Christmas markets to celebrate… simple

Christmas markets to celebrate... simple

When you first arrive in the old center of the second largest city in the Czech Republic, you have the strange feeling of landing in the middle of a Christmas movie or series. There are few or no cars here, pedestrians invade the streets and walk from Christmas market to Christmas market. Here we are far from these over-mediatized places, especially in France, where the only goal is to push you to spend. As pointed out by Adam Vodicka… who has been offering Turbomost here since 2009, a hot drink made from apple juice, apple brandy and spices, the Christmas market is above all an opportunity to meet with a drink to warm the atmosphere because in December the thermometer flirts with zero degrees .

adam vodicka, one of the creators of the turbo-essential hot drink at Christmas markets
adam vodicka, one of the creators of the turbo-essential hot drink at Christmas markets

© Radio France
– Philippe Lefebvre

After a few minutes you can see that the atmosphere is quite benevolent and joyful. With a glass in hand, you can go from log cabin to log cabin to taste cinnamon cake on the grill, in other places smoked sausages or even small shortbread cakes, a local specialty that causes friendly competitions in families, explains Martina Pospisilova, who works in the city. hall: “On the one who will do the most, let’s say my family has eight, and my boyfriend has 24, and that gives us the opportunity to make fun of people at the New Year’s table. Buying small cookie cutters to make cakes is one of the favorite activities of the locals. The kitchen salesman explained to me that new shapes appear every year. This year, cats, emojis or dinosaurs are the best sellers.

original cooking over embers for these cinnamon and almond sugar cookies
original cooking over embers for these cinnamon and almond sugar cookies

© Radio France
– Philippe Lefebvre

But Christmas markets in Brno are not limited to dozens of log cabins. There is a party in all the streets, and near the cabbage market there is a discreet theater very important to the Czechs because Vaclav Havel played his plays here. Today, the actors there regularly perform a mini-play that follows the arrival of Saint Nicholas and his fight against the devil, all with vocal performances and somewhat trashy sequences when the demons arrive, a sequence reminiscent of certain scenes from “horror” movies, but with the distribution of sweets because it is also the tradition Martin explains: “children are waiting for a big sock that St. Nicholas puts on the window. If the child was good, the stocking is full of sweets, and if he was disobedient, he will find only potatoes and coal…” A tradition that still has little effect on children.

discover Brno no better than the Christmas tram that runs through the city
discover Brno no better than the Christmas tram that runs through the city

© Radio France
– Philippe Lefebvre

You should also know that if Brno has 300,000 inhabitants, so the second city in the country, it is also a very young city that receives almost 100,000 students. What could be more normal when the stages at the markets host choirs as well as rock groups…

Finally, in all the squares you will find giant fir trees from the forests of this region. Trees that are not decorative elements. Indeed, the story goes that in 1919, a famous Czech writer found a 17-month-old baby in a fir forest, probably abandoned by his very poor family. And since at the foot of the Christmas tree from the same forest you will find a small box for depositing donations intended for local charities.

the legend of Saint Nicholas in the theater where Vaclav Havel performed his plays
the legend of Saint Nicholas in the theater where Vaclav Havel performed his plays

© Radio France
– Philippe Lefebvre

In addition, it is absolutely necessary to take advantage of your stay in Brno to discover the city: the cathedral that dominates the old part of the city, the tower of the old town hall that allows you to have a bird’s-eye view of Christmas. markets, the university cinema is reminiscent of the communist era due to its architecture, not forgetting the ossuary of the Saint Jacques church, the Czech version of the catacombs. For your stay you can choose the Grandezza Hotel, an art deco masterpiece, or opposite the Anybody Hotel where the decoration of each room corresponds to a great classic of European cinema (pierrot le fou, barbarella, belle de jour, magnificent or dolce vita…

In short, even if this city is much more discreet than Prague, do not hesitate to travel by plane to Vienna, Austria, then by train from the capital of Austria to the central station in Brno, which is a 5-minute walk from the old center and various Christmas animations.

Finally, know that if traditionally Christmas markets close on December 23, this year there will be another version at the beginning of January on the occasion of the Orthodox New Year. “The decision we made explains Adam to try to please all Ukrainians who found refuge with us.” Friendship, benevolence, sharing and smiles in abundance, this is how we can sum up the atmosphere of this Christmas period in Brno, a city to be discovered even if the weather can sometimes be capricious.

My good addresses:

Hotel Grandezza for its art deco hall and large rooms, some of which overlook the Place aux Choux market

Hotel Anybody for its original rooms especially for movie lovers

Restaurant U Caipla : we eat simple dishes washed down with half a liter of domestic beer at large tables ideal for meeting people (a full and plentiful meal from 14 euros)

Restaurant: Soul Bistro : a simple kitchen with multiple inspirations

To prepare your trip:

Czech tourist office in France

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