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Rothenburg o/d Tauber - Christmas Market 2009

Rothenburg o/d Tauber - Christmas Market 2009

Jan 17th, 2010, 04:11 AM
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Rothenburg o/d Tauber - Christmas Market 2009

One of the Christmas Markets I visited this year was at Rothenburg o/d Tauber. It is one of the more structured markets, with a set weekly agenda, and we chose to go on a Wednesday for the Children's Parade of Lights. I was afraid it might be over-run by frenzied tourists but was pleasantly surprised to find a warm family atmosphere instead.

We arrived in time to have a leisure late lunch, traditional German fare, at Gasthof Butz on Kappelenplatz, 4. Food was very tasty and affordable. Service was excellent in a relaxed environment, beautifully decorated for the holidays. They also have about 12 rooms upstairs, and I made a mental note that I wouldn't mind staying at Gasthof Butz next time we were overnighting instead of Gasthof Edith/Spaetzle-Schwob. Besides friendly service, the premises were immaculate and it is centrally located just off the Marktplatz. It has 2 different exits, each letting onto a different street, which would be very convenient during a stay.

We then proceeded to visit some of the local merchants, since they have so much to offer (my friend found a lovely traditional wool jacket), before hitting the actual market streets themselves. There was a little bit of everything: local produce, spices, toys, rides for the kids, food and candy vendors, etc. They also had a nativity scene encased in glass which was nice, but a little hidden down a covered alley. As night descended we hurried back to the Rathaus just in time for the start of the children's Parade of Lights.

It was great fun to stand amidst proud parents & grandparents as the oldest children in red capes & proudly bearing lit lamps paraded into the square and took their position up on the Rathaus steps. The younger children then paraded in with their lamps glowing as well (I think by class, as they all seemed to be in groups by age) and watched the performance behind cordonned off areas in front. There was a brass band, singing, recitation of a poem, a (very fake, unfortunately) St. Nicholas, culminating with the famous Night Wathman mounting his steed and galloping off into the night to the delight of the children.

Following this, many families celebrated together with a snack and a cup of "glow wine" or non-alchoholic punsch from the market stalls, stopping to chat with friends and neighbors. We were ready for a hot cup of coffee and a slice of torte inside at the Baumeisterhaus http://www.baumeisterhaus-rothenburg.de/ before heading home. Delicious pastries, wonderful coffee service in a captivating setting.

Thought you might enjoy a few photos-most from this Christmas Market 2009 visit, but a few are from an earlier fall visit. First attempt at this linking-business, so hopefully the link works!

http://s918.photobucket.com/albums/a...All%20Seasons/
klondike is offline  
Jan 17th, 2010, 07:57 AM
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The link works. Nice fotos. You have a good eye for detail. I see a glimpse of you in the mirror of one of the fotos.

Which other markets did you visit? Are you planning to write trip reports on them also?

I hope to finally get over for the markets this year. I love Rothenburg and thought about basing there for a few days and also visiting Nuremburg and Ansbach and perhaps others in the area before going over to the Tubingen area.
bigtyke is offline  
Jan 17th, 2010, 09:45 AM
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bigtyke: Thank you for letting me know the link worked and for the compliment.

Other markets that I experienced this 2009 season other than Rothenberg o/d T. were Heidelberg, the Abbey of Neustift(across the river from Heidelberg),Speyer, Ladenburg,and Schwetzingen, with Schwetzingen being my least favorite only because the "gift/purchase" selection was quite poor with not-particularly-interesting home-made items. It was mainly an ice skating rink for the kids (Heidelberg's was bigger and better maintained), a little train ride for the littlest ones, and lots of food/drink stands where the adults hung out and caught up on the news while they waited for their kids to finish skating.

In France we visited Wissembourg right on the French/German border(very nice)and Paris. Here are some Paris Christmas Market Photos.

http://s918.photobucket.com/albums/a...20of%20Lights/

I have been to Paris numerous times, but never during the Holidays. I loved it and hope to go again. As for trip reports, I have benefited from other Fodorites contributions and would like to be of benefit to someone else...so I will try to get a report or two out at least with restaurant names, driving times, etc.
klondike is offline  
Jan 17th, 2010, 10:04 AM
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Lovely photos, Klondike, and I enjoyed the description of your experience in Rothenberg.

ln Riquewihr in Oct. we visited a Christmas shop that is open year round, and I read that it's "flagship" is in Rothenberg. It was called La Feerie de Noel; did you happen upon it there?
grandmere is offline  
Jan 18th, 2010, 04:05 PM
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Thanks for writing and the for the photo's Klondike. We loved Rothenburg and maybe someday we will get to see it at Christmas time.

Paul
pja1 is offline  
Jan 19th, 2010, 05:11 AM
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We visited the Rothenburg Christmas Market the last two years and also really enjoyed it. The Advent season is active in Rothenburg but we found the crowds much smaller than in the summer. It is good for us to mix Rothenburg with some less touristy locations during a trip. This year we started in Stuttgart with a massive Christmas Market before Rothenburg. It was a good combination.

Regards, Gary
Gary_Mc is offline  
Jan 20th, 2010, 10:01 AM
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Grandmere
I believe the shop you are referring to is Kathe Wolfhart. The flagship store is in Rothenburg and there are also stores in Riquewihr, Oberammergau, Germany and a couple of other locations.
wanderfrau is offline  
Jan 20th, 2010, 10:11 AM
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Wanderfrau, yes, that is it. I bought some little things (ornaments, Advent calendars for grandchildren, 2010 calendar of Alsace for my daughter) that I loved using and giving at Christmas.
grandmere is offline  
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