Christmas Market in SĂ©lestat – Cradle of the Christmas Tree

Updated on 2024-04-23

The Christmas market of Selestat is not in fact a very classical Christmas market in Alsace. There are small Christmas villages with chalets, but this is not the main asset of the city at Christmas time in my opinion. One comes in fact to SĂ©lestat for its animations around the Christmas tree, which allows to change the more traditional markets and thus to vary the pleasures of Christmas in Alsace! An excellent surprise!

Laurène is the blog's creator. Originally from Brittany but now living in Alsace, she has fallen in love with her adopted region and loves exploring its every nook and cranny to unearth great ideas to share with you!

SĂ©lestat Christmas Market dates 2023

The SĂ©lestat Christmas Market runs from November 25 to December 29, 2023, with the exception of December 25.

The birthplace of the Christmas tree tradition

The first written mention of the Christmas tree

The fir tree holds a very important place here, since it is in SĂ©lestat that the first written mention of the Christmas tree was found, dating from 1521. Yes, just that!

In a register of accounts of the city of SĂ©lestat , we find a sentence mentioning the fact that the municipal forest wardens had to be paid four schillings to watch over the corn (festive trees) three days before Christmas.

It is, to date, the oldest known handwritten reference to this part of the Christmas tree tradition in the world. If you want to know more about the history of the Christmas tree, I invite you to download this very informative guide.

With this tradition in mind, the city has decided to offer a very original Christmas market to visitors, immersing them in the world of the Christmas tree. And we don’t lack imagination in SĂ©lestat, you can believe me!

Exhibition on the history of the fir tree at Saint-Georges church

I advise you to visit the exhibition installed in the Saint-Georges church which tells you the history of the Christmas tree, from the 16th century to nowadays.

Christmas ball chandelier from Meisenthal

Do not miss to enter the Sainte-Foy church to discover the huge chandelier which is exposed there on the occasion of the end of year celebrations. A chandelier of 173 glass Christmas ornaments from Meisenthal (a very famous artisanal factory located in Lorraine, just on the border with northern Alsace) awaits you. Of course, this one is shaped like a tree! Truly magical. You will also be able to buy Meisenthal Christmas ornaments on a stand.

Christmas Villages of SĂ©lestat

In addition to these “special tree” animations, I appreciated the Christmas market of SĂ©lestat for its qualitative chalets installed on three essential places of the city center: place d’Armes, place du Dr Maurice Kubler, and place de la Victoire.

I also really like the St. Barbara’s complex, which hosts many local artisans that you can often even see working live. There are also exhibitions and contests with different themes every year.

Other Christmas animations: ask for the program!

Also check out the program of Christmas festivities at the Humanist Library and the Maison du Pain d’Alsace, there are lots of activities planned during the Advent period, and more generally during the whole month of December in SĂ©lestat!

  • Very original Christmas market
  • The theme of the tree really declined
  • Nice city
  • Do not expect the abundance of chalets of a classic Christmas market

My photos of the Christmas market in Selestat in Alsace