-- Germany's oldest city has just
about the best Christmas Market in the West. It's large and
reasonably spread between the Domplatz and the Hauptmarkt, so the large
crowds had some room to maneuver. The decorations were first rate,
and the setting before one of Germany's oldest and best Cathedrals was
perfect. (The Trier
travelogue is located here)
We parked in the
lot underneath the Porta Nigra in the heart of the downtown. Walking
from the Porta, we reached the Hauptmarkt and turned left to the Domplatz,
where this picture was taken. The Trier Dom was open and thousands
of people flocked inside.
The first photo was
taken from the windmill shown here, whose base was itself a nutcracker
store. The booths around the Domplatz were very new and impressive (Trier's
market, current edition at least, is only 25 years old). Off the
photo to the left was the city's nativity, which was animated.
This a shot from beyond
the Hauptmarkt looking back from Fleischstrasse. The bell in the
tower at center lit up and rang every hour. Below it was a massive
life-size statue of Santa Claus, to permit people to take photos while the
live St. Nick wandered around the city.
This is the Hauptmarkt
looking the opposite way, across the Rathaus toward St. Gangolph (the
white and yellow tower in the background). At
this end the Christmas market was combined with the regular Saturday
market, so some booths sold fruits, flowers, meats, fish, and cheeses.
-- The site of the famous Gutenberg
press and the confluence of Rhein and Main rivers has one of the older
Christmas markets in the province. It's actually rather small in
relation to the size of the city, but it's religious ties are very strong,
boasting one of the largest nativities around. (The
Mainz travelogue is located here)
This market is contained within the
Domplatz, shown here, and around the front of the Dom toward the Rhein
river. The nativity location is at the base of the Cathedral to the
right of the blue banner -- on a huge house-size platform.
|Mainz's market is very
colorful, using loud striped canvas tops for its huts with loud
decorations and lots of lighting. This is another shot of the
Domplatz facing the Lion's Apotheke.
-- This marvelous Cathedral city has
a very picturesque Christmas market that follows along the main sidewalk
from the Cathedral to the edge of downtown. It is a concentrated
market, as we found out when we visited on a very sunny Saturday
Speyer travelogue is located here)
|This is the entrance to
the market away from the Rhein, facing the Cathedral. Curiously, the
huts face inward to form an alleyway, which permits the road to continue
vehicle use. Behind us was an ice rink set up for the market.
||This gives you an idea of
how crowded the market was, but it was still plenty navigable.
Clearly one of the newer markets. It had a beautiful train, and lots
of fairy-tale decorations (Little Red Riding Hood was among the characters
greeting those who entered.)
-- The Worms market was very
different in character from the others in this chapter as it does not use
its famous Cathedral as a base. It uses a market square facing the
outer residential and business districts away from the river, so it didn't
have any of the city's landmarks as a backdrop, a curious decision.
(The Worms travelogue is
|This is a shot from the
entrance to the Weihnachtsmarkt, with a snowman in the distance marking
the turn to the main market center. This end had more food booths,
while the booths in the middle sold mostly specialty goods.
||This was the main market
square, filled with kiddie rides, events, and lots of booths. Next
to where we stood was a Santa Claus with two sacks of gifts. For
three Euro, you could take your chance on a gift -- one sack was boys
stuff, one for girls.