Sweet Bear and Petite Clown loved the “marche de Noel” last year. Strasbourg was full of lights and small Christmas trees. The Christmas Market of Strasbourg is the oldest in France and the Christmas tree is said to have originated here in Alsace. There are records of Christmas trees being sold at the Christmas market as early as 1605. Christmas decorations and small handcrafted gifts have been sold at this market since 1570. So, it is easy to understand why Strasbourg is called the Christmas Capital of the world with it’s rich history not to mention all the decorations and lights filling the city.
Each year a huge Christmas tree is put up and decorated in Place Kleber. Sweet Bear is pictured here standing in front of last years tree. Sorry, I do not have any pictures from this years decorations. We were all bundled up and headed out the door when my husband informed me that there was a light drizzle outside. With kids it is not wise to walk to the city in a light rain in freezing cold weather. I will be sure to post pictures within the next week or so of the beautiful Strasbourg decked out for Christmas.
Speaking of cold. It is cold in Strasbourg this time of year. That is why it is so wonderful to buy a warm crepe to snack on and a hot cup of wine to sip slowly as you stroll from one Christmas stall to the next admiring handcrafted toys and decorations. Last year there was a stall that had beautifully handcrafted wooden boxes containing secret compartments that the salesman had to reveal. Otherwise, you may never have found the secret technique to open the secret hiding place inside the box.
The Christmas Market is most crowded around the Cathedral of Strasbourg where you are sure to hear at least three different languages being spoken around you at any given time. People from all over the world travel to Strasbourg during this special time of the year to partake in the abundance of Christmas Spirit found all throughout the city.
Christmas bears were hung from roof tops and windows throughout an entire street. Another street had lit chandeliers made of crystal hanging completely down the center of the street. At the Gare de Strasbourg there was a huge ferris wheel that once on top we found ourselves looking down upon small streets spread out before us lit up in Christmas wonderland magic with medieval houses covered in snow. We laughed as the wind blew and rocked us just a little making our hearts beat faster and our hot breath filled the cold dark Christmas sky. Angel Girl and I were alone on top of Strasbourg, a city of winter magic.
On Christmas Eve many souls brave the cold temperature to attend the Midnight Mass in the Cathedral of Strasbourg which has no heat. The Cathedral is filled with enlightened candles and a chorus of voices singing to the heavens.
Strasbourg and all of Alsace at Christmas is best described as a Christmas wonderland. If you would like to see for yourself please click here to see a short video of different views of Strasbourg, the Christmas Capital.