According to the official Strasbourg Christmas market website, “It was in Strasbourg in 1570 that the very first edition of the oldest Christmas market in Europe took place, then called the “Christkindelsmärik” (market of the Infant Jesus). Since that time until now, Strasbourg has continued the tradition of a traditional, authentic, warm and generous Alsatian Christmas.”
Strasbourg is found tucked in the north-eastern corner of France, beautifully situated on the edge of the Rhine River with Germany to the west and Luxembourg to the north. Strasbourg is a very old medieval city, founded in 1262! Its importance in modern times is due to the fact that it is the formal seat of the European Parliament, as well as (by the way) one of the largest student populations in all of France! But on this trip, we are focusing on the many wonderful charms of the annual Christmas market!
First stop, the food section of course!
And don’t forget the vin chaud, which is the interior warming mechanism for the brilliantly cold winter temperatures that are the environment of most European Christmas markets!
Then it’s onto the shops! Is it possible to balance a delightfully light sugar cookie and hot wine while resisting or succumbing to the charming handmade Christmas ornaments and other goodies??
There are so many booths to explore here!
As we walk past the international Portuguese village, we come to yet another street full of inviting shops and cafes, all decked out in holiday finery!
It seems to be a friendly competition for each establishment to outdo the other, vying for the local and tourist euro that will surely be spent!
But the most beautiful sight of all – the wonder of the season in the eyes of a child!
Thank you, Strasbourg, for continuing your hospitality and traditions throughout the centuries. They are highly recommended to one and all! Please see our photo gallery below for more of the sights from the Strasbourg Christmas market!
**Editor’s Note: On December 19th, 2016, there was a terrible attack on a Christmas market in Berlin, Germany. Twelve people lost their lives and another 49 were injured. Our hearts and prayers are with the victims and their families. Security is a hard reality in public places in Europe at the moment. We saw soldiers with guns at each of the Christmas markets we visited. They seemed very serious and very alert. What is the way forward for free societies in the areas of security, danger and privacy? It is something that countries in Europe, as well as in the U.S., and those that visit them, especially in public places, are grappling with.