Cologne Christmas Markets - The Big Four
- Weihnachtsmarkt at Roncalliplatz in front of the cathedral is the Cologne Christmas market par excellence.
160 beautifully decorated stalls, the majestic cathedral as a backdrop, the tallest Christmas tree in the Rhineland, these are the superlatives of Cologne's most imposing Weihnachtsmarkt.
Cribs and a merry-go-round are attractions for the youngest visitors. An extraordinary variety of crafts makes it easy to find a special Xmas gift.
- Heinzelmännchen market on the Alter Markt
only 200 m from the cathedral and the central station, this market in the heart of the old town is home to Cologne's famous Heinzelmächen (see box below). They watch the goings-on, and take care that newfangled gadgets don't disturb the traditional Christmas preparations.
The market in the winding lanes of the old town has the most rustic and idyllic atmosphere, it is a favourite amongst Cologne's citizens.
Open daily 11am to 10pm from 26th November until 23rd December 2012.
- Christmas market on the Neumarkt - The Angels Market
This is Cologne's oldest Christmas market, however, new organisers turned the appearance of the market in 2008. Walk through the angel's door, become enchanted by the beautifully decorated stalls and the delightful Christmas atmosphere.
Open daily 11am to 9pm (until 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays) from 26th November until 23rd December 2012.
- Weihnachtsmarkt on Rudolfplatz - The Fairy Tale market
Set against the historic backdrop of the mediaeval Hahnentorburg, this Cologne Christmas market fascinates children with large fairy tale figues on the roofs of the stalls. A hand-carved crib and a huge adventscalendar are other attractions, apart from the good food, arts & crafts and daily visits of St. Nikolaus.
The little house gnomes (Heinzelmännchen) are said to have done all the work of the citizens of Cologne during the night, so that the inhabitants of Cologne could be very lazy during the day. According to the legend, this went on until a tailor's wife got so curious to see the gnomes that she scattered peas onto the floor of the workshop to make the gnomes slip and fall. The gnomes, being infuriated, disappeared and never returned. From that time on, the citizens of Cologne had to do all their work by themselves.
This legend was first written down by the Cologne teacher Ernst Weyden (1805-1869) in 1826. It was translated into English by Thomas Keightley and published 1828 in his book "The Fairy Mythology".
Source: Wikipedia, Creative Commons Licence
Nativity scenes are attractions for kids at Christmas markets in Germany
More Cologne Christmas Markets
Köln offers even more Xmas markets for your excitement.
- Medieval Christmas market outside the Chocolate museum
Medieval artisans who demonstrate their crafts dressed in traditioanl clothing give this market a very special and traditional appearance. 30 fascinating stands, medieval music, and no electric light. At night the place is lit by flaming torches.
- Have you ever visited a Floating Christmas market? It is held on board of the MS Wappen of Mainz. Sit down and sip a Glühwein, and enjoy the view to the cathedral and Cologne's old town.
- Stadtgarten Christmas market is Köln's youngest Xmas market with a relaxed atmosphere.
Beautiful stall for German Christmas decoration
Whichever market you choose to visit, it will be an unique and fascinating experience. Once you are there, I know you wish to see more than just one Weihnachtsmarkt.
Enjoy the beautiful scenery from a river cruise in Cologne
Now you are in Christmas mood, aren't you? Here are more Christmas inspirations
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