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Christkindelsmärik (Alsatian dialect meaning "Market of the Christ Child") is a Christmas market held annually in Strasbourg, France on the Grande Île near Strasbourg Cathedral and Place Kléber.[1][2] It draws in approximately 2 million visitors each year and since the arrival of TGV service in Strasbourg in 2007, the number of visitors has been on the rise. Hotels can be booked a year in advance and some receive between 15-17% of their yearly income thanks to the Christkindelsmarik's visitors.[3] It is considered one of the most famous Christmas markets throughout Europe. It is estimated that the city benefits of a 16 million Euros profit from this 38-day-long tradition. It is mostly famous for its fragrance of mulled wine (French: vin chaud; German: Glühwein).[4]

Strasbourg Christkindelsmärik 30 nov 2014.jpg
The Strasbourg Christkindelsmärik (Place Broglie)
GenreChristmas market
Dates24 November–24 December
Location(s)Strasbourg, France
Years active1570–present
Depiction of the market in place Kléber in 1859 by Émile Schweitzer [fr]



Strasbourg has been holding Christkindelsmärik around its cathedral since 1570, making it one of the oldest Christmas markets in Europe.[1] The name "Christkindelsmärik" is of Alsatian origin, a low Alemannic German dialect which was the mainly spoken language in the Alsace until the 20th century. In many parts of south Germany and Austria christmas markets (German: Weihnachtsmärkte) are also called Christkind(e)l(s)markt (the spelling depends on the local dialect).

The market takes place annually, from 29 November to 31 December. It mainly takes place on Place Kléber, Place Broglie, Place du Marché aux cochons de lait and around the cathedral.

Planned bomb attackEdit

There was an Al-Qaeda plan to bomb the Christmas market at the foot of the cathedral during the Christmas celebrations of 2000. This was discovered and foiled by authorities in December 2000.[5]

Shooting attackEdit

On 11 December 2018, a shooting and stabbing attack occurred at the Christmas market, killing five and injuring several. The attacker, Cherif Chekatt, was injured during a shootout with French soldiers during Opération Sentinelle near the scene and shot dead by police in Strasbourg on 13 December. The incident was classified as terrorism by authorities, who identified the shooter as a known extremist who had been tagged with a fiche "S" (S file or security file), the highest warning level for French state security.[6][7][8]

The treeEdit

The 30 m (98 ft) 2014 Great Christmas Tree

The Christkindelsmärik's Christmas tree, on Place Kléber, is traditionally of imposing height. Topping at 32.5 m (107 ft),[9] the 2010 tree dwarfed much of its surroundings. The trees of the following years were only slightly less conspicuous: 30 m (98 ft) in 2011,[10] 31 m (102 ft) in 2013,[11] 30 m (98 ft) in 2015.[12]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Noël à Strasbourg. (Unknown last update). Noël à Strasbourg. Retrieved July 08, 2007, from "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-08-17. Retrieved 2007-07-19.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ Noël à Strasbourg. (2007, May 31). Noël à Strasbourg, le Sens du Partage. Retrieved July 19, 2007, from "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-07-27. Retrieved 2007-07-19.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ Retrieved May 02, 2013, from "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-11-28. Retrieved 2013-05-03.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ Retrieved May 02, 2013, from "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-12-09. Retrieved 2013-05-03.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ Der Frankfurter Al-Qaida-Prozess und das Netzwerk des Terrors (German)
  6. ^ Samuel, Henry; Chazan, David; Ward, Victoria (11 December 2018). "Strasbourg shooting: At least four dead, several seriously injured in attack at Christmas market - latest news" – via
  7. ^ "Strasbourg Christmas market shooting: Gunman injures multiple people".
  8. ^ Willsher, Kim (11 December 2018). "Strasbourg shooting: at least two killed in terrorist attack near Christmas market" – via
  9. ^ Le grand sapin trône place Kléber, Les Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace, 8 November 2010 (in French)
  10. ^ "Noël : le plus grand sapin d'Europe à Strasbourg". Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  11. ^ "Strasbourg: un sapin de 31 mètres pour le marché de Noël". Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  12. ^ "Strasbourg: Du nouveau sur le grand sapin de Noël". Retrieved 4 November 2015.

External linksEdit