Special Guest Post: European Christmas Markets

Guest Contributor post by Stephanie Levy



As an American living abroad, I will never tire of visiting the many beautiful European Christmas markets. This year, I've been travelling frequently for my 12 Countries in 12 Months project, and I've had the chance to experience the holiday season in Prague, Portugal, and Munich.


One of the most fascinating things at the Prague market were the many stands making "Trdelnik" or little rolled pastries from scratch. Women busily rolled out long strands of sweet dough.



The dough was then wrapped around hot metal rods and baked over an open fire. Each roll had to be turned carefully so that it didn't burn.


After baking, the hot coils of dough are quickly dipped in cinnamon sugar and ready to eat!


There were also traditional spicy Prague sausages in all shapes and sizes.


And various honey flavored liquors to sip.


Handmade candles and Christmas ornaments made of beeswax were popular items.



As were little angels made out of straw and lace.

A blacksmith gave a demonstration of melting various metals to be transformed into ornaments and bells,

while dixieland jazz street musicians created a lively atmosphere and kept everyone entertained.

Even the subway stations seemed to be ready for Christmas. I loved the modern design.

At the Prague castle, I found an unusual nativity scene completely handmade out of straw.

Inside the castle cathedral, the afternoon sun glowed brilliantly through the ornate stained glass windows.

Prague shines with golden light when viewed from the Charles Bridge. It was an especially delightful treat to see Prague all dressed up for the holidays!

Tomorrow: join me for a holiday trip to Portugal, where we'll visit the cities of Lisbon and Obidos

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Stephanie Levy is an artist and illustrator originally from Memphis, Tennessee, USA, now based in Munich, Germany. She studied art at the University of Tennesee in Knoxville, and the University of the Arts in Berlin, Germany. In January 2012, she will begin the second session of her new e-course called Creative Courage. This unique online course helps creative women start fulfilling their creative dreams, and include 12 exclusive guest interviews with artists, writers, bloggers, and inspirational women from around the world. They will also be taking a special "virtual field trip" to enjoy art, culture, and design in Barcelona, Spain. To find out more click here.

Jan Halvarson

10 comments:

Iva said...

hello from Czech Rep.=) nice post..

Jacqueline said...

This is such a beautiful post! Thanks so much for sharing! How i miss those beautiful christmas market in Germany. Wishing you a wonderful festive time with your friends and family! Love to you!


jacqueline
http://jqlinesocuteithurts.typepad.com/

stephanie levy said...

Thank you and I'm so delighted to be sharing my Christmas adventures with you all here on Poppytalk ;) Happy holidays! xo Stephanie

Arantza said...

I was in Prague last december, it was a great tryp!! a lot of snow and a lot of chritsmas trees!

Tulips & Tulle said...

Looks amazing!

Peggy said...

Thank you so very much! Aside from 18 months we lived in Germany from the time I was 5 until just prior to my 13th birthday.... 7 Christmases to be exact. And we went to the Christmas marts EVERY SINGLE year! Munich, Nurnberg, Augsburg, and Bamberg were our most commonly visited Christmas marts. Once again thank you for sharing! It brought me a smile!

Merisi Vienna said...

Just glorious, puts one in the Christmas spirit instantly!

Merry Christmas to you and yours,
Merisi

Leah said...

Many years ago, I went with a friend to visit her family in Munich over the holidays, and we visited one of these markets. The snow, the city's historic Bavarian architecture, and the steaming mugs of mulled cider we sipped as we wandered the market's stalls are still a magical and cherished memory. Thanks so much for the reminder!

Eva / Sycamore Street Press said...

I remember these from when I lived in France & Belgium. So fun and festive. Thanks for bringing back some good memories!

Zane said...

beautiful photos

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