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Discover a true Christmas wonderland as Amy Shuster visits Germany's Christkindlmarkt, a Christmas festival dating back to the 16th century.

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Transcript

- Hey everybody. Welcome, and I'm Amy Shuster, and I am in the Bavarian region of Germany in the historical city of Nuremberg, and I'm standing at the Christkindlmarket. There's a Christmas festival, dating back to the 16th century and draws millions of visitors. Lasting four weeks, the festival ends on December 24th. And today is the opening day. I can't wait to check it out. Let's do it! Come with me as I take you on a tour through some of the most popular festivals in the world, where people from all over indulge their senses in a celebration of local treats and time honored traditions. You with me? Let's do it. The Christkindlmarket is a time of year when locals and tourists alike come together to celebrate the true essence of Christmas. Embracing the child-like awe of the holiday spirit. Everywhere you turn, you'll find music and rides, festive displays, toys, and holiday treats. This is chocolate kiss, so cute. This is a zebra one with a marshmallow center. It's really crunchy, but yet soft in the middle. Messy but fun to eat. And if you really want to get to the holiday spirit, you can take a traditional horse carriage ride. The bright yellow coaches take visitors all around the cobblestone streets that surround the market. So cool! As Bavaria's second largest city, Nuremberg is bustling with visitors year round, and especially during its annual Christmas market. The city was established around the river, Pegnitz, which separates the Lorenz old town district of the south from the Sobald, old town district in the north. Taking a stroll along these picturesque bridges and canals can really give you a sense of the classic beauty of this historical city. At the top of the hill in the northern district, I arrived at the Imperial Castle. From this vantage point, I had a panoramic view of the medieval architecture, juxtaposed against the modern buildings below. Wow! This medieval castle looms over the old town. It's an epic view. I can definitely see where the inspiration for all the gingerbread houses came from, because all these houses look so cute. Walking around, you realize that every building, fountain, and statue, they all tell a unique story. This is the merry-go-round fountain. It tells a story, it seems pretty dark and grim. It symbolizes the ups and downs of marriage. Definitely tells a story here. This is definitely the medieval side of the city. I love it. There's no doubt that remnants of Nuremberg's medieval past continue to linger in the city. I even found myself underground in a medieval torture chamber that had been preserved for hundreds of years. Right now I'm standing inside of a 700 year old prison, a medieval dungeon, you come here when you've been very, very bad. So this is one of the main torture chambers. This room looks especially owie. Really intense stuff happening in here. I mean, who knows what they're doing with that. I don't know what that is. Ow, ouch, oof, owie, I don't even wanna know. I've seen the highest view in Nuremberg, and now I've seen the lowest. But I'm sure these walls have a lot of stories to tell. So I'm told that this creative looking device over here was used to torture their thumbs. I'm sure it's very painful. Just being in here gives me the heeby-jeebies. All right, let's get out of here. After that, I made my way over to explore the many stunning churches of Nuremberg. Among the most famous, St. Lorenz and St. Sobald, each are gilded inside and out. And at the eastern end of the Christkindlmarket is the ornate, gothic, Frauenkirche, also known as the Church of Our Lady. As part of the opening ceremonies at the festival, a prologue is given each year, here, from this very balcony. Hello people of Nuremberger! As the day grows later, the Christkindlmarket begins to fill up with shoppers and revelers all browsing the numerous stands for traditional treats and unique holiday gifts. These little figurines have been sold at the Christmas market for decades. They make a great souvenir, just don't try to eat them. You guys, these are made from little prunes and nuts, they're like little prune dudes. These are awesome. I totally need to get one. I'm so lonely, I wish I had a friend. Hello, how are you doing? Muah! Do, do, do, do, do, do, do. Another way that Germans celebrate is to honor Nuremberg as the birthplace of the gingerbread. Here, you will find endless variations of these sweet and spicy treats. Ooo, these look yummy. - This all gingerbread. - Gingerbread. - Okay, which one do you recommend? I'd love to try one. - You can try all this. - I'd love to eat them all but. - All of them are for three. - Let's try this guy, 'cause he looks really pretty. - This one? - Yeah. - Here. - Thank you. That's a big cookie. That's good. There's a lot of spices happening here. It's a lot sweeter than traditional gingerbread. I found out that shop owner, Rainer Nusselt makes all his gingerbread at a local kitchen right around the corner. So I asked him if he'd take me to his kitchen to learn how to make gingerbread from scratch. Sugar, go on in. - All inside. - Yes. What is this? - Marzipan. - Marzipan? Okay. - Mmm, tastes like, yeah, apricots, honey, orange, got a little piece. What is that? - Egg whites. - Egg whites, got it. - Yes. - I know what that is. That's it? - Now we have to let it whip. - Oh. Ah, I need one of these for my house. That's awesome. It is a big, clumpy, delicious mess. Aw yeah. It looks like the marzipan, that mixture, is what's giving it this beautiful color. - Yeah, marzipan. - The orange peel, awesome. That's the secret. I never cook enough with orange peel. How many years have you been making these for the past? - 10 years. - 10 years? Wow, how long have you had your bakery? - 15 years. - Oh, wow. So a long time. And is it always the same recipe, or do you mix it up each year? - It's always the same recipe? - The original gingerbread is from Nuremberg. - Gingerbread was originated in Nuremberg. - Yes. - Nice. Yeah, I can start to smell it now that it's all congealed and mixed together, it's so yummy. - Like spices, all spices. - Okay. - These look like nuts, yeah? - Those are all the nuts, yeah. - Great. Awesome, yes. I'm getting excited. - What's that? Flour. - Done. - I can definitely smell all the awesome spices that went in there, there's gotta be some nutmeg and cinnamon and of course the ginger. It's so yummy. So now we mix, yeah? - Okay. - Great. Yes. - No problem. - Yeah? All right, don't tell anybody. Mmmm. Smiling. Oh, it's yummy. - It's good? - Yeah, a lot of good spices going on in there. - Okay. - Yeah. Yeah. It's going. Oh. I did it! Looks good? - Perfect. - All right, I'm hired. - Very nice, very nice. - I love this, it's so much fun. At the market I saw so many gingerbread. How many did you make for the festival? - 10,000. - 10,000? Woo! Wow. That's a lot, that's a lot of gingerbread. - [Baker] Yes it is. - All right, the moment of truth. - Okay. - We're ready. Wow. Yay! - Looks like very nice. - It looks awesome! These make me feel like Christmas. Besides gingerbread, Nuremberg also has a reputation for another famous, German dish, grilled sausages. So I just purchased a traditional, Nuremberg sausage roll. Basically means three sausage roll. I think this is great for a festival like this to just grab and go when you're hungry. It's perfect. Mastered over centuries, its unique recipe was written down all the way back in 1497. And because I can't help myself, I had to get my fix of German sausages at the famous Bratwursthäusle. - Hello. - Hi, hello. What is the most popular sausage? - We have a popular brute sausage, first one. - Okay. - Or we have broiled sausage or smoked sausage. - Can I have one of each? - That's all? - Yeah, thank you, awesome. Yay! I'm so excited to dig into this meal. This place is known for their sausages. What's great about the grilled sausages here are that they grill them over beechwood, so it really infuses a lot of flavor into the meat. Mmm. That's great. That's nice, it's juicy, taste a little bit of the char, and the beechwood really infuses some flavor in there. It's fantastic. This right here is the broiled sausage. I love this. They all have such distinct flavors. They're all really good. You can't go wrong with either. This place is so full of character and tradition everywhere you look. I was so curious about its origins that I called over the owner to find out more - Our family runs this place for 52 years now. - Okay. - First mention of this restaurant was 1330. - Wow. - It is one of the oldest restaurants in the world and the oldest restaurant in Nuremberg. But in the war it was destroyed, and it was rebuilt on the other side of the church. - I see. Well, it's really fantastic. Great to be able to see it cooking right here. Thank you so much, this was delicious. - You're welcome. You have a nice time in Nuremberg. - Having a great time, thank you. As I head back to the Christkindlmarket, the plaza is lit up with thousands of twinkly lights. And everywhere you turn, you can smell the aroma of gingerbread, grilled sausages, and mulled wine. - Hello. - Hi! Wow, what is that? - Shish kebab. Pork meat and onions. - Yes. - Shish kebab. - Yes, shish kebab. - I can do that one. Can I get one? - One? - Yeah. Looks great. - [Woman] You want it a little bit spicy? - Yeah, what do you put on it? Yeah. - [Man] Spicy. - Sure, let's do it. When in Nuremberg. Let's go all the way. What is that, ketchup? - [Woman] So it's a special sauce. - Oh he's loading it on there. There's so much of it, oh my god. I love that. - [Man] Spicy. - Yes, thank you. This looks awesome. - [Woman] You're welcome. - Specialty of Nuremberg? - Only here. You can buy it only here. - Ugh, that looks really good, can you guys see that? That looks so juicy. Mmmm, yeah. Oh yeah. And it's definitely spicy, there's a lot of curry on that. Thank you so much, this is delicious. - You're welcome. - It's really yummy. Definitely recommend this when you're at this market. Get the . What she said. Bye. - [Woman] Bye. Filling this large, cobblestone plaza are numerous open stalls selling traditional Franconia products, like wooden Christmas decorations. - Hello. - Hi. - Hi, these are really beautiful. They look like cookies? What are these? Yeah, it looks like it's an ornament, this one? They're edible? They're so pretty. How do you pronounce this? Springerle? - [Woman] Yes. - That's how you say it, these are Springerle? - [Woman] Sprngerle. - What are they made out of? - They're made out of kind of a... - Okay. Yeah. They're very pretty, is this a tradition here at the Christkindlmarket? Okay. Really? So it was old school, popular, people forgot, and they're back for vengeance. Yeah, well they look so pretty. These are so detailed, are they made by hand, or how are the designs? Okay. It's just like a wood mold, has a design that somebody carves? Is it like a laser cut thing or hand carved? Okay, these days a machine cuts it, but I'm sure back in the day they were hand made, yeah? Do you have a mold I can see? Wow. That's cool. This is really beautiful. So if somebody was to buy this, could they essentially make their own at home? Yeah. Oh, awesome. I love it. This is beautiful. Uh-huh, I can see the. - [Woman] Yeah. - Yeah, that's great. Thank you so much. I'm getting so many goodies here at the Christkindlemarket, it's awesome. Edible, decorative, delicious, very nice. I've learned that the origins of the Christkindlmarket are unknown, but the oldest piece of evidence relating to it is a box made of coniferous wood. Dating all the way back to 1628. I want to show you this, these beautiful, Rauschgoldengels are a big part of Nuremberg history, dating back to medieval times, and legend has it that the creator made the angel in honor of his daughter who passed, and the faces are made out of wood and the wings are made out of gold, and that's what the name came from. It's very beautiful, and you can find them all over the market. Christkindlmarket can be translated world-for-word as Christ Child Market, the Nuremberg Christ Child is a very important part of the market. She's known as the gift giver, and officially opens up the market for the season. All the way since 1969, the Christ Child has been elected from Nuremberg, and holds the position for two years. This year, the Christ Child is an 18 year old girl named Barbara Oda, and I even had the chance to talk to her. How did it go tonight? - It went very well, I didn't have any problems speaking up there, I just felt happy and it was awesome. - Yeah? - Standing up there, looking down at the people. - You were great, thank you. It was very beautiful. And good luck for the next two years. - Thank you. - Enjoy it. - I will, definitely. - There's so many different varieties of gingerbread here, I love it. Check this out. This looks so pretty. I could never make one this beautiful. There are so many highlights of the market, but the thing I've heard the most buzz about is the Fuerzangen Bowle, an egg-based, alcoholic drink, which I hear is absolutely delicious and thee drink of choice for all the after hours festivities. I'm a little bit scared. It sounds really strong. - It's not scary because you don't get a headache. - Oh, it's sweet. It's strong and sweet. - Yeah, you got the taste of rum, you got it? - I got the rum, yeah, but it's nice. - Yes. Thank you, this is delicious. Thank you. Cheers. Thanks guys!

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