by Carola Meusel
USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs Office
Holiday lights draped from trees, the smell of fresh “Glühwein,” or mulled wine, and baked cinnamon waffles float through the air.
Entering the “Christkindlesmarkt” in Möhringen is like stepping into a winter fairy tale. The magical atmosphere makes for a splendid start into the most festive season of the year – the beginning of the Christmas season.
The Möhringer Christmas market features more than 60 artfully decorated stands located between Martin’s Church and the regional town hall, offering homemade apple-cinnamon marmalade, handmade decorations, jewelry, candles and a lot of tasteful food such as Crêpe, waffles, “Bratwurst,” or brats, and a variety of Swabian specialties.
Of course, a glass of hot Glühwein is necessary for every visit to a Christmas market, and warms up any holiday shopper. Even for the little ones, this market hides some sweet surprises, from a visit by Santa to leisurely pony rides, or a glass of “Kinderpunsch,” a non-alcoholic version of the winter drink typically made of apple or orange juice mixed with cinnamon, fruit tea, lemon and honey.
This particular Christmas market is located in the old town center of Möhringen, next to the landmark of the city – the Martin’s Church, also known as the “Filderdom.” Built between 1852 and 1855 in the new gothic style, the church’s tower stands 63 meters high. The regional town hall, which sets behind it, was built in 1836 to 1837 and also serves as a historic setting for the event.
Besides this seasonal atmosphere, there is another reason for visiting this market. Its tradition dates back to the year 1975, and the market is known as the largest fund-raising Christmas market in the greater Stuttgart area.
This Christmas market only exists because of the dedication and belief in the good will of helping others – which is the true reason for the holiday season. Proceeds from the market are collected by local organizations in support of needy people in the area or even for projects in developing countries.
The market is solely organized by volunteers working throughout the year on their wares to sell. Every year, more than 600 volunteers keep the annual market alive, according to Jürgen Lohmann, Möhringen’s district mayor.
And this indicates the most convincing fact, with a glass of Glühwein or a little present, be it between €2 and €25, visitors are helping others.
Typically, Stuttgart city officials sell Bratwurst and Glühwein every year to support the market’s message, according to Lohmann.
“Also, we’re selling the best Glühwein in Stuttgart,” Lohmann said.
Military community members should not miss this year’s market with its enjoyable and local character. Especially those living in and around Kelley Barracks, it is just a five-minute drive by car or a short walk.
“It’s a small, but unique market, which makes for a cozy atmosphere to meet people, have good conversations, enjoy homemade foods and be merry. During the market, the entire city comes together for a good cause and we’re always happy to see our American neighbors join us for this Swabian Christmas market,” Lohmann said.
This year`s market will be held Nov. 29 and is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The market is located in the inner city of Möhringen around the “Bezirksamt” (regional town hall) and the Martin’s Church on Maierstrasse. For a festive ending to this year’s market and as a special start into the Advent season, don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy the annual Christmas concert at 6 p.m. held at the Martin’s Church.