Cloisters of Saint John Lateran, Rome. Source:

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Christkindelsmärik. Strasbourg's Christmas Market.

Strasbourg's Christmas Market.
Illustration: EAST

Christkindelsmärik is a Christmas Market (French: Marché de Noël) held annually in Strasbourg, France, near Strasbourg Cathedral. It draws in approximately two million visitors each year and, since the implementation of the TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse) (High Speed Train) in 2007, the number of visitors has been on the rise.

Hotels are booked a year in advance, and some receive between fifteen-seventeen per cent of their yearly income, thanks to the Christkindelsmärik's visitors. It is considered one of the most famous Christmas Markets throughout Europe. It is thus a considerable source of income for the town of Strasbourg, a small city of approximately 250,000 inhabitants.

English: A Christmas Market Stall in front of Strasbourg Cathedral.
The Cathedral is not for sale.
Français: Façade de la cathédrale de Strasbourg.
Photo: 27 November 2011.
Source: Own work.
Author: Loïc LLH.
(Wikimedia Commons)

It is estimated that the city benefits by a sixteen million Euros profit from this thirty-eight-day-long tradition. It is mostly famous for its fragrance of warm wine and spices which travels throughout the cold Winter streets.

Strasbourg has been holding Christkindelsmärik around its Cathedral since 1570, making it one of the oldest Christmas Markets in Europe. The name "Christkindelsmärik" is Alsatian in origin. A Low Alemannic German dialect, which was the mainly-spoken language in Alsace until the 20th-Century. In many parts of South Germany and Austria, Christmas Markets (German: Weihnachtsmärkte) are also called Christkind(e)l(s)markt (the spelling depends on the local dialect).

The Market takes place annually, from 29 November to 31 December. It mainly takes place on Place Kléber, Place Broglie, Place du Marché aux cochons de lait and around the Cathedral.

English: The Portal of Strasbourg's Christmas Market in Place de Broglie, Strasbourg.
In the local language, Christkindelsmärik means "Market of the Jesus Child".
Français: Portail lumineux du marché de Noël de Strasbourg (place de Broglie). En alsacien, Christkindelsmärik = marché de l'enfant Jésus.
Photo: 6 December 2009.
Source: Own work.
Author: Tangopaso.
(Wikimedia Commons)

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