Besançon…the Christmas Market

Hi everybody,

I told you I had something to share with you before we went into the town center of Besançon. It’s this, the Besançon Christmas market. I was there last Saturday afternoon and then again on Sunday evening. The Besançon Christmas market is on the central market square, otherwise known as la Place de la Révolution.  Here is the official entrance…

01a_entrée du marché

 

…and the crowd beyond:

01d_the crowd at night

 

The town Christmas tree, in front of a stand where they sell hot wine…

01b_town Christmas tree

 

…and the crowd below, drinking plenty of hot wine:

01c_Christmas tree and the crowd

 

I took this photo of the vin chaud stand on Saturday afternoon…

2a_Vin chaud

 

…when I had some hot wine (unfortunately you can’t see the steam rising)…

2b_Vin chaud

You can see a recipe for French hot spiced wine here.

 

While we’re in the daytime photos, here’s one to give you a daytime view of the Christmas market…

1a_Christmas Market

…with its merry-go-round…

1b_Christmas_Merry-go-round

…and the merry-go-round in the evening…

1bbis_Merry-go-round

Of course, Christmas is for kids (both big ones and little ones). Everyone knows that.

 

Saturday afternoon the Besançon Canine club is out in force…

12b_Canine Club

…I think this is a fund raising activity. “One caress = one euro” is what the signs say. It’s just occurred to me that I forgot to pay for petting this dog.

 

The dogs all seem happy to be out, together…

12h_Canine Club

…big ones and little ones…

12c_Canine Club 12g_Canine Club

…singular and plural…

12a_Canine Club out in force 12f_Canine Club

 

I don’t think a euro is too much to pay for a little canine affection. Just put your zoom onto the face of this little guy:

12e_Canine club

 

Here’s a stand where they sell crèpes and gaufres (waffles), etc. to eat on site…

1c_Christmas_Délices de...

 

…and plenty of Christmas sweets…

7a_sweets

 

The Christmas market is a fun place to eat and drink. Many stands serve up local specialties, dishes such as these sausages (saucisses de Montbéliard) cooked in onions and white wine…

3_saucisse de Montbéliard

 

…or this poelée Comtoise–potatoes grilled with bits of saucisse de Morteau (sausage of Morteau)…

3C_poelée comtoise with saucisse de Morteau

 

…or this Morbiflette–potatoes, ham, onions and Morbier cheese…

3b_poelée comtoise

…all good winter food.

 

The region of Franche-Comté, where Besançon is situated, is well-known for its hams, sausages and a wide variety of smoked meats. Here is a stand here devoted entirely to these products…

1d_Chrismas_Fumé comtois

…the same stand at night, and close up:

1dbis_fumé la nuit 1dter_fumé la nuit

Franche-Comté has very good cheeses, wines and vegetables too. I’ll take you on a visit of some local markets one of these days.

On we go. There are stands from other régions, like this one where they sell products from southwestern France, especially foie gras, which many people like to serve for Christmas dinner or at other meals around Christmastime…

5_from the southwest of France

 

…and products from Normandy…

7d_products from Normandy

 

There are stands from abroad, too. Russia…

4_the russian stand

 

…and Canada:

6a_Canadian stand 6b_Canadia stand

 

In Besançon you can always run into the exotic and unexpected, such as this Brazilian drum troupe coming down a nearby street…

8a_Brazilians

 

…forcing this busker to take a break:

10_local busker

 

The Brazilians are publicizing a local festival, Latina Corazon, for the promotion of Latin American culture. You can read about it here.

8b_Brazilians bis

 

The Christmas market is a place to buy Christmas décorations…

7c_Christmas decorations bis

 

…and a wide variety of gifts, such as this jewelry…

7e_jewelry

 

…or this vegetal ivory…

1e_Christmas_vegetal ivory

 

But there mare many other stands too, where they sell toys, scarves, hats… I fear I haven’t done justice to this year’s market.

All of this takes place in front of the Musée des Beaux Arts, the Besançon Fine Arts Museum (currently closed for renovation) under the watchful closed eyes of some of the museum’s portraits:

9b_Beaux Arts_of closed eyes

 

I hope you now have a good view of this annual event here in Beasançon. Christmas markets take place in many other towns too, Montbéliard, Strasburg…and in other countries as well. Should you visit Besançon some year around Christmas, don’t miss the market.