The Christmas market in Aachen, Germany is held in the city center around the Rathaus (city hall) and the Dom (cathedral). I like it because it’s small enough to do with kids and opens earlier than most of the other Christmas markets. Good way to get into the holiday spirit before it gets so dang cold. We were there opening day—November 18.

Little bit of history: Charlemagne ruled the Roman empire from Aachen. He was was King of the Franks from 768- and Emperor of Rome from 800 until his death in 814. The domed portion of the cathedral was Charlemagne’s original palace chapel, built more than 1200 years ago. He is buried here. The interior is covered with beautiful Byzantine mosaics. (I have yet to take any photos because a donation is required to do so. I’ve either not had the good camera or had the kids.) The Rathaus was built in the 14th century on the foundation of Charlemagne’s palace.

Aachen is also known for Aachener printen— chewy spice cookies with candied ginger. They come plain, coated in chocolate, with nuts, etc. In Aachen, there seems to be a printen shop on every corner. In the shops around the Dom, there are usually samples on the counter. Try before you buy; one of the big cookies runs close to 7€. They’re good, but I’d say not any better than the bags of Aachener printen I buy at Real (the German Walmart) for 99 cents.

M O R E   P H O T O S
From Aachen Christmas Market. Shot November 18, 2011. Aachen, Germany

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