A bounty of Christmas markets in 144 German cities

My last post ended, “Ten months is plenty of time to plan and dream,” but before sitting down to write today, I found myself wondering if I’d really be able to come up with enough blogworthy material to fill the timeframe.

Altötting Tourism

I began today by taking a look at cometogermany.com, the official tourism website of Germany, and quickly realized this is unlikely to be a problem. There are 144 cities with Christmas markets listed but, remember, not only do many of the larger ones have multiple markets, many smaller towns and villages that aren’t mentioned have local versions.

I noticed the city of Altötting near the top of the list and, since I’d never heard of it, decided to have a look at its website and discovered:

Boasting a privileged location in the attractive Alpine foothills of Upper Bavaria, Altötting is centered between Munich, Passau, Salzburg and Lake Chiemsee. For over 1,250 years the town has been Bavaria’s spiritual center and for five centuries has featured as Germany’s principle Marian pilgrimage site. The objective for over one million pilgrims and visitors each year is the Black Madonna in the octagonal Chapel of Grace. Pope Benedict XVI was born nearby and is closely connected to Altötting.

Okay. So while that’s not so interesting to me personally, I’m reminded that Germany is very much a spiritual travel destination, which is a very worthwhile subject for future exploration on this blog. On one of my Christmas trips to Germany, for example, we visited Torgau in Saxony, one of many towns associated with Martin Luther (and, yes, there was a Christmas market).

Back to Altötting, reading further I learned the city is known for its traditional Alpine Advent concerts, featuring choirs and instrumental ensembles from Upper Bavaria and Salzburg all season long.

Now that does interest me, enough so that I’d consider including Altötting on a future itinerary. Who knows what temptations await as I dig deeper into the Christmas market list?

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