A Medieval Treat from the Nuremberg Christmas Market

Gingerbread from the Nuremberg Christmas Market in Bavaria, Germany
Have you tried the medieval treat from the Nuremberg Christmas Market?

You probably have, even if you’ve never stepped foot in Nuremberg. But you may not have had the REAL treat. I can almost smell the cinnamon, Allspice and cloves. Just thinking about it takes me back to my childhood where I remember cutting out cookies in the shape of reindeer or Santa Claus.

Nuremberg’s medieval speciality is GINGERBREAD (lebkuchen in German).

Gingerbread bakers in Nuremberg first appeared in the records as early as 1395.

Nuremberg became famous for its gingerbread since it was on the spice route. Back in the Middle Ages wafer-based gingerbread (different from the gingerbread cookies found in North America) was considered a delicacy. Nuremberg soon took pride in making the best gingerbread and as early as 1441 there was a spice inspector at the city gates. Only the highest quality spices were allowed into the city, before being passed onto the gingerbread bakers.

Today, there are more than 4000 gingerbread bakers in Nuremberg today and the pride in making high quality gingerbread still stands, enhanced by the long tradition.
Gingerbread collector's tins from the Nurembergn Christmas Market in Bavaria, Germany

What to Purchase at the Nuremberg Christmas Market:

Gingerbread obviously!  I always buy one to eat on the spot and them some to take home and share with guests over the holidays.  I have a gluten allergy and had my very first gluten-free gingerbread here.  Not all stalls have it, but if you ask around you will find it.

Besides the gingerbread itself, the packing and containers can also be works of art. Some of them are even collector’s items.

It’s is also a great place to purchase high quality spices used to make gingerbread like cinnamon, Allspice, ginger, Aniseed, Candied lemon peel, or candied orange peel. You can compare your gingerbread making efforts to those of the Nuremberg Gingerbread Makers.

Did I mention that gingerbread goes nicely with another one of my favorites?  I’m talking about Mulled Wine:  The most popular drink at German Christmas Markets of course.

Fortunately there’s no shortage of that either!  Find out what to really and see and do at the Nuremberg Christmas Market.

Check out my new book, Bavaria’s Top Castles and Christmas Markets, now available on Kindle for just €2.99.

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guide to castles and Christmas markets in Bavaria, Germany

Laurel Robbins is the founder of Monkeys and Mountains, an adventure travel blog and company that helps people plan their active holidays in a sustainable way. Although Canadian, she lives in Germany. You can find her in the mountains on most weekends.


  1. Italian Notes December 3, 2012 at 5:41 pm - Reply

    I wonder whether there is ginger in the Nuremberg gingerbread, or if they are like the Danish ‘honningkage’ (honey cake)?

    • Laurel December 3, 2012 at 9:56 pm - Reply

      @Italian Notes – There is definitely ginger in nuremberg gingerbread, but I know there are also honey cakes as well.

  2. Zhu December 3, 2012 at 6:37 pm - Reply

    I had no idea the tradition was that old! Wow, medieval times… it’s fun to see it is still as popular nowadays, humans don’t change too much!

    • Laurel December 3, 2012 at 9:55 pm - Reply

      @Zhu – I was surprised to learn that gingerbread was so old as well…and that our tastes haven’t changed that much.

  3. Jennifer December 3, 2012 at 7:58 pm - Reply

    I had no idea gingerbread came from Nuremberg! I love gingerbread and mulled wine. I really need to plan to visit some German Christmas markets next season.

    • Laurel December 3, 2012 at 9:53 pm - Reply

      @Jennifer – Nuremberg is the best place in the world to buy gingerbread, that alone makes it worth visiting 🙂

  4. Jeff Titelius December 3, 2012 at 8:42 pm - Reply

    I am packing my bags as we speak! Give me some of that gingerbread…and mulled wine too please. ; ) Wonderfully delicious post my friend!

    • Laurel December 3, 2012 at 9:51 pm - Reply

      @Jeff – Thanks my friend. You would love it!

  5. Steve December 4, 2012 at 4:40 pm - Reply

    You take some home to share with guests over the holidays? Just how popular is your house at Christmas? (and I assume my invitation is still making it’s way overseas?)

    • Laurel December 4, 2012 at 6:41 pm - Reply

      @Steve – Mmm strange, your invitations must have gotten lost in the mail 😉

  6. Leigh December 4, 2012 at 9:42 pm - Reply

    I love gingerbread but my husband is allergic to ginger so I never make it. I need to visit this place on my own.

  7. Beverly Zapata December 3, 2016 at 9:03 pm - Reply

    Does anyone know where I can order gingerbread from Nuremberg

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