Bratwurst, Gluhwein and Candied Almonds
I intentionally put Bavaria first in our itinerary so that we could be there during the Advent. It is historically a largely Catholic state and I have always dreamt of experiencing its Christmas traditions.
In Munich for example, I was beyond excited to visit the Christmas markets. They are, after all, some of the oldest and most traditional in Europe. It was a dream-come-true for my family, especially for me…
Christmas market, known as Christkindlmarkt or Weihnachtsmarkt in German, is a centuries-old tradition which is believed to have started in the German-speaking parts of Europe. The markets in Munich date back to as early as the 12th century. They were originally selling just meat and eventually evolved to include other foods and seasonal, often handmade, crafts.
We first visited the largest and most popular Christmas market in Munich, the one located in Marienplatz which is the town square right in the middle of the Altstadt (or Old Town). It is also one of the original Christmas markets in Europe. Its highlight was the towering Christmas tree that stood in front of the Rathaus. It was simple and solemn, adorned with thousands of Christmas lights and nothing else, exactly how I pictured it.
But our favourite market was the one in Munich Residenz. It was smaller than the market in Marienplatz but for us, it was prettier and it looked magical. The market stood at the imperial courtyard (or Kaiserhof in German) with just a few dozen stalls. And when we entered, I swear we could smell the savoury aroma of grilled bratwurst and the sweet scent of candied almonds and banana crepe. There was a band playing traditional carols in the middle of the market and people huddled in front of it when they started playing ‘Joy to the World’. Families and friends gathered around small tables drinking gluhwein; the kids, like ours, had to make do with warm mugs of kinderpunsch (warm punch).
I made a short video of our wonderful time at the Christmas market in Munich Residenz. Hope you’ll enjoy watching it!
Here are some of the pictures of the Christmas markets at Marienplatz… We also went to the small market at Sendlinger Tor, but we only have a few pictures there.
Here are the pictures at Sendlinger Tor…
Here are the other posts on our Bavarian and Austrian holiday:
- Munich: Start of our family’s tales from last winter
- Munich: Viktualienmarkt Biergarten
- Munich: BMW Museum and BMW Welt
- Munich: Theatine Church and Odeonplatz
- Munich: Hofbrauhaus Beer Hall