Monday, December 12, 2011

Traditions maintained: The Koln Markets

My disappointment with Maastricht’s Christmas markets this year led to a quest for cities where spirit and tradition still thrived…and it led to Koln.

Koln has always had a sprawling market presence – at least six markets are dropped into city parks and along the rivers – I favor the crowds gathered among brightly lit stalls beneath the enormous brooding central church.  an hour’s drive from Maastricht, it’s an easy afternoon excursion, and the festive spirit still overwhelms the high prices charged for eierpunsch, stollen, foil ornaments and beanbag toys.  It’s enough to just wander and take it all in without buying lots.

 

DSC00874 Stitch 

DSC00856 Stitch

It seems ironic that the better markets are being fielded by the sometimes parsimonious and dour Germans, but maybe it follows their emphasis on local over central institutions and a different sense of civil / commercial balance.

More pix at my Flickr site

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