December has arrived, so we are entering this wonderful period, bringing us closer to Christmas. Of course, it is a time of many organizational challenges: preparing a Christmas menu for the whole family, taking care of the Christmas decorations in our homes, writing a letter to Santa Claus, who certainly has a lot of work in December, but he will surely manage to prepare gifts for all our loved ones.
This is also a special time for the Shrines of Europe cities, which receive many pilgrims and tourists during Advent who, for religious and tourist reasons, choose sanctuary cities as the destination of their Christmas-related travels.
Shrines of Europe cities emphasize the uniqueness of the holiday season every year. Christmas fairs are organized and interesting cultural and entertainment events are presented for residents, pilgrims and tourists. We will tell you about some of them. Because it's always worth being with Shrines of Europe, but especially now - during this special Christmas time!
On the last weekend of November, the Christmas Market - the traditional Christkindlmarkt - was inaugurated in Altötting. It certainly pleased all the children and adults visiting it. Hundreds of twinkling lights, Christmas music, and the smells of Christmas wafting over the numerous food stands make the Christmas atmosphere here can be experienced with all of your senses. As every year, the Kapellplatz turned into a Christmas town. Visitors can expect unique products from local craftsmen, cultural attractions and wonderful Christmas decorations, while occasional Advent concerts are organized in nearby churches and at FORUM CULTUR + KONGRESS. Details can be found here: https://www.altoetting.de/tourismus/entdecken-erleben/advent-in-altoetting/
Einsiedeln - a charming monastery town in Switzerland - is also worth visiting during this period. Picturesquely located, now even more magical thanks to the fair on the main street. A unique attraction awaits guests of this year's Fair: an impressive tractor parade! On the evening of December 3, 2023, farmers will give their thanks for the people's trust in their work. Agricultural machines decorated for this occasion will certainly be of interest to farming enthusiasts of all ages. Details here: eyz.swiss/top-events
The festive atmosphere also came to Ourem in Portugal. On December 7, the city will shine with Christmas illuminations, which will surely please both children and adults. And from December 1 to 3 you will be able to see a musical roller circus there! This unique event is one of the presentations organized on the occasion of the upcoming Christmas. In Ourem you will also be able to: watch Christmas movies, take part in Christmas concerts and performances. And on December 10, none other than Santa Claus himself will come to town! You can read about all events organized by our Portuguese friends here: https://www.ourem.pt/evento/programa-natal-ourem-2023/
Christmas trees and golden lights, nativity scenes and decorations, the smell of punch and gingerbread, walks in the snow, the picturesque background of the basilica... This year, for the 23rd time, Mariazeller Advent - the largest traditional Christmas market in Austria will put visitors into the festive mood. Open from Thursday to Sunday until December 23 has a special website that is available here: https://www.mariazeller-advent.at/
The spirit of Christmas can be felt more and more in Częstochowa. Christmas illumination will be lit here today, which will especially please the youngest this year. There is a train and a big toy car waiting for children. For those who love thrills, there is an observation wheel from which you can admire the winter panorama of the city. On the weekends before Christmas, we invite you to visit one of the fairs. Traditional products, mulled wine and honey, handicrafts, colorful baubles - at the Christmas stalls you will find everything that will surely make the holiday season more enjoyable.
For details, see here: http://www.czot.pl/n88,XVI-Targi-Bozonarodzinowe-Gwiazdkowa-Aleja-2023-15-17-grudnia-br-w-Czestochowie
Hundreds of lights illuminating the city, a magnificent Christmas tree in Piazza della Madonna di Loreto, a Christmas train, Santa's house, the largest nativity scene in the Marche region, Christmas concerts, events for families and children - all this in Loreto, which has perfectly prepared for Christmas 2023, engaging its residents to jointly prepare and celebrate these most important holidays of the year. The program is really rich. Loreto literally shines with its own light! You can't miss this!
Christmas has also come to Lourdes. There is a program full of attractions that will allow the whole family to spend unique moments. Together, you can discover "The Amazing Story of Santa Claus" inspired by Charles Dickens at the Palais des Congrès de Lourdes, take part in concerts, a fair offering traditional regional products, see an exhibition of Christmas nativity scenes, and enjoy beautiful Christmas decorations. The Sanctuary illumination will be available until Epiphany, so visit this place during this special time and immerse yourself in the unique Christmas atmosphere.
What more could you want from this time before Christmas? :)