Dresden's Christmas Market is the oldest in Germany and attracts a huge number of visitors from across the country every year.
Munich marks the opening of this year's Christkindl market at Marienplatz. A huge Christmas tree lights up the square in front of the city's town hall.
Stuttgart has a big fair ground at its Christmas market. This ride is in the shape of a giant Christmas bauble.
A young member of a music group takes a a break between peformances at Munich's Christmas market.
Christmas wonder: A child and its mother peer through the window of one of the many stalls at a Berlin Christmas Market.
Colorful cakes or "Lebküchen" hang in Nuremburg's market. This is probably Germany's most famous Christmas market. Its traditional wooden stalls in the heart of the medieval city attracts visitors from Germany and beyond.
Santa Clause enjoys a quick smooch with an angel at the market next to Berlin's Kaiser Wilhem Memorial Church.
People gather between the illuminated stands of the traditional Christmas market at the Roemer Square in central Frankfurt.
Aachen hosts a charming market nestled beneath its impressive cathedral. In the year of his coronation as Holy Roman Emperor in 768, Charlemagne came to spend Christmas at Aachen for the first time. He liked the place so much he decided to build a palace in the city. The cathedral is all that remains.
The town of Quedlinburg in Saxony on the sunny first weekend in Advent. Quedlinburg is one of the best-preserved medieval and renaissance towns in Europe, having miraculously escaped major damage in World War II. The town and its castle are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage.
Santa Claus and another of those angels opened Dresden's 572nd Striezelmarkt last week. The market's highlights include a Pepper Cake festival and a Stollen festival. For the first time ever the market will be streamed live on the Internet.
One of the most popular activities at any Christmas markets is the sipping of lots and lots of Glühwein (mulled wine).
Kassel's market boasts the biggest Christmas pyramide in the world.
Hamburg's St. Pauli red light district is putting on its own erotic Christmas market -- strictly adults only. The market has erotic shops, lingerie stalls, fashion shows, strippers and readings of saucy Christmas stories.
A rather less risque form of entertainment at Berlin's Christmas market in the Gendarmenmarkt, right in front of the French Cathedral.
The Gendarmenmarkt in Berlin lights up the Concert House and French Cathedral in central Berlin. Just a short stroll from the busy shopping area around Friedrichsstrasse, it has a program of entertainers as well as many shops, bars and restaurants.
posted on 12/07/2006 11:30:09 PM PST
An Easter Bunny protests against Christmas. This grumpy creature has climbed up the tower of the Nikolai Church in Roemer Square, Frankfurt.
Erotic models dressed like Christmas angels slide down a small hill made of artificial snow at the so-called "Horny Christmas Market" at the famous red light district "Reeperbahn" in Hamburg.
Handicrafts are a traditional part of Christmas markets. Hand-made old-fashioned houses are on sale at a stall in Erfurt's Christmas market. There is also a fairy tale forest, a backer's shop and a candlemaker's workshop.
Lübeck's Christmas market glimmers with fairy lights. The birthplace of Thomas Mann, the medieval city is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Eva Sattler, dressed as Christkindl (Christ Child), recites the traditional prologue for the opening ceremony of Germany's oldest Christkindlesmarkt. The first official record of the market dates from 1628.
Formula 1 driver Ralf Schumacher and his wife Cora attended the opening of the Christmas market in Gut Aiderbichl near Salzburg, Austria. They were snapped in front of the donkey in the nativity crib.
There's a lot of window shopping at the Christmas markets. Here visitors to one of Berlin's markets check out one of the many stalls.
People look at Christmas tree decorations, during the traditional opening of the world-famous Christmas market in Nuremburg's historic center on Friday, Dec. 1.
A brightly-colored Giant Wheel is part of the Christmas market next to Berlin's Cathedral.
Spoilt for choice: Visitors to Munich's Christmas market try to decide which of the thousands of decorations are just right for their Christmas tree.
Stalls reflected in a Christmas tree bauble at the Memorial Church in Berlin. The market is extending its strech to New Year's Eve for the first time this year.
Cologne's historic cathedral forms the backdrop for its traditional yuletide market.
A seagull manages to pick up a treat at Hamburg's Christmas market.
Huge Lebküchen fascinate this Christmas shopper at Stuttgart's Christmas market. The market is one of the biggest in Germany
Marching to their doom: Julia Klingehoff herds her flock of geese from a meadow. The poultry are fattened in the fresh air before getting the Christmas chop.
posted on 12/07/2006 11:37:12 PM PST
Thank you for posting these great pictures.
posted on 12/08/2006 12:00:32 AM PST
(Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you Jesus Christ and the American Soldier.)
Charming pictures, really beautiful. This is truly a Christmas Wonderland, and American event designers would do well to learn from this and replicate such festivals in smalls cities. They would be hugely successful, and from year to year, if managed properly (and kept within this design concept) would grow and grow each year.
Heck, the right town, over time, could make its yearly living with an event like this.
I have never heard of this before, and would love to check in on it from year to year.
Thank you very much for sharing.
posted on 12/08/2006 12:58:42 AM PST
(Still being... Silly)
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson