Aachener Weihnachts Markt

 Aachen’s Magical Christmas Market

When a friend shared these photos, nostalgia flooded over me. I knew exactly where she had been even before reading her message.  I had visited this quaint town during the Christmas holiday over 40 years ago (yikes!)

And there it was with all the charm I remembered – shop windows decorated and filled with all things Christmas – lights, cookies, breads, chocolates, toys, ornaments, Nutcrackers. I could even smell the tantalizing and rich aromas of the bakeries and roasting coffee beans that filled the air.

I was immediately transported back to this delightful and ancient village  where shop windows were Christmas Cards and holiday stories come to life!

Aaah — the memories of Aachen, Germany.












Aachen is the westernmost city in Germany; a spa town in North Rhine-Westphalia German where the borders of The Netherlands, Belgium and Germany come together. Besides the magic of Christmas, I remembered being intrigued by historical role of Aachen and it’s connection with the emperor Charlemagne. It was a favored royal residence of the emperor and served as the principal coronation site of Holy Roman emperors and German kings from the Middle Ages to the Reformation.

The elegant Aachen Dom (Cathedral), the oldest cathedral in northern Europe, was built by Emperor Charlemagne around 786 AD. The Cathedral Treasury is regarded as one of the most important ecclesiastical treasuries in northern Europe with unique exhibits like the Cross of Lothair, the Bust of Charlemagne and the Persephone sarcophagus.


Since my visit–oh, so many years ago –the Christmas shopping has spilled into the streets becoming the Aachen Christmas Market. In front of the historical setting of the Cathedral and the Town Hall, the Katschhof, one of the most stunning squares in Europe, is also integrated into the festive spectacle.


The streets and squares around the Town Hall  are transformed “into a paradise of lights and coulours, festive sounds and seductive smells….a glorious fair.”

Learn more about this charming city at these sites:

Aachen Tourist Service

German Christmas Markets

Britannica Online Encyclopedia


  • Alice says:

    There’s always something so “Germany-y” about Christmas, or “Christmasy” about Germany – or something! Experiencing this Christms Market, in the shadow of that incredible cathedral, no less – is definitley going on my Bucket List. Thanks for for this fun and inspiring post!

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