This is a reposted article from 2021. All the markets are still around and very popular for local residents and tourists alike! Please enjoy, and we wish our blog visitors very happy holidays! Official information from the city of Münster on the Christmas Markets can be found here.
Christmas Markets as we know them today have moved far away from the practicality of the first historical markets, where people came to church squares from the surrounding region to stock up on food and supplies before the deep Winter . Nowadays, the Advent season in Germany seems incomplete without a visit to one of the markets for a drink with a friend, a little shopping, and taking in the sounds and smells associated with Christmas.
With a timeline dating back centuries (the first recorded Christmas Market in Dresden was just one day long in 1434 ), these traditional markets have been both embraced and disavowed at various points throughout history by politicians, capitalists, communists, and religious groups alike; they even played a nation-building, propaganda focused role during the rise of National Socialism in Germany . In the decades after World War II, however, Christmas Markets in their modern sense have reclaimed and redefined their important role in the landscape of German culture, growing in number and prominence both in Germany and abroad, with the markets even being replicated and celebrated across oceans .
In Münster, there are no less than six markets, mostly located throughout the city centre with a collective 300 stands for visitors to drink, eat, and shop at .
Known already in the region as a day trip destination for shopping, architecture, and dining, the addition of the Christmas Markets in Münster during the Advent season makes the city even more worth a visit. We invite you to follow along on-screen as we make a few stops at the markets and have a drink or two at one of the many Glühwein stands around the city.
At the oldest and largest Christmas Market in Münster, you can drink a Glühwein right next to the location where the historic Treaty of Westphalia was signed. In addition to the large selection of jewellery and arts-and crafts for sale, here you can also snack on a variety of Christmas classics, such as Flammkuchen, roasted almonds, and potato pancakes known in Germany as Reibekuchen.
With an extra focus on decoration, this market is complete with nativity scene, a six-meter tall wooden ‘Christmas pyramid’ typical of Germany, and a glockenspiel which plays for the visitors every half hour.
Giebelhüüskesmarkt on the Überwasserkirche
This market features many woodland-themed handcrafts and this year is in connection with an art exhibit inside the Überwasser church called CITY ADVENT, which happens every year and features a different art and light installation. When this post was originally published in 2021, the exhibition was very colorful – over 2000 plexiglas squares were hung at different heights, delighting visitors with a work of art that creates a magical atmosphere both during the day and especially in the evening, when lasers are added to the mix . The exhibit from 2021 is pictured below:
X-MS on the Harsewinkelplatz
Our last stop is at Münsters newest Christmas market, with a focus on goods that are local to Münster, sustainably made, and creative. Also to be spotted here among all the stands and market-goers is the ‘cherry pillar’ statue, a part of the Münster Skulptur Projekt, which one of our 2023 fellows, Elisha, was researching! Showing works of international art for free in public spaces, the project began in 1977 and is celebrated every ten years.
Easily recognisable by the little blue stands, the Christmas Market at the Lamberti Church greets guests who have just taken an enjoyable walk down the beautifully-lit Prinzipalmarkt.
Located right by the Kiepenkerl statue which represents the history of the young men who used to travel from town to town to deliver messages, transport goods, and even do a little bit of match-making, the market has a rustic feel to it, and is a perfect spot to enjoy a drink before sitting down for a typical Westphälichen dinner at either the Groß or Klein Kiepenkerl Restaurant.
With that, we conclude our virtual tour of the Münster Christmas Markets. The WiRe team wishes everyone a happy and healthy holiday season and a positive start in the new calendar year. Cheers!