How long have the Viennese Advent markets been in existence? Where does the tradition come from and which is the biggest in Vienna? Where can you even visit an Advent market on the rooftops of the city?
As early as 1382, Duke Albrecht III granted the privilege to hold the St. Kathrein market, which lasted 14 days before and 14 days after November 25. The debatable question now is whether this can be called the first Advent market? Whether this market was Christmassy, can not be answered, in any case it was cold and wintry.
Around 1600 there is evidence of a “Thomas Market” (named after St. Thomas, whom we celebrate on December 21) with the sale of sweets on the moat, but it was abandoned in 1761.
The traditional Viennese Christkindlmarkt as we know it today dates back to 1764 and changed its location several times. The stations were located from theFreyung, via Stephansplatz, Platz am Hof, Neubaugürtel, Kalvarienberggasse , to the square in front of the former Messepalast .
In 1918, it was moved to Stephansplatz and stalls were set up around the cathedral.
It was not until 1975 that it moved to the Rathauspark, initially as a temporary solution for the time when the underground car park in front of the Messepalast was being built. But as is so often the case in Austria, a temporary solution became a permanent one.
It is the largest Austrian Christkindlmarkt (Christmas market) and attracts millions of visitors from Austria and abroad. A main attraction is the big Christmas tree in front of the town hall, which is from a different state every year.
At the end of the 1980s, other Christmas markets developed, such as the one on Spittelberg, in front of Schönbrunn Palace, or the “Old Vienna Christmas Market” on the Freyung. At the farm there is a market, as well as in front of the Belvedere Castle. Meanwhile, a Christmas market is emerging on almost every square in Vienna.
A special Christmas market above the rooftops of Vienna can be found on the roof terrace of Hotel Lamee with a view of St. Stephen’s Cathedral . The Ritz Carlton has hosted Vienna’s highest and most exclusive Christmas market since 2014
Time Travel Tip: Vienna is especially beautiful around Christmastime because of the Christmas decorations, which look different in every alley in the city center. At the Christmas markets, people stroll, buy or simply eat and drink.