrigued to see what they presented as specialties from Atlanta. See for yourself:

After perusing almost every market stall, we turned off the square and walked the side streets back to the train station. Along the way we saw the Lion’s Club collecting:

St. Nick looking a little lost:

Here’s a string of Bocksbeutel wine bottles, a traditional wine bottle shape for the region.

I threatened to post this next photo and tell everyone it is a famous Nuremberg site that is not to be missed. If throngs of tourists showed up at this dentist’s office window snapping photos, I’ll know I have a wide audience!

Elke and Til took me to this fountain, which I’d seen many times and photographed in the past. However, until they told me the story behind the fountain, I didn’t know it was referred to as the “Marriage Fountain” and has sculptures based on a poem written in 1541 describing the stages of marriage. I’ll leave you to decide for yourself which images are early, middle or late marriage:

Too soon it was time to hop the train back to Bamberg. What an enjoyable day with fabulous weather and wonderful sights, sounds and smells of the holidays. I treasure experiences like this!
Here’s hoping all of you are having a cozy, happy holiday season yourself. See you next year!
Photo for No Apparent Reason: