Where Did You Spend Your Christmas Holidays?

Christmas tree ornaments

We all know that choosing one single destination to spend the Christmas holidays is not an easy task: there are many cities worth visiting for Christmas and we all want to visit them all at the same time, if it were possible.
In this article I will talk about some of these cities: some of them you might have already seen so feel free to share your impressions.

Bethlehem, The Birthplace Of Jesus Christ

Bethlehem is a Palestinian territory in West Bank, which hosts the Church of the Nativity. This church was built in 326 by Emperor Constantine and His Mother Helen, on the place where Jesus Christ was born. 200 years later the old building was demolished and replaced with a much larger and imposing church, which can be visited today.
The church is a place of pilgrimage for people around the world, has three altars and houses paintings dating back from the Crusades and an impressive collection of old icons and paintings of saints.
Inside the church you can visit the Cave of the Nativity. The place where Child Jesus has been placed after his birth is marked by a silver star on which the following inscription can be read: “Hic de Virgine Maria Jesus Christus natus est” (“Here Jesus Christ was born of the Virgin Mary”).

Christmas Celebrations At The Vatican

Another magical place where you can spend the Christmas holiday is the Vatican. St. Peter’s Square, in the center of Vatican, is crowded around the holidays. The Christmas tree, brought here from a different location each year, is decorated with objects that symbolize the Nativity of Jesus.
Once in Vatican, you can visit the St Peter’s Basilica, a colossal building considered an architectural masterpiece of the fifteenth century and hosting valuable works of art. The list of monuments to see is long, so it would be better to book a few days for your visit at the Vatican.
The Christmas church service in Vatican starts at midnight, when the Pope – from the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica – addresses the traditional message “Urbi et Orbi” in over 60 languages – an emotional moment that heralds the celebration of the Nativity.

Christkindlmarkt in Vienna

I included in my list of destinations for Christmas the capital of Austria, Vienna, and I’m sure you agree with me when I say that it is a magical place where everyone would love to be during the winter holidays, at least once in their lifetime.
The whole city is ready for celebration starting with November. The streets, the squares and the buildings are decorated with garlands, and if the snow makes its appearance, the picture is complete.
Once in Vienna, it would be better to make a wish list of places to visit along the way because you’ll find plenty of other attractions and you wouldn’t want to miss any of them.
In the City Hall Square – which becomes Christmas Square starting with St. Nicholas Day – you will find a true holiday atmosphere: the decorated trees, colorful lights, delicious sweets and souvenir shops are just a few of the attractions.
Schonbrunn Palace Square is another location where you will be greeted by an authentic Christmas atmosphere. Here you can enjoy a glass of mulled wine and other traditional Austrian dishes.
During Christmas, Vienna is open for fun from morning to midnight. You can easily reach any part of the city by metro so you can attend any specific event of the winter holidays, you can go to concerts or you can visit various fairs and museums.

So, how about you? Where did you spend your Christmas holidays?

*Photo: sxc.hu

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