My daughter went on a very short weekend trip across the Channel to visit the Christmas Market at one of my favourite German cities, Charles the Great's city of Aachen. Charlemagne, as he is known in French and English, started to build his Imperial Cathedral in the year 792 and Pope Leo III consecrated it in 805. The core of the cathedral is the Palatine Carolingian Chapel; it is small compared to the rest of the building, but every inch of it speaks of over 1200 years of history. It is an absolute jewel and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
|From a postcard|
Aachen lies on the borders between Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. Luxemburg is no more than a stone's throw away.
Aachen's Christmas market is set around the cathedral and town hall. This beautifully decorated "Christmas village" on the market square has everything your heart could desire. One local speciality you really must try is the Aachen Printen, a kind of gingerbread.
You will find a large variety of Printen and other Christmas cakes and biscuits, "Domino Stones", gingerbread, "Spekulatius" and marzipan bread. These are distributed all over the world by Aachen bakeries.
At Aachen Christmas Market they come fresh from the oven.
There are many stalls selling traditional folk art; these small china or, more often, beautifully glazed terracotta houses are all copies of existing buildings somewhere in Germany. They are highly prized and rather expensive to buy. I have three, perhaps there'll be another christmas post showing my wooden figures and these houses. I'd love to own more, even adults collect them.
Apart from the wish to stroll about a traditional Christmas Market, eat Reibekuchen (potato cakes) and drink Gluehwein, my daughter's visit had a further purpose: to shop in German supermarkets. She goes a bit too far, I reckon, in her mania for buying German foods and specialities at this time of year; as she was willing to take a long list of items I just happened to need myself, I forgive her.
I am awaiting the arrival of a large food parcel any day now.
This post is part of Our World Tuesday