Germany - Nuremburg - Christmas Market

by Kimp 6. January 2018 22:10

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Christmas Market History and Tradition

Nuremburg's Christmas Market has been around since at least 1628. The oldest known documentation, is a inscription on a wooden box currently in Nurnenberg's National Museum, that was sent to the market.

It is called a traditional Christmas Market, because about 30 of 180 stalls date back to the 1800's, and they have kept the same theme. The planners also invite vendors from their 20 or so sister cities, to set up stalls at Rauthausplatz (Town Hall Square), to peddle their own traditional items. That Matryoshka doll's from Russia are pretty awesome (some have a face that looks like Madonna, and some like Betty Boop).

Zwetschgenmännle - Wireframe figures, with Prunes skewered on them, a wood head, and dressed up, are a tradition that started here in the 1800's as well. It is said to have originated from a poor man who wanted to give his children something for Christmas, but he only had some wire, and prunes from the prune tree in his yard. Today these are figurines that whimsically mimic figure's in everyday life. And they are usually sold by a dude wearing a cool looking Barviarian Farmers hat.

Lebkuchen (Gingerbread) was invented in this region in the 1400's. In the old days, it was more like cake, and was sold in commemorative tin's (easier to export and looked more exotic). It can still be purchased in tins, or as the more familiar extra large decorated cookies.

The label "Original Nuremberger Rostbratwurst (grilled sausage)" dates back to the 1500's and must be made in Nurmenberg. That label pertains to both its size and to the spices that are in it. Marjoram being the predominate flavor. In medieval times only a few butchers were allowed to make it, and they had to that take it to the "Council deputation of the butchers" for inspection before they sold it. Any sausage that didn't meet the specifications, went in the river. Today, the City Council dictate's the specifications, which include, size, meat quality, spices and meat preparation. Only medium coarse pork, no other sausage meat, and a maximium of 35% fat.

Several artisan's still make toy's by hand, and sell them here. Nothing is quite as awesome as a homemade toy, at least to many adults who only want them as decoration trinkets.

Nuremburg History

Nuremburg was on a busy trade route for goods that traversed the Holly Roman Empire. It was chosen as the place where the Imperial Diet (assembly/congress) of the Holy Roman Empire would meet to discuss issues (may have been, due to it's sort of central location within the Holly Roman Empire). As such, one of the most formidable castles and fortresses was built there.

The Holy Roman Empire did not have an established capital, the capital moved as the Holly Roman Emperor moved from castle to castle, or when a new one was coronated by the Pope. However, many Holly Romans Emperor's choose to live here, so it became the defacto capital of the Holly Roman Empire and thrived for about 800 years.

Nazi Party Rally Grounds

Nazi is the English word for the NSDA Party (National Socialist German Worker's Party). The swastika was an ancient religious icon that represents the rays from the sun, and to them was a symbol of success and good luck. The Nazi party turned it 45 degrees, tainted it, and now many people in Western civilizations, see it as a symbol of great evil.

The Nazi party Headquarters was in Munic, but when Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany in 1933, he declared Nuremberg the "City of the Reichsparteitage (Reich Party Congresses)". Drawing a parallel between the Nazi movement and Nuremberg's prominence during the Holly Roman Empire's Imperial Congress meeting place. This played well into Nazi propaganda (Make Germany the center of European political control again). 

The parts of the original architectural plan, that were was somewhat completed are:

Congress Hall (partially completed) - a U shaped building with a roof over the interior and seating for 50,000 people in the courtyard.

Zepplin Field - The large party assembly grounds, often seen in films of the time. A grand stand on one side where party leaders would give speeches, a large parade grounds in the center, and bleachers around the perimeter.

Great Road - 2 km (1.2 mi) road connecting everything, to be used as a parade road.

Deutsches Stadion (German Stadium) (only dug the foundation)  - was to be a 400,000 seat U-shaped stadium, The foundation has since filled with water and is now called Silver Lake.

The money to complete it, was diverted into funding for WW II. As soon as the war started, construction stopped. The current structures are protected as great works of architecture, of that era.

During WW-II Nuremburg was the headquarters of Wehrkresis XIII (military district 13), and the site of several vital military production facilities. Manufacturing engines for many of the military machines.

It was heavily fortified, its citizens were heavily armed, and they offered a lot of resistance.

In January of 1945, 90 percent of the old town was destroyed in about one hour of bombing. In April of 1945, 4 days of intense street-by-street and house-by-house fighting took place, as the residents were determined not to give up.
Nuremberg was chosen as the place to hold the WWII war crimes trials, known as the Nuremberg Trial's. It was chosen, since it was so prominent to the Nazi Party congress and the Palace of Justice there, incorporated a large prison as part of it. 24 people were tried in Nuremberg and 12 of them were sentenced to death by hanging. The American military asked for a volunteer to be the executioner, and Master Sergent John Clarence Woods raised his hand, stating that he had past experience in that field. It is suspected that he lied, since some 100's of the hanging's he performed after volunteering, were botched.

There were to be, more military tribunals in Berlin, after Nuremberg's completed, but the cold war interferred with that plan. Interest in the last war had changed to the passively fighting the current war.


90 percent of the old fortress walls are still in tack. Heavily damaged (as was all of Nuremberg) during the air raid's of 1944-45, they have been rebuilt and patched. They still have much of their splendor and are very scenic.

Nuremberg castle was almost completely demolished, and it took about 30 years to rebuilt it.

Much of the old town was restored to its pre-war appearance.

Nuremberg is a prominent industrial manufacturing location. Amongst the largest are Siemen's, one of the top manufacturers of Medical equipment, and Man, manufacturing of Heavy Trucks and large Marine engines.

Nuremberg is also home to many German Market research companies and is the location of many hi-tech fair's.

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Thank you for reading.

I'll see you next time,



Tradition | Travel

Comments (2) -

Steve Holdorf
1/7/2018 4:09:01 AM #

Looking good man! D.C. Is cold and crazy right now.


Paul Sarsany
1/7/2018 11:58:04 AM #

Thanks for the tour and history lesson!


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