The famous Christmas markets at the foot of the Hohensalzburg Fortress date back to 1492. It has developed over the years and is open from November 23 to December 26. Traditional wooden huts are lined up in the squares offering tasty treats and local handcrafted jewellery, wooden toys and decorations from around the city.
Arnold Fellinger, who runs a bacon and cheese stall during the Market and is also the event’s marketing director, says “The Christmas markets are the best time to visit Salzburg.” There are strict rules in place in what can and cannot be sold and who holds one of the 96 stalls. “We only have one stall offering the one thing; it’s quality handmade products and it has to be from the Salzburg province,” he says. “We focus on handmade, handcrafted regional products, no overseas stalls, no plastic or rubbish.”
With the smell of mulled wine and chestnuts in the air with carols being sung, it feels like a beautiful fairy tale. Over a million visitors come from all over the world to see these markets. There are more than 90 events, including exhibitions of Christmas mangers and processions of Perchten in masks and costumes rattling chains and making raucous noise to drive winter away.
The Advent Brass Concert happens regularly during the festivities. Brass bands from around the country play advent music from different locations in the Cathedral and Residence squares. The Christ Child ‘appears’ on Cathedral Square, accompanied by its specially elected local ‘angels’, and St Nicholas, accompanied by his Krampus, make a visit with a bag full of gifts. There are also many other Christmas markets around the city with exhibitions and choirs singing. christkindlmarkt.co.at