Beautiful, historic Bamberg boasts no fewer than five Christmas markets. Along with the month-long market on Maximiliansplatz and the famous Krippenweg (Nativity Trail) are three weekend markets: the Medieval market, the Alternative Artisan market market and the Franconian Advent Market in the Sand District.
Christmas Market on the First Weekend of Advent Each Year on Sandstrasse
The Advent Market is held annually on the first weekend of Advent. Advent is the time period of the four weeks preceding Christmas. In 2017 the dates are 26 through 28 November. Generally, market hours are from around 4:00 p.m. on Friday until about 8:00 p.m., 11:00 a.m. on Saturday til about 8:00 p.m.; and 11:00 a.m. on Sunday til around 6:00 p.m.
Franconian Specialty Foods, Crafts, Concerts and More
Visitors can find entertainment such as live music at the market and handcrafted gifts in Bamberg’s historic pedestrian zone on Sand Street on the east side of the Regnitz River near the cathedral. Traditional Franconian foods are a specialty, as well as handmade gift items from about 25 craftspeople. Free live blacksmith demonstrations and other traditional or historic presentations can be enjoyed under festive seasonal decorations.
Concerts at the Medieval St. Elisabeth Church in Bamberg
Evening concerts are given at St. Elisabeth’s Church on Saturday and Sunday evening. The music is designed to remind the audience of the holiness of the season.
Medieval St. Elisabeth im Sand Church
St. Elisabeth’s Church was built as part of the St. Elisabeth hospital in Bamberg, and both date from the mid-1300’s. It was customary at the time to have a chapel attached to a hospital complex. Today the church is still an active part of the Catholic diocese in Bamberg.
How to Find St. Elisabeth Church and the Sand District
The Sand district is near the banks of the Regnitz River directly across the water from the historic Klein Venedig (Little Venice) fishermen’s houses. The neighborhood is located between the Bamberg Cathedral and the river.
From the most downstream bridge (Untere Bruecke) at the Altes Rathaus in Bamberg, follow Dominikanserstrasse west past the Schlenkerla brewery. This street becomes Untere Sandstrasse. About 500 yards from the bridge you will see St. Elisabeth on the right just before the intersection with Elisabethanstrasse. Most of the way will be pedestrian zones but watch out for taxis and city buses.