How much do I love this Christmas Market? Well, we’ve been there 3 times already this season and I’m going back on Monday, so I guess that says something! Sparky and I have been to markets both big and small all over Bavaria and beyond, but the city of Munich has my heart. The Christmas Market is laid out beautifully starting in the center of the city, the Marienplatz or Marien’s Plaza. This is a huge open area directly in the city center and in front of City Hall. Vendors are set up in 5 corridors in the platz and then down the side streets. But the main activity proceeds down the car free zone from the Marienplatz, past the big department stores and specialty shops, all the way to the Karlsplatz about a half mile away.
For us to get to Munich, we drive 7 minutes to Aying. Then we buy an all day ticket and hop on the train at 11 minutes after the hour. The train is FAST but it makes many stops and after about 45 minutes we arrive in Munich right in the Marienplatz. Arrival is underground, so we take the escalator up and pop out right in the City Center!
The excitement in the air is palpable and makes it hard to pull focus and decide on a plan. I just want to go there, NO, THERE, or there or over there! Trust me, deciding on a plan with with a bit of flexibility is the way to go here folks. They’re not closing up until 9pm, so if you miss something and you can still walk, you can always go back.
There is a small park off of a side street with a handful of vendors but it has a giant Pyramid! The pyramids are really tabletop wooden toys with windmill blades on the top and small candles at the bottom that when lit, cause the blades to turn and the Pyramid to spin. This larger than life Pyramid really worked and underneath there was a Sausage Stand! I just laugh at the fun of it all!
Dan at the Pyramid
There are as many Sausage Stands selling Bratwurst Semmel mit senf ( sausage on a hard roll with mustard) and Gluhwein Stands ( hot sweet spiced wine) as there are Artisan vendors! By the way, the Gluhwein is an essential beverage to keep you warm when walking for hours in 30 degree weather! In addition, there are stands selling sweet desserts and of course, Lebkuchen! Not to mention a Roasted Chestnut Vendor on every corner. I have fallen in love with Roasted Chestnuts. Served cracked open, in a paper cone, they are one of civilizations greatest treats! I have spared you the image of me eating a Brat with extra mustard as the mustard was glopped on the tip of my nose and my white scarf will never be the same again. Thank you honey for requesting extra senf!
The Vendors have everything from hand blown glass ornaments to carved candles, to delicate wooden ornaments to straw ornaments and beyond! Sheepskin booties and slippers and throws. Handmade wooden toys. Beautiful pillow covers. Puppets and Marionettes. Candles of all kinds crafted with bees wax.
Nut Cracker or Knussnocker ornaments
There was one Vendor who was cooking Salmon on planks over a wood fire. Shades of Seattle! Sorry the photo is so blurred but it was behind glass. I think I left a nose print on the window, but at least I didn’t drool!
Inside the walls of the Rathaus or City Hall, was this centuries old Nativity. It really touched my soul to know that today, we cherish the same beliefs as so many years ago. Generation after generation. This scene was at least 5 foot long. I love Dan’s reflection in the glass!
And then…….OH GOODNESS! We come to the area of the market called the “Manger Markt.” Yes, Mangers. Nativity’s. Creches. Whatever they are known in your world. There are 20 or more vendors with breathtaking hand made Stables from Germany, Poland, Italy, Croatia and more. Hard carved and hand painted wooden figurines of the Holy Family and the Shepard’s, Angels, Wisemen and, God Bless them, animals of every variety created by God. The Mangers were the focus of our 3rd trip to the Markt this year. We were on a mission for 2 young Misses and our mission was accomplished! The sales woman pictured was incredibly knowledgeable and patient as she lovingly, carefully and artistically arranged scenes for us to choose from. It was so cold and we were so tired but we were entirely satisfied.
From the rustic and simple
to the large, elegant and sophisticated. I repeat. Hand carved wood and hand painted!
The hat lady was awesome with all her help. Cold? She was wearing, a turtleneck then a shirt, then a sweater, followed by a quilted vest and finally, a 3/4 length faux fur lined Parka!
To the magnificent. At least 3 feet in length and 2-1/2 feet tall. It sold for thousands!
Yes indeed. Munchen Christkindlmarkt has my heart and a piece of my soul.
Thanks so much for stopping by today and letting me share some of this incredible journey with you. I truly wish you were all here with me. Man, we would be having some some fun! I hope you enjoy my ramblings as much as I enjoy talking with you.
Here’s 2 final images of Munich and the Marienplatz by night.
German Band entertaining the throngs!
Sparky heading back into the train station.