Tour 1: Nuremberg Christmas Traditions at the Christkindlesmarkt
Our tour starts to the left of the Church of Our Lady, at the booth 141 of Peter Lößel. He serves the world-famous Nuremberg bratwurst. Lößel creates this traditional symbol of the city in his own butcher shop, using a formula decreed by the City Council of Nuremberg more than 700 years ago… but the exact recipe of his delicious sausages remains a secret.
After that hearty treat, we head to the Mulled
Wine Stand Nr. 134 from the Vollrath Company. A blueberry mulled wine will warm you wonderfully from inside. This specialty is made from carefully selected Italian wines and flavored with choice spices.
At Booth 110 nostalgic feelings of the holiday season are guaranteed: Gabriele Ulrich sells traditional Franconian Christmas decorations. If you want to decorate your Christmas tree with one-of-a-kind straw stars or angels made of feathers or are looking for something even more unusual, you are sure to find something here.
Just like bratwurst and mulled wine, gingerbread is a must at Christmas and in Nuremberg. The history of this holiday treat – with its unique aroma based on exotic spices – is tightly tied to the history of Nuremberg, because this Free Imperial City was once located at the hub of many important European trade routes. At Stand 111 the Nuremberg Lebküchner Wolfgang Woitinek offers handmade and especially delicious examples of this local delicacy.
Right across from the nativity scene, Susanne Schrödel stands in Booth 96. Behind her are row upon row of prune men. Children and grandmas, cooks and waiters, pastors and devils stand side by side – and everyone loves to stop and look at these little figures with their walnut heads. They are all handmade and nine to 22 centimeters big – or small. Made of wire,
dried prunes and figs, they are an excellent souvenir!
If you have been craving something sweet, a visit to Thomas Schulz in Booth 79 is just what you need. He makes Springerle, sometimes called Eierzucker (Egg Sugar) or Reiterle (Little Riders). This baked good has existed for many centuries and is made in the traditional way with elaborate specialized modeling forms. You can also buy these forms from Thomas Schulz – a great handmade gift with Nuremberg flair and a long history.
A stroll past toys and tea leads to Stand 31 from Ralf Rehder. He has the most important symbol of the Christkindlesmarkt, the “Rauschgold” angel. The name comes from the extremely thin beaten brass from which these angels were once made. Hung on a Christmas tree, the brass skirt of the angel would shine and make a whispering noise – rauschen, in German – as it moved in the warmth of the candlelight. The angels no longer wear metal, but paper – and they are still as magical today as in the past.
To finish off your tour, why not stop by Thomas & Gerstacker in Booth 36? Those in the know order a Christkindlesmarkt mulled wine here, popular because of its special secret mix of spices and its fruity sweetness. A Tip: The cup – all 20 mulled wine sellers at the market have the same – doesn’t have to be turned back in for the deposit – you can take it home as a souvenir!