CONTRIBUTED BY SARAH WETHERWAX
Christmas in Germany is truly a special time of gathering with friends to visit Christmas Markets and drink gluhwein. While you’re planning out your Christmas Market strategy, I’d like to suggest adding this activity to your itinerary.
Surrounded by vineyards, the more than 1,000-year-old Cochem Castle overlooks the Mosel River. For a weekend in December, actors in historical costumes present a live nativity play. A narrator guides the audience through the inner courtyards of the castle where different scenes of the Christmas story come to life.
A very pregnant Mary, with Joseph and a donkey, begin the tour. The audience follows their journey through the castle as they encounter the inn keeper. Shepherds with real sheep are visited by an angelic messenger. The Wise Men follow a brightly lit star. And finally, there, in the manger, is baby Jesus.
Even though the performance is all in German, my family could easily follow the familiar scenes as they were presented. The children loved seeing the costumes and live animals. At the end of the performance, the children were each given a small gift from the Wise Men: a chocolate gold coin.
As you exit the castle, several Christmas market stalls offer traditional gifts and food items. You may even purchase a hot gluhwein to warm your hands. Be sure to keep your mug as a souvenir to remember your experience of a Nativity in a Castle!
Take time out to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas, and experience it in a uniquely German way!
Tips for Your Trip:
December 12 and 13, 2015
From 1300-1800 both days
Family ticket: €16 (two adults and at least two children between 4 and 17 years old)
There are no parking facilities available on site. You may park in the town of Cochem and walk up 350m to the castle (please note: this is an uphill walk). Or, you may take the shuttle train that starts at the Endertplace (Tourist-Information).