Not just another market: Engelkemarkt

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Photo by imagecom
Photo by imagecom

Not just another market: Engelkemarkt

by Jessica Zen
Stripes Europe

Christmas is just around the corner and the endless lists of markets in every city, town and village can become overwhelming. It’s hard to decide which market is best and has something truly unique in comparison to the countless others. For an incredibly magical Christmas market experience, visit the port city of Emden in northwest Germany. This East Frisian city by the sea is home to the Engelkemarkt, a special Christmas market that takes place not only on land, but also on ships! Emden takes Christmas to a whole new level by removing the traditional winding cobblestone streets of the market and adding water to create a floating paradise. The ship masts and sails being lit up with thousands of twinkling lights is an absolute wonder to behold!

The illuminated town hall of Emden presents the perfect backdrop to this maritime Christmas village, which graces the town each year during the Christmas season. The stalls are lavishly decorated for the holiday and offer a variety of hot beverages, tasty treats and unique decorations. The crisp air carries the scent of cinnamon, gingerbread, vanilla and almond throughout the market while visitors “ooh and ahh” over the many specialties and handmade ornaments. At the heart of the market is a large Christmas pyramid that serves mulled wine, punch and more. But that’s not all…

The nearby harbor hosts both museum and traditional sailing ships that are also lit for the evening’s festivities. Market-goers can wander onto the ships and marvel at their dedication to bringing holiday cheer and merriment, despite the chill in the salty air. Calmly sway back and forth on the ships as you marvel at the perfect combination of Christmas and seafaring tradition.

What quality market would be complete without the star of the show? Starting on Dec. 1, Santa Claus visits the city garden stage daily at 5 p.m. with gifts for all of the children, further enhancing the joy and anticipation for Christmas to come. Kids can enjoy the magic of the lights after receiving their new gifts from Santa, while parents enjoy sipping on grog and browsing the many stalls both on and off the ships.

The Engelkemarkt gets its name from the figure of the golden eagle that rests over the city wall on the Emden coat of arms. This market is family-friendly and open to anyone who wants to get away from the hustle and bustle of Christmas season and just enjoy the spectacular lights, food and drinks offered while browsing the selection of goods. The 2021 Engelkemarkt is from Nov. 22 to Dec. 23 and Dec. 27 to 31 (subject to change based on the current situation). Visitors are welcome from 11 a.m. to approximately 8 p.m. daily and from 11 a.m. to approximately 4 p.m. on Dec. 31. Visit the website for current information and updates:

Delight in an age old tradition at Emden’s fairy tale Christmas market. It won’t be an experience you’ll soon forget. After all, it isn’t every day that you board a ship in the North Sea decked out in Christmas finery!

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