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Strasbourg Christmas Market 2021

After Strasbourg’s famous Christmas market was cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic, the Capital of Christmas will once again be full of holiday cheer from November 26th to December 26th, 2021. This year marks the beginning of a new era in the city’s Christmas tradition, whose “Christ child market” (ChristkindelsmĂ€rik in Alsatian) dates back to 1570.

As Christmas time approaches, Strasbourg dons its gay apparel. In the market squares around town, the enticing scents of mulled wine, baked sweet treats, and savory tarte flambée fill the alleys between the stalls.

This year, 314 stalls (that look like charming little wooden cabins) spread out over 13 squares in the city center (and set up further apart than previous years) proudly offer local handicrafts and culinary specialties. Place Broglie, place de la CathĂ©drale, the CarrĂ© d’Or and place KlĂ©ber are all must-see spots during the holiday season.

Place Broglie

Place Broglie is one of the Christmas market’s most historical areas. This year, in addition to the market stalls, a video mapping show called “L’HĂŽtel des Contes” (the fairytale hotel) will be projected on the façade of City Hall (l’HĂŽtel de Ville), presenting the legend of the Christkindel (the Christ child), as well as the story of Saint Nicholas.

When he was a little boy, JĂ©rĂŽme would always scarf down a waffle from the La Gaufre Lorraine stall. The waffles were made to order and served right out of the iron, still piping hot. He would bite into the perfectly fluffy and crunchy treat, eating it so quickly he barely had time to warm his hands. The thick layer of powdered sugar covering the little squares on the waffle would always end up on his clothes. Unfortunately, this stand has long since disappeared from place Broglie … but the pleasure of reliving lovely childhood memories remains.

Place de la Cathédrale & place du Chùteau

Nestled at the foot of Strasbourg Cathedral, the place de la CathĂ©drale market is the most iconic in the city. This narrow square, with its little wooden cabins surrounded by charming houses and side streets, and with the Cathedral and the Maison Kammerzell in the background, feels like a bubble of holiday cheer in the middle of town. If you’re looking for the spirit of Christmas, here and in the CarrĂ© d’Or is where you’ll find it.

The Nativity scenes inside the Cathedral are truly remarkable. The Strasbourg crĂšche from 1907 is 18 meters long and presents 5 scenes, from the Annunciation to the presentation of Jesus at the Temple (open until January 10th, 2022).

Place du ChĂąteau offers a view of the cathedral from a different angle.

Place Kléber

Place KlĂ©ber is where you’ll find the Great Christmas Tree and the “Solidarity Village” (with stalls for 90 different non-profit organizations).

This year, the decorations on the massive Christmas tree (30 meters tall, 12 meters wide, and weighing 7 tons) are inspired by local ancestral traditions: carved wooden shapes, red and white baubles (a nod to the old tradition of using apples to decorate the tree), and cookie-cutter-like silhouettes reminiscent of Alsatian bredele (little Christmas cookies prepared in large quantities throughout December).

A city of lights

As night falls in Strasbourg, the Christmas lights start to twinkle. 33 kilometers of garlands and hundreds of lights illuminate the city and immerse you in the magic of Christmas.

‱ The starlit promenade follows this year’s theme, “Allumons les Ă©toiles” (let’s light the stars) and shows off the city’s cultural heritage. The itinerary, which is lined with over 600 stars, runs from Square Louise-Weiss (Petite France) and pont Sainte-Madeleine, stopping by place du MarchĂ© aux Poissons and quai des Bateliers on the way.

‱ Thanks to decorations created by the city and local business owners, Strasbourg is transformed into a city of lights.

The main decorated route runs from rue du Vieux-Marché-aux-Poissons all the way to the Great Christmas Tree in place Kléber.

In rue du Vieux-Marché-aux-Poissons, the Porte des LumiÚres (gate of lights) marks the entrance to the Capital of Christmas.

In rue MerciÚre, angels with golden trumpets will encourage you to stop by place de la Cathédrale.

The streets of the CarrĂ© d’Or (rue des OrfĂšvres, rue du Sanglier, rue du Chaudron) show themselves in all their splendor. All aglow with warm yellow lights, shimmering garlands, red stars, and golden baubles, this neighborhood brings the enchantment of the season to life in a handful of narrow side streets around the Cathedral.

In rue des Grandes Arcades, alternating glittering baubles and red curtains will lead you to place Kléber and its massive Christmas tree.

In rue des Hallebardes, a row of giant mannele (Alsatian brioche men) light the way to the cathedral and place Gutenberg.

In rue des Tonneliers, you’ll find 22 bright barrel-shaped decorations, in reference to the street’s barrel-making history.

In rue du Maroquin, the decorated restaurant façades are also worth a detour.

Wait, there’s more!

‱ In Square Louise-Weiss (Petite France), the “Village de l’Avent” (Advent village) workshops invite participants to make Christmas decorations and greeting cards (limited room) from November 27th to December 26th. From December 27th to January 2nd, this space will become the “Village de l’aprĂšs” (the After village), giving out advice to start the new year off right.

‱ The marchĂ© Off, or Off market (place Grimmeisen in la Petite France) offers a different approach to the Christmas celebrations, by “giving meaning to your Christmas shopping”. This ethical, fair, and eco-conscious market showcases organic products from either fair-trade networks, co-ops, or independent craftspeople. Here, the wooden cabins have been replaced by industrial containers and a market hall, making for 2 different spaces: one for workshops, activities, and conferences, the other equipped with a bar and a stage for shows.

‱ Various other events will take place throughout the month: the performance “1,2,3,4… Allumons les Ă©toiles” near the Vauban Dam (every Saturday at 18:00), a flea market (in the Great Hall in l’Aubette), around the world in Christmas traditions (cour Saint-Nicolas), DIY workshops (5e lieu), guided tours, conferences, and concerts.

Explore the full program of festivities and find more information on health and safety measures on the “Strasbourg, Capital of Christmas” website

If you want to experience more of the magic of Christmas, several other Alsatian towns also have a Christmas market: Haguenau, Wissembourg, Saverne, Obernai, Barr, Molsheim, SĂ©lestat, Colmar, Riquewihr


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Event

L’Industrie Magnifique 2021 takes “place” in Strasbourg

A public art fair in Strasbourg squares!

From the 3rd to the 13th of June, the second-ever Industrie Magnifique (“magnificent industry”) celebrates art meeting industry in public spaces in Strasbourg.

70 artists from all over the world, sponsored by 35 benefactor companies, will present 30 original and monumental pieces they’ve created especially for the occasion. For 10 days, 20 public squares in Strasbourg are transformed into open-air art galleries.

This event is this the result of a project that is completely unique, with 3 players – artists, companies and local authorities – working together towards a common goal. For every collaboration, an artist will first meet with a company to create an original, monumental piece of art. Next, the artist-company duo will work with local authorities to exhibit the piece in a public square. Finally, the resulting pieces are presented at a major public event in the center of town: l’Industrie Magnifique.

Our favorite pieces:

‱ The spectacular installation “MUSEUM OF THE MOON” (Luke Jerram): a hyper-realistic moon, measuring 7 meters across, floating at the center of the nave in Strasbourg Cathedral. (The piece inside the Cathedral is a part of the “Cosmos District” by art collective L’OsosphĂšre, located in place du ChĂąteau.)

‱ The monumental sculpture “TERRE DE CIEL” (land/earth of sky) by Patrick Bartardoz: this three-dimensional Tower of Babel, over 7 meters tall, made from bricks, roof tiles, terracotta, metal and glass tiles, can be found in place Broglie.

‱ The poetic “PORTÉE AUX NUES” (praised to the skies) by BĂ©nĂ©dicte Bach: a dreamy sky full of clouds, made from different textures of white leather, suspended above rue des Hallebardes, with the Cathedral as a backdrop.

‱ The unique and quirky “LIBÈRE TON ÉNERGIE !” (free your energy) by David David, place des Tripiers: this piece uses the artist’s signature character “La TĂȘte dans L’art” (head in the arts), who is isolated from the hustle and bustle of society thanks to the paint bucket he wears on his head.

L’Industrie Magnifique

From the 3rd to the 13th of June 2021

30 pieces made by 70 artists, 20 squares in the center of Strasbourg

Access to the squares where the exhibition takes places is free.