Kerst Market or Christmas Market is an open market which opens few weeks before Christmas Time. This kind of market is annually held in many places in Netherlands and Germany (not sure with other places in Europe). Yesterday, I and some friends visited Christmas Market in Munster, one of the cities in Germany. It is a well known Christmas Market as it’s held in a quite big shopping center. I just opened Wikipedia to find out a bit of information about this city; it says “Munster is an independent city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is located in the northern part of the state and is considered to be the cultural centre of the Westphalia region”. No wonder, it has a big shopping center.
We managed to wake up early in the morning and caught a train going to that city. The train seemed specially provided for that market as its route showed Enschede-Munster. It took around an hour time from Enschede to the heart of Munster shopping center and around 15 minutes to get to the Kerst Market from the Munster train station.
The market itself was a usual open market selling handmade Christmas merchandise and gifts, winter fashion and accessories, foods, and other souvenirs. Not until half an hour searching and observing around, I and Mbak Fitri decided to stop focusing on the Kerst Market and Christmas merchandise, and start walking around the city to find out other interesting things of that place. That city was quite big with its astonishing old buildings, some of which were Cathedral church and dorm buildings. I am not sure whether these buildings are still used for mass (Sunday service) or only as memorable buildings.
It is very interesting to read the history of this city from Wikipedia. It says that the word ‘Munster’ was derived from the word ‘the monastery (“monasterium”)’ which was built by a missionary ‘Frisian Liudger’ between 793 and 797 AD. Many events and incidents happened in this city back in the mid 1500 until 1940s, started from the battle against Anabaptist rebellion during the Protestant Reformation in 1500s to the World War II in 1940s. That is why when you visit this city you will see the combination of church buildings, marketplace, library, and school.
Walking along the road, if you start from the Cathedral, on your left hand side, you’ll get to see the elite shopping center in which you will find worldly known branded fashion and things. It you follow the road till the end and turn left (not so sure exactly its position), you’ll see a path leading you to an isolated area in which you’ll see the crucifixion statue of Jesus Christ. From that statue, you will find a door taking you inside a huge building called ‘the Hoher Dom St. Paulus’ where you will find many people looking around, praying, taking some rest, or joining tour. I and Mbak Fitri also did some observation and took some pictures.
That Hoher Dom St. Paulus building was huge, with some detail crafts and statues on some of its walls. One of the interesting statues was a statue of Jesus hanging above the altar as if showing that ‘Jesus died for you’. Behind the altar you can see some rooms for ritual if not remembrance for significant persons of that church. In every corner you’ll see burning candles and some people standing by with their prayers (perhaps). I myself was looking around while keeping on thinking ‘this building must be an amazing building in the past in which many people were coming and worshipping Christ. But now, it is like a museum that keeps if not hides lot of history’. But then I was reminded that it’s not a matter of the building; Christ is living in the heart of His people.
Finished with the Dom, we then observed outside the building leading us to a place in which Christmas Carols was sung. There were around 15 men wearing Santa’s clothes singing Christmas songs. Some songs sounded familiar to me and some not. I remember doing similar Christmas caroling with church friends in a children hospital. It was so blessed to see how these children were cheered up by the songs and how their faces were full of happiness receiving our gifts. Christmas is indeed time to celebrate Jesus’ come as flesh.
Done with the carols, we got to see some other interesting things and decided to end the walk with having coffee and little bit of chats before then returning back to Enschede.