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Aachen

Every year in the weeks preceding Christmas, squares, places and alleys around Aachens town hall will be transformed into a kind of festive paradise of brilliant illumination and colourful splendour, following over with ringing sounds and appetising odours. The festive array of stalls and stands, in the middle of the town adorned with profuse Christmas decorations, holds a special charm to young and old. The range of goods offered is overwhelming: from the noblest precious objects down to the modest trinket, from the most impressive gifts down to the everyday utensils … Thus it is no wonder that the Aachen Christmas Market has long since become a must for all the town’s inhabitants and all those who hold Aachen dear.

The Aachener Christmas Market fame and attraction has spread to far beyond the regional borders due is particularly inviting and hospitable atmosphere, which even has a comradely, intimate touch to it. The Aachener Christmas Market is a social gathering where people meet and visit with relatives, acquaintances or colleagues, during the midday break of after working hours, on working days of during the weekend. A ride on one of the carousels is a must for kids, as well as a drink of bishops’ wine for the adults. Potato fritter pancakes (“Reibekuchen”) are a welcome snack at every hour of the day, besides – as a matter of course – “Printen” (a kind of hard spicy biscuit) and other Christmas delicacies, “Dominosteine” (cakes with a chocolate coating), “Lebkuchen” and “Spritzkuchen” (both a kind of gingerbread), “Spekulatius” and marzipan loaves, which Aachen bakeries dispatch all over the world, but which are offered on the Aachener Christmas Market as fresh as possible.

They are indeed a special treat to all who visit the event. The organizers of the Aachener Christmas Market can meanwhile boast annual visitor numbers from the Netherlands, Belgium, France and the United Kingdom.

The tradition of the Aachener Christmas Market dates back as far as the sixties. The general characteristics of the event, which was, in the beginning a market were only Printen were sold around the Elisenbrunnen, changed remarkably since it has been transferred to the Market Place and the Katschhof.

Not only the number of visitors has shown a steady increase from year to year, but so has the number of stall and stand holders. Every year one can see an increase in the variety of culinary specialities offered to the visitors, as well as a growing offer of craftsman’s products. Indeed, the visitor has to choose from a bewildering range of products and specialities. But at the same time it is precisely this profuse offer which induces many to come back again and again to the colourful array of stalls and stands. But there is not much time to ponder over a choice to be made, for as Christmas draws near, so does the end of the Christmas market.

Even before the gift tables are ready at the visitors’ homes, the Aachener Christmas Market is cleared again, leaving the Market Place and the streets around it somewhere empty and bare, quiet and subdued almost. But that should be no ground for lasting gloom and melancholy for the confirmed Aachener Christmas Market devotees can look forward with anticipated joy to a repetition of the event, only eleven months later.

Further Information:
Aachen tourist service
P.O. Box 10 22 51, D-52022 Aachen
Tel.: +49 / 241 / 180 29 60, Fax: +49 / 241 / 1 80 29 30
info@aachen-tourist.de, www.aachen-tourist.de

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