|A stand at the Wiener Christkindlmarkt selling Christmas tree ornaments|
|A Wiener Christkindlmarkt stand selling baked goods|
|Food at the Wiener Christkindlmarkt|
|Trinkets sold at a Wiener Christkindlmarkt stand: the Viennese love their dogs|
|View of the Wiener Christkindlmarkt facing the Burg Theater|
In front of the massive Rathaus building is a paved public square and a large park. The 150 or so huts/booths/stands/stalls making up the market are located in the paved part of the square. The park is the setting for the "Magic of Advent" with decorations and children’s attractions. At night, the market and the Magic of Advent are a cornucopia of lights and sounds.
The first records of a Christmas market mentioned “huts” in front of Saint Stephen's Cathedral in 1626 that were set up on December 16 and 17, then were taken down on 9 January. At these booths, bakers, gingerbread vendors and confectioners sold their goods. This market was shut down in 1761.
|Christmas Market at Am Hof, probably around 1940 from|
|Christmas Card showing an early Christmas Market at Am Hof|
|The entry to the Wiener Christkindmarkt|
Since then the Rathaus plaza and park have been the permanent home of the Wiener Christkindlmarkt. The Magic of Advent was added in 1985.
Vienna had only the original market at the Rathaus until 1986 when the Old Vienna Christ Child Market at Freyung opened. No only long after that, new Christmas markets were held at Schönbrunn and Karlplatz.
By the way, these larger Christmas markets are not the only places to get a fix of hot wine, fresh food, crafts, and trinkets. Other smaller markets are scattered around the city including on Mariahilferstrasse (by the Mariahilferstrasse Church), at Floridsdorf train station, and by the Staatsoper on Mahlerstrasse. You can even find a small market on the roof of the fancy Ritz-Carlton Hotel, located on the Stuben Ring. (See http://kurier.at/weihnachten/adventmaerkte/der-hoechste-christkindlmarkt-der-stadt/163.826.251 )
|Advertisement for a Advent Market |
on December 6 in the 18th District
Also, on weekends you in late November and in December, Christmas markets are held at locations in many different neighborhoods, often to raise funds for charities and non-profit organizations. If you are in Vienna, keep an eye out for announcements of these local markets.
Christmas Season is Here