Cobblestone streets in Hattingen, © Sandra Glomb Hattingen Marketing

Ex­plore the Nos­tal­gic Hat­tin­gen Christ­mas Mar­ket

It's that time of year again, have you taken a vis­it to the Me­di­ev­al town of Hat­tin­gen to cel­eb­rate Christ­mas yet?

In the his­tor­ic­al cen­ter of the Ruhr Val­ley, the old town of Hat­tin­gen pre­pares their half-timbered houses and cobble­stone streets for their an­nu­al Nos­tal­gic Christ­mas Mar­ket.

As the temperatures turn cooler and the sunny days turn to dusk, there’s one thing that’s bound to brighten the spirits in celebration of the holidays, Christmas Markets.

In the historical center of the Ruhr Valley, the old town of Hattingen prepares their half-timbered houses and cobblestone streets for their annual Nostalgic Christmas Market. This is not just any market, but a celebration that attracts thousands of visitors both local and international every year. 

From November 21st to December 22nd, the streets will be filled with Christmas jingles, festive lights and numerous little stalls offering sweets, traditional foods and Christmas trinkets for the holidays.  

But what makes the Hattingen Christmas Market so special?

The Story of Frau Holle 

If you've never heard about the story of Frau Holle from the Grimm Brother's, you might be in for quite a surprise when visiting the Hattingen Christmas Market. Every evening of the market, Frau Holle (or you may know her as Old Mother Frost) shakes out her pillow from a window high up in the town hall in the center of the town. It is said that when Frau Holle appears from the window and shakes her pillows out, it will snow. While the evening performances are in German, it's still quite an experience to celebrate the holidays.  

The Medieval Charm

The Ruhr valley is a well-known region for industry development and urban spaces, but what makes Hattingen so different? There’s something to be said about the quaint surprises Hattingen has to offer. Hattingen is a place where you can enjoy a peaceful stroll along the cobblestone streets and stop for a cup of steamy coffee with an old friend. In November, this Medieval charm comes to life with the Nostalgic Christmas Market, the mulled wine and the smell of flammkuchen baking in the stone ovens.


The Opportunity to Explore

If you haven’t had the chance to visit Hattingen, there is ample opportunity to explore, even during the Christmas season. Spend a weekend in relaxation as you explore the old town Christmas market and embrace the nature along the Ruhr valley cycle route. Take a trip to the Heinrichshütte and you’ll find the oldest blast furnace in the Ruhr valley. Visit one of the three remaining castles in the area, like the Haus Kemnade which is a 16th-century castle built on a moat. Christmas, castles, and historical tours, what could be better?

Take a day or a full weekend to enjoy the Christmas season in relaxation. Walk the cobblestone streets of this Medieval town, find your favorite half-timbered house and take in the sweet smells of roasted almonds and gingerbread cookies as you make your way through the Nostalgic Christmas Market of Hattingen.


Dates of operation: November 21 - December 22, 2016
Opening hours: Sunday - Thursday, 12:00pm - 8:00pm, Friday - Saturday, 12:00pm - 9:00pm
Location: Hattingen Altstadt (inner city)

Written by Jenna Davis | Life in Düsseldorf

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