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Posts tagged ‘Christmas tree’

Potsdamer Weihnachtsmarkt, Blauer Lichterglanz, Potsdam, Brandenburg, Germany, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday: Potsdamer Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas Market)

Located about 30 kilometres southwest from Berlin, Potsdam is the capital city of the German federal state of Brandenburg. The proximity with Berlin means it’s an easy afternoon- or day-trip to visit Sans Souci Park and a relaxed wander through the city’s Old Town. But there’s also an easy half-mile (800 metres) walk through the heart of the Old Town to see and sample the city’s Christmas market during the holiday season by day or at night. Accompanied by sparkling (blue) lights, the sights and smells of mulled wine, hot chocolate, grilled sausages, roasted nuts, and sweets from various market stands are sure to tempt even the most stubborn of passers-by.

Potsdamer Weihnachtsmarkt, Blauer Lichterglanz, Potsdam, Brandenburg, Germany, fotoeins.com

Christmas pyramid

Potsdamer Weihnachtsmarkt, Blauer Lichterglanz, Potsdam, Brandenburg, Germany, fotoeins.com

This Brandenburg Gate (1770) is smaller but older than Berlin’s version.


Click on the arrow-window icon at the upper-left corner of the map below to view the legend.

I made the photos above on 8 December 2015. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-9d6.

Angel of light, Christmas market, Vánoční trhy na Staroměstském náměstí, Vánoční trhy, Staroměstském náměstí, Old Town Square, Praha, Prague, Czech Republic, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday: Hark, the herald angel lights in Praha

One thing about which I’m particularly attracted at Christmas Markets are the lights. Having frequented the Czech capital city of Prague, the surprise is entirely mine when sparkly angels of light appear in time for the city’s Christmas markets. This angel in the northwest corner of Old Town Square points to the towering spires of the Church of Our Lady before Týn. At the foot of the church are the Jan Hus memorial statue and the ever-present and illuminated Christmas tree.

I made the photo above on 4 December 2008 with the Canon EOS450D (XSi), EF-S 18-55 IS kit zoom-lens, and the following settings: 0.5s, f/4.5, ISO200, 18mm focal length (29mm full-frame equivalent). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-7ke.

My Berlin: Mitte on Christmas Eve

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the Hauptstadt,
no residents were stirring, not even a tourist …

Well, except me, that is …

It’s little surprise many find themselves where they’re supposed to be on Christmas Eve.

Ever since visiting Berlin the first time in 2002, I’ve always entertained the idea of photographing the German capital city during winter holidays. The city slows down, becomes quiet, and sits back as if to take a deep long breath.

Crammed train stations seem cold, emptied of all who normally stream through the halls. The usual sounds of the city are muted by diminished traffic on the day before Christmas and by the sound-diffusing and -absorbing property of falling snow. City fixtures and Christmas decorations cast bright spotlights down on the ground layer of snow while diffuse glow of colour is scattered up to the cloud deck overhead.

Under blizzard-like conditions and little street traffic, I cannot deny myself this beautiful photographic opportunity.

( Click here for more )

Frolicking in Frankfurt am Main at Christmas

Why are there shoulder-to-shoulder crowds braving heavy snowfall while packed in tiny slushy streets in Germany’s financial centre? It’s got to be the Frankfurter Weihnachtsmarkt or Frankfurt’s Christmas Market.

Frankfurt am Main (pronounced “mine”) has a reputation of staid people concerned only with making money in “Main-hattan” and the apparent transgression of simply being “physically unattractive” compared to other cities in the nation. But the city’s people makes up for these perceived failings with a large Christmas market almost one kilometre in length. Frankfurters work hard and party hard, turning modern can-do energy into high holiday tradition.

Frankfurt’s Christmas Market begins at the pedestrian-only shopping area that is the Zeil just outside Hauptwache train station, continues south on Liebfrauenstrasse and Neue Kräme to Paulsplatz, meanders on and expands out to the “market’s centre” at Römerberg square in the heart of the Altstadt (Old Town), and south again onto Fahrtor towards Mainkai on the northern shore of the river Main.

With an obligatory Glühwein in hand, the compactness of a long continuous market packing a maximum number of people is a big reason why I enjoy this Christmas market. It’s an occasion I don’t mind crowds, although sometimes I wonder at the looks and smiles on people’s faces: this is Frankfurt?!

Another highlight is the 30-metre (over 100-feet) high Christmas tree at Römerberg. A third highlight is that with the earliest recorded mention of Frankfurt’s Christmas Markets in 1393, people in the subsequent six centuries know a lot about local Christmas customs; for example, their version of the humble Reibkuchen (potato pancakes) rivals those at other markets around the country.

With over three decades spent in Köln, one of my best friends in Germany loves the Christmas markets in his hometown Karneval City, but there are three reasons why the Frankfurt market is special to him. “It’s at this market where I met a woman for our first date, and she’s the one whom I eventually married,” says Ömer. “They’ve got the best Reibkuchen around. Finally, there’s a ‘Honey Hut’ where the local Imkerei (beekeeping, apiculture) sets up shop with various kinds of honey, honey liquor, and Christmas figures and candles made from bees’ wax.”

I could sip on that smooth honey liquor all day; Reibkuchen with apple sauce are light not oily; and I can understand how even a staunch Kölner can enjoy Frankfurt’s market.


To reach the city’s Christmas market by public transport, take the S-Bahn train to Hauptwache, or U-Bahn to Hauptwache or Dom/Römer stations. In the map below, the green solid line shows the approximate extent of Frankfurt’s central Christmas market, and the green tree marks the location of the large Christmas tree at Römerberg.

Andrew Couch and Alison Garland also provide deliciously colourful perspectives of the Frankfurter Weihnachtsmarkt.

With three photos made by Ömer Kutbay (ÖK), I made these photos on 18 December 2010. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com.

15000th photo with the 450D in Berlin

Brandenburger Tor S-Bahn U-Bahn Berlin

  • 2317h CET, Christmas Eve 2010
  • Brandenburg Gate; S/U Brandenburger Tor (formerly, S-Bahn Unter den Linden) : Berlin, Germany
  • EOS 450D camera + EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens : 1/13s, f/4, ISO800, no tripod

This was a part of a set of photos I took up on the steps from the Brandenburger Tor S-Bahn/U-Bahn station at Pariser Platz. In all of the shenanigans, I realized I had just made photograph number 15000 with my camera.

Initially posted on Posterous, the post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress on fotoeins.com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-15.

Christmas markets, Prague Old Town Square (part 2)

It’s Christmas Day (2010).

The skies are grey, streets and buildings are covered in a layer of white, and all is relatively quiet on the European continent, despite the travel snarls and traffic disruptions in the air and on the ground.

On this Christmas Day, my series on Christmas markets in Europe continues with a second set of photographs at the market at Old Town Square (Staroměstské náměstí) in Prague.

Merry Christmas / Frohe Weihnachten / Veselé vánoce!

Christmas market, Old Town Square, Prague

Kostel Svatý Mikuláš (St. Nicholas Church), Old Town Square, Prague

Christmas market, Old Town Square, Prague

Christmas market, Old Town Square, Prague

Christmas market, Old Town Square, Prague

Icicles, Christmas market, Old Town Square, Prague

Christmas market, Old Town Square, Prague

Christmas market, Old Town Square, Prague

The first set of photographs made at Old Town Square is at here. A set of photographs made at Wenceslas Square can be found here.

The photos above were made on 4 December 2010 with the Canon EOS450D camera, EF 50mm/1.4 lens, and no tripod. Published initially on 25 Dec 2010 to Posterous, this post has moved and now appears on Fotoeins Fotopress (fotoeins.com).

Christmas markets, Prague Old Town Square (part 1)

While visiting Prague in early December (2010), I visited the Christmas market at Wenceslas Square, and made my way eventually to the (larger) Christmas market at Old Town Square (Vánoční trhy na Staroměstském náměstí).

Prague’s Old Town Square is one of the oldest parts in Prague where the original charter or incorporation as the city we know today was created. The present-day version of Old Town Square is one of the most important public areas in the city. Regardless of the time of year, no festival is too large to be held in this beautiful historical square.

It might be cold at this time of year, but everyone’s out having a good time with some svařené víno (mulled wine), klobása (sausage), or pečené kaštany (roasted chestnuts). If the wine’s too much, there’s always punč (punch) or čaj (tea) to sip on and stay warm.

So grab a drink, walk around, and have a look at the lights and fixtures at the Christmas market in Prague’s Old Town Square.

Old Town Hall, Old Town Square, Prague

Christmas decorations, Old Town Square, Prague

Christmas decorations, Old Town Square, Prague

Light fixtures, Old Town Square, Prague

Light angel, Old Town Square, Prague

Angel light fixture, Old Town Square, Prague

Back of the angel, Old Town Square, Prague

Crazy Czechs, Old Town Square, Prague

Old Town Hall, Old Town Square, Prague

The second set of photographs made at Old Town Square is located here. A set of photographs made at Wenceslas Square can be found here.

The photos above were made on 4 December 2010 with the Canon EOS450D camera, EF 50mm/1.4 lens, and no tripod. Published initially on 23 Dec 2010 to Posterous, this post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com.

Christmas Markets, part 2 : Munich Marienplatz

With two weeks to Christmas (10 Dec 2010), I’m continuing my series on Christmas Markets, which will eventually take me to Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, and Prague.

One of the main and most popular Christmas markets in the Bavarian state capital is found in the Altstadt (Old Town) at Marienplatz. The market here is spread out in front of the Neues Rathaus, and this year’s giant of a Christmas tree hails from Garmisch-Partenkirchen, if the signs nailed to the trunk are true. There are stalls offering Christmas decorations and tree ornaments; candied hearts with declarations of love (“ich liebe dich”); scarves, hats, and mitts for bipeds or quadrupeds; roasted nuts; grilled steak or, of course, the humble Bratwurst; fried potato pancakes; and the ubiquitous Glühwein.

Glühwein (mulled wine) is heated red-wine with spices, e.g., cloves, citrus, cinnamon, sugar, etc. At any given Christmas market, Glühwein can be had from any number of countless stalls. You can often order Glühwein “mit Schuss”, which is an extra shot of rum or liqueur. Not only do you pay for the Glühwein, there’s also a modest deposit for the mug in which the hot grog is served. After finishing your drink, you can keep the mug as a souvenir of your visit to the market, or you can return the mug from the original booth or stall and get your deposit back. It’s easy to see how over time your cabinets become filled with Glühwein mugs which change annually and can be different from one market to another (or even, one stall to another).

Over a number of sessions were a few Glühwein and a few Wurst consumed (or destroyed), as far as I can remember. Walking through the markets at any time day or night can be problematic, if one stumbles into the market either hungry or cold with the warm delicious smells of food and drink wafting through the air. But rest assured that with a few euros jangling in your pocket waiting to be freed, it’s always good to know the invitation to consume and partake is always open.

Marienplatz by day
Marienplatz by day
Muenchner Kipperlmarkt
Marienplatz Weihnachtsmarkt
Chorus at Marienplatz Weihnachtsmarkt
Marienplatz by night
Marienplatz by nightMarienplatz by night

Photos above were made at Munich’s Marienplatz with the Canon EOS450D camera and the EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens.

Appearing initially on Posterous on 10 Dec 2010, this post has moved and now appears on Fotoeins Fotopress (fotoeins.com).

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