sunday best: darmstädter weihnachtsmarkt

So I recently realized that I have never showcased the Darmstädter Weihnachtsmarkt when it was actually open.  And now that my Strukturdynamik exam is over, I have a few minutes to show off where I’ve been doing some of my Christmas shopping this month. 🙂


like the other christmas markets i've been to here, the darmstadt christmas market has a large candle pyramid.  i love seeing it all lit up.

Darmstadt has a candle pyramid, like the other Weihnachtsmärkte I’ve been to.  This one is unique in that it is not also a stand from which to sell Glühwein or food; it’s just there to admire.  At 9 m high, there is a lot of it to admire!  Beautiful!

the giant christmas tree on marktplatz.  it is huge, and the lowest branches are high enough off the ground that i can stand under it with at least half a meter between the top of my head and the lowest branch.

This is the giant Christmas tree on Marktplatz.  It is a real tree, and it is so tall that the lowest branches on the tree are over half a meter above my head when I am standing under it.  It appears to be kept upright by wooden wedges holding it in a trunk-sized hole in the pavement stones that I am assuming exists solely to hold the giant Christmas tree every year.

a view of some of the stands selling food and glühwein, along with another view of the candle pyramid

This is a view of some of the stands at the Christmas market that sell food and Glühwein, as well as another view of the candle pyramid.  Since this picture is the view from the back of the Weihnachtsmarkt, you can see the Schloß in the background, which is across the streetcar tracks from Marktplatz.

I have lots more pictures, but alas, not enough time.  I will soon be heading to the Nürnberg Christkindlmarkt, which is apparently the largest, busiest Weihnachtsmarkt in Germany.  The trip to and from Nürnberg will apparently take seven hours for just a few hours in Nürnberg, but the visit will hopefully be long enough for me to know whether I want to go back and visit the Christkindlmarkt in some future year.  And I’ll try to get more pictures, of course! 🙂


sunday best: heidelberg christmas market

Last Friday, a few of my friends and I were burnt out from studying and decided to take a well-deserved break to go to Heidelberg for the Christmas market.  And, as always, I had my camera.  (Yes, I have become “that girl who takes a lot of pictures,” a title I am proud of.  I’m making memories here, people!)

The Heidelberg Weihnachtsmarkt was beautiful and a lot of fun.  One interesting thing about Heidelberg’s Christmas market: there were several smaller Weihnachtsmarkt sections instead of one or two large main sections.  Once my friends and I got some food or did some shopping and finished walking through the aisles of stands in one section, we would get to the end of that section and notice the glow of more Christmas lights a bit further down Hauptstraße, where yet another section of the Weihnachtsmarkt was set up!

This particular Markt had a lot of food, at least in comparison with Darmstadt and Frankfurt’s Christmas markets.  A bit disappointing to not find many Heidelberg-specific souvenirs for sale, but the food was good.

the crepe stand where I got a nutella and banana crepe.  my friend a is trying to block my picture.

For dinner, I had traditional Weihnachtsmarkt foods, including a bratwurst and a Nutella-Banana-Coconut crepe.  Here is my friend A trying to block my picture of the crepe stand.

lots of foods sold at the weihnachtsmarkt are served in paper cones

I also got some roasted cashews, which were delicious.  Many snack foods in Germany are served in paper cones such as this one, which my cashews were served in. The top of the cone can be left open for larger, bulkier snack foods (such as french fries) or can be folded down over the food for smaller/easier to drop foods, such as my cashews.

the candle pyramid in heidelberg

This is the giant electric candle pyramid/Christmas pyramid in the main portion of the Heidelberg Weihnachtsmarkt.  I think this is a Weihnachtsmarkt tradition no matter what city you go to.  Not that I’m complaining!  They’re beautiful.  And some of them, such as this one, have Weihnachtsmarkt stands built in.  This one sells Glühwein.

the beautiful main carousel.  look at the artwork!

There were a few carousels, which also seem to be a Weihnachtsmarkt staple.  The artwork on this one was beautiful! (As a side note, carousels seem to spin much faster here in Germany than in the USA.  I didn’t ride it for fear of not having an appetite the rest of the night.  I did not check to see whether the carousels here have seat belts, but at the speed it was turning, it might well need them!)

the main street in heidelberg that runs to the parts of the weihnachtsmarkt.  love the lights!

This being the spectacularly beautiful city of Heidelberg, the decoration was nothing to sneeze at.  On Hauptstraße, the main street in the Altstadt (the old, more pretty part of the city), these star lights guided visitors and residents between the different sections of the Weihnachtsmarkt.

a lot of the statues had beautiful wreaths around the base.  bonus: this statue has the dom (cathedral) behind it.

A lot of the statues in Heidelberg were decorated to the nines.  I saw several like this, with a giant lit-up wreath circling the base.  Much more tasteful than, say, putting a santa hat on the statue’s head. 🙂

giant cathedral, large but comparatively small christmas tree

There was a giant Christmas tree at this Weihnachtsmarkt as well, but it was completely dwarfed by the cathedral.

the view of the schloss from between some decorated trees

As you may know, Heidelberg has a beautiful castle near the edge of the city.  The last Weihnachtsmarkt section was set up with an amazing view of the castle walls, as you can see here through the decorated trees.

The Heidelberg Weihnachtsmarkt was one of my favorites, in a large part due to the amazing scenery and the already-beautiful city being made even more pretty with the Christmas decorations.  There wasn’t as much shopping to do as there is at the Darmstadt or Frankfurt Weihnachtsmärkte, but I’m not complaining; I’ll cherish the memory of this particular trip to Heidelberg for a long time to come!  I hope you enjoyed the tour!

sunday best: christmas decor is coming to town

Walk anywhere in the city center of Darmstadt, and you are going to see Christmas preparation.  All over the place.

some decor near a little shopping area.  i think those are light-up reindeer antlers on the poles.

This is a little shopping square near the city center.  See the pretty lighting in the passageway?  Love it.  I’m a little curious about why they chose to put light-up reindeer antlers on the support poles, but hey, they look pretty, so I’m not complaining.

another passageway that leads from the shopping square above to luisenplatz.  those light-up christmas light chandeliers turn the festivity up to 11.  or at least higher than it was before.

Yep, those are chandeliers made of Christmas lights hanging from the ceiling.  This is a passageway that leads from the shopping square shown above to Luisenplatz, the city center.

more weihnachtsmarkt stands, plus a giant barrel

Speaking of Luisenplatz, here are some half-done Weihnachtsmarkt stands.  On Luisenplatz.  Yep, the Christmas market here is held both on Luisenplatz and Marktplatz.  And in-between.  Christmas is a big deal here 🙂

they do have christmas light reindeer here in germany.  also, check out ludwig's giant pedestal--there are Christmas lights on it!

This is a Weihnachtsmarkt stand with a Christmas-light reindeer on it.  Yep, they have them here in Germany as well. 🙂  Also, take a close look at the giant pedestal holding up the statue of Ludwig there (green statue, reddish pedestal).  ….see it?  There are Christmas lights hanging from the top going all the way to the base!  That is going to look epic lit up!

The Christmas market officially starts tomorrow, so soon I will have pictures of everything properly lit up!  Stay tuned!

sunday best: christmas market setup

Living in a city, I’ve realized that it is kind of hard to both coordinate my schedule around sunrises and sunsets AND account for all the buildings surrounding me always being in the way of sunrises and sunsets, so I’m changing my Sun Sunday posts of pretty pictures of the sun to just being Sunday Best, one (or more) of my favorite pictures from that week.

On Friday, I noticed a few interesting things on Darmstadt’s Marktplatz.

seems like someone is setting up a christmas market here.  interesting.  (I love how that man in the hat there just happened to stop right there when I was taking the picture.  I guess he thought he was stopping out of the camera’s field of view, but he actually just stopped far enough into the picture to look like he’s seriously contemplating the scene in front of him.)

Random passers-by aside, Darmstadt has officially started setup of the Christmas Market.  The Weihnachtsmarkt (that’s Christmas Market in German) doesn’t start until the 21st of November, but that really isn’t that far away.  Those little wooden stands will be selling food, drinks, and Christmas trinkets just a few days from now.

Another setup picture, this time of a giant 9-meter-high electric candle pyramid:

9-meter-high candle pyramid on marktplatzA candle pyramid is a decorated candle holder similar to the above.  The rising heat from lit candles situated in or near the candle pyramid spin the vanes on top, which causes the carved people and animals inside the pyramid to spin around.  Darmstadt had this gigantic electric one made for its Weihnachtsmarkt.

One of my favorite places in Darmstadt at night is Marktplatz.  The buildings are beautifully lit, and it’s fun to walk around and window shop at the lit storefronts after dark while waiting for a streetcar.  Now, it’s even more fun, with Christmas Market stuff to look at.  It’s not lit up yet, but it sure is pretty!

marktplatz by night, with christmas market decor

Oh, and there’s a giant Christmas tree on Marktplatz now as well.  It’s only half-decorated at this point, I think, but it’s beautiful.  The statue underneath the tree is a permanent fixture of Marktplatz, generally surrounded either by kids playing around or herds of pigeons.  Gives a sense of scale to this gigantic tree.  In fact, I can walk under the tree while still having to reach up and stretch to touch the lowest branches!

the giant half-decorated tree on marktplatzI have been looking forward to the beginning of Christmas Market season since I got here, and I plan on posting a lot more pictures of it once it has opened, so be sure to come back for more!