Esslingen turns back time 600 years, awakens in Middle Ages

Esslinger Medieval, Christmas Markets come alive for holidays


Story and photos by Kevin S. Abel

As the Holiday season is upon us, across Europe the Christmas markets open their stalls and attract millions of visitors with decorated and lighted stands and the smells of the holiday.

If you consider yourself a Weihnachtsmarkt professional, the Esslinger Christmas market is a must.

As if the city had been enchanted overnight, Mittelalter and Weihnachtsmarkt goers will be turned 600 years back; as Esslingen awakens in the Middle Ages.

Fire-breathing dragons, jugglers, story tellers and musicians entertain, while candle makers, blacksmiths, basket weavers and glassblowers celebrate old world craftsmanship from days of the past.

Above all lies the smell of charcoal fire, exotic spices, Glühwein (German mulled wine) and toasted almonds in the air between the magnificent half-timbered houses in the city center will draw you into the Medieval age.

Starting the Tuesday before the first advent Esslingen transforms and reinvents itself. The mediaeval market takes over the Marktplatz, (market square), the old town hall to Hafenmarkt for four weeks before Christmas.

The market aims to be authentic for visitors to truly experience the Middle Ages, which is why artisans, craftsmen and vendors wear medieval garments, and speak using the language of medieval times.

If Black Friday shopping didn’t fulfill all your gift needs there are lots of potential Christmas gifts for the loved ones from candles, spirits, to regional Christmas decorations along with crafts of the times.

If shopping isn’t your thing, you can step back in time with a few friends and bath in the public Zuber (wooden bath), learn medieval dances, sing traditional Christmas songs or take the children for the human powered carnival styled rides.

Whatever your passion is traditional Weihnachtsmarkt shopping, live entertainment, great food or immersing yourself into the festivities of the season, Mittelalter and Weihnachtsmarkt in Esslingen has a lot to explore.

Esslinger Mittelalter and Weihnachtsmarkt is open daily from 11 a.m. to 8.30 p.m. until Dec. 22. Except on the last market day, which is exactly a month after its opening day the market closes for this year at 6 p.m.

To get to Esslingen take the A8 to L1202 in Neuhausen auf den Fildern. exit 54-Esslingen. Continue on L1202. to L1192 and Ulmer Strasse to Rathausplatz in Esslingen am Neckar.

The address is Rathausplatz, 73728 Esslingen am Neckar.

By public transportation take the S1 toward Kirchheim getting o at Esslingen, you will then need to walk about 750 meters to the Mittelalter and Weihnachtsmarkts.

esslingenmarket12-1-2016PUBLISHED IN THE STUTTGART CITIZEN DEC. 1, 2016