Dresden Christmas Market

         Friday, November 30th my parents arrived in Germany!! They only stayed a week so come Saturday morning we hit the ground running to get things done! First on our list, the Dresden Christmas Market. This Christmas Market is Germany's oldest Christmas Market with history dating back to 1434. We happened to go on opening weekend so it was VERY crowded, almost too crowded. It was hard to see what the different booths had to offer. Most Christmas Markets are set up in rows and make it easy to follow a pattern... Dresden was not like this at all! We kept walking down an aisle going "have we seen these yet." And of course there were multiple booths selling just Gluwein (hot spiced wine) and all kinds of junk food. My family loves hot chocolate which was a little harder to find but we made sure to get some. Also, each Christmas Market has their own mug for Gluwein or hot chocolate. When you buy a drink you pay for the beverage itself and a deposit on the mug. If you return the mug you get the deposit back but you can also keep the mug. 
     My Dad and I have started to collect a mug or two from every market we go to. Another awesome feature of the Dresden Christmas Market is the world's tallest Christmas pyramid, with a height of 14 meters. They also have the world's largest Nut Cracker but we couldn't find it. If you plan to go to the Dresden Christmas Market I would suggest going on a week day if possible. It's a large city so the Market gets very crowded on the weekends. 

        We drove to Dresden and stayed one night in Pirna which is about 25 minutes outside of Dresden. Because we went on opening weekend there were no openings at hotels in the city. We stayed at Hotel Elbparadies which was a very cute and quaint place. They don't speak any English but they were very nice. Breakfast was also included in the room price which is a rare find around here. If you don't want to drive to Dresden the train station is very close to the Market. It would be perfect to take a train ride up during the day just to see the Christmas market. Overall the Christmas Market was great. It was a good size with a lot of booths. The charm was wonderful and have a wide variety of gifts, toys and trinkets to look at! 

         This was not part of the Christmas Market, although it was in the middle of everything. This is the Dresden Frauenkirche, a Lutheran church in Dresden. Built in the 18th century, the church was destroyed in the bombing of Dresden during World War II. The remaining ruins were left as as an anti-war memorial. The church was rebuilt identically as before after the reunification of Germany.