By Carola Meusel
USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs Office
A baroque-inspired Christmas village is located in Ludwigsburg’s historic downtown area. The market is illuminated by arches and gates made up of thousands of tiny lights. More than 170 stands offer Christmas decorations, handmade candles, jewelry and much more. The market is also famous for its freshly baked gingerbread and “Holzofendinnede,” or Swabian pizza.
Year-round, visitors to Ludwigsburg can enjoy the city’s rich culture, including one of Germany’s largest baroque castles, as well as two baroque churches and many other historic landmarks.
During the Ludwigsburg Baroque Christmas Market, the city adds a spark to its history by festively illuminating the landmarks and turning the city into a Christmas village.
Four majestic angels greet visitors with their illuminated wings as they enter the Christmas market, which is, according to the Ludwigsburg Tourist Information’s website, one of Germany’s most beautiful baroque Christmas markets.
“Visitors to Ludwigsburg are mainly impressed by the Christmas market’s one-of-a-kind atmosphere,” said Meike Wätjen, from Ludwigsburg’s press department. “The market square itself, with its two baroque churches, sets the stage for arches and gates which are made of thousands of tiny lights that span across the market and illuminate the Christmas village.”
The market features more than 170 festively decorated booths and its layout is modeled after a classic baroque garden.
The roomy passages make it easy for visitors to shop and enjoy the market’s offerings: Glühwein, crepes, Schupfnudeln (Swabian potato noodles with cabbage) and Maroni (roasted chestnuts), handmade silk scarves, jewelry, antique Christmas ornaments, pottery, angel figurines, wooden Christmas pyramids and smokers from the Erz Mountain region.
Try Swabian pizza
Patrons to the Ludwigsburg market can also indulge in a Swabian delight called “Holzofendinnede,” or Swabian pizza, which is typically baked in a wood burning oven. The Holzofendinnede is topped with potatoes, bacon, onions or with sour cream, and is served at several booths throughout the market.
Another highlight is the freshly baked gingerbread or “Lebkuchen” from Konrad Friedmann and Stefan Koch, the market’s official gingerbread bakers. In 2009, Friedmann and Koch set the Guinness Book world record by baking gingerbread one kilometer in length.
Visitors to the market can also witness the 3,000-year-old art of glassblowing or stop by the brush maker’s shop to watch the making of various household brushes and brooms.
Since 2010, the market began to display a “Salcher-Krippe,” or nativity scene, made exclusively for the market. Its wooden figurines were handcrafted in South Tyrol (Grödner Tal). The nativity scene is set up in front of Ludwigsburg’s Protestant Church at the market square.
The market also features a multifaceted entertainment program with local choirs, orchestras and artists, as well as theater performances, swing, jazz, folk and gospel concerts held every evening and on weekends.
The market offers a daily afternoon children’s program with clowns, magicians, ventriloquists and a puppet theater. Children can also enjoy a ride on a Ferris wheel and an antique merry-go-round.
For the Ludwigsburg “Christmas Spectacular,” King Friedrich I, the first king of Württemberg, will “reappear” with his royal entourage at the market every Saturday at 1 p.m. to bring Ludwigsburg’s baroque past back to life.
This year’s Christmas market runs through Dec. 22. The market is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, visit www.ludwigsburg.de.