The Weihnachtsmarkt is one of many Christmas fairs held across Germany during Advent each
Rothenburg's is not one of the largest, but its medieval setting - in a square beside the
Rathaus - makes it one of the most charming.
Unlike the giant fairs in Nurnberg and Munich, this one feels small-town.
Booths sell hand-made ornaments, small gifts and traditional Christmas foods - hard candies, gingerbread, bratwurst, mugs of mulled spiced wine called gluhwein, and a
local specialty, leberkase - a kind of homemade SPAM in a bun.
Food prices are low, so a strolling meal at the Christmas market is a bargain as well as a
Don't miss Kathe Wohlfahrt's Christmas stores, which face each other across the Herrngasse about
a block from the Marktplatz.
These stores, the larger focused on glass ornaments, the smaller on traditional woodcarvings,
are virtual museums of German Christmas-iana, worth seeing even if you don't buy.
The owners pioneered year-round Christmas merchandising in Germany, and their Rothenburg
Christmas stores remain the country's most extensive. Prices are high but the goods are top quality.
Rothenburg - Christmas