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Christmas markets open in Germany

| Friday, Dec. 7, 2018, 3:30 p.m.
In this Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018 photo a man dressed as Santa Claus walks up and down in a small house waiting for customers to be photographed with at the traditional Christmas market in Heidelberg, Germany. The Christmas market In the Old Town of Heidelberg underneath the famous castle is one of most picturesque christmas markets in southern Germany.  (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
In this Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018 photo a man dressed as Santa Claus walks up and down in a small house waiting for customers to be photographed with at the traditional Christmas market in Heidelberg, Germany. The Christmas market In the Old Town of Heidelberg underneath the famous castle is one of most picturesque christmas markets in southern Germany. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
In this Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018 photo gingerbread hearts are seen at the traditional Christmas market in Heidelberg, Germany, Tuesday. The Christmas market In the Old Town of Heidelberg underneath the famous castle is one of most picturesque christmas markets in southern Germany.  (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
In this Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018 photo gingerbread hearts are seen at the traditional Christmas market in Heidelberg, Germany, Tuesday. The Christmas market In the Old Town of Heidelberg underneath the famous castle is one of most picturesque christmas markets in southern Germany. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
In this Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018 photo people use an ice rink at the traditional Christmas market in Heidelberg, Germany. The Christmas market In the Old Town of Heidelberg underneath the famous castle is one of most picturesque christmas markets in southern Germany.  (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
In this Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018 photo people use an ice rink at the traditional Christmas market in Heidelberg, Germany. The Christmas market In the Old Town of Heidelberg underneath the famous castle is one of most picturesque christmas markets in southern Germany. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
In this Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018 photo the Old Bridge and the castle in background are seen on the way to the traditional Christmas market in Heidelberg, Germany. The Christmas market In the Old Town of Heidelberg underneath the famous castle is one of most picturesque christmas markets in southern Germany.  (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
In this Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018 photo the Old Bridge and the castle in background are seen on the way to the traditional Christmas market in Heidelberg, Germany. The Christmas market In the Old Town of Heidelberg underneath the famous castle is one of most picturesque christmas markets in southern Germany. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
In this Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018 photo people pay a visit to the traditional Christmas market in Heidelberg, Germany. The Christmas market In the Old Town of Heidelberg underneath the famous castle is one of most picturesque christmas markets in southern Germany.  (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
In this Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018 photo people pay a visit to the traditional Christmas market in Heidelberg, Germany. The Christmas market In the Old Town of Heidelberg underneath the famous castle is one of most picturesque christmas markets in southern Germany. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
In this Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018 photo lights shine in front of the castle at the traditional Christmas market in Heidelberg, Germany. The Christmas market In the Old Town of Heidelberg underneath the famous castle is one of most picturesque christmas markets in southern Germany.  (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
In this Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018 photo lights shine in front of the castle at the traditional Christmas market in Heidelberg, Germany. The Christmas market In the Old Town of Heidelberg underneath the famous castle is one of most picturesque christmas markets in southern Germany. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
In this Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018 photo people pay a visit to the traditional Christmas market with a turning pyramid in Heidelberg, Germany. The Christmas market In the Old Town of Heidelberg underneath the famous castle is one of most picturesque christmas markets in southern Germany.  (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
In this Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018 photo people pay a visit to the traditional Christmas market with a turning pyramid in Heidelberg, Germany. The Christmas market In the Old Town of Heidelberg underneath the famous castle is one of most picturesque christmas markets in southern Germany. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
In this Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018 photo a pyramid and an illuminated statue are seen at the traditional Christmas market in Heidelberg, Germany. The Christmas market In the Old Town of Heidelberg underneath the famous castle is one of most picturesque christmas markets in southern Germany.  (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
In this Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018 photo a pyramid and an illuminated statue are seen at the traditional Christmas market in Heidelberg, Germany. The Christmas market In the Old Town of Heidelberg underneath the famous castle is one of most picturesque christmas markets in southern Germany. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
In this Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018 photo a pyramid and an illuminated statue are seen at the traditional Christmas market in Heidelberg, Germany.  The Christmas market In the Old Town of Heidelberg underneath the famous castle is one of most picturesque christmas markets in southern Germany.  (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
In this Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018 photo a pyramid and an illuminated statue are seen at the traditional Christmas market in Heidelberg, Germany. The Christmas market In the Old Town of Heidelberg underneath the famous castle is one of most picturesque christmas markets in southern Germany. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
In this Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018 photo people pay a visit to the traditional Christmas market in Heidelberg, Germany. The Christmas market In the Old Town of Heidelberg underneath the famous castle is one of most picturesque christmas markets in southern Germany.  (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
In this Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018 photo people pay a visit to the traditional Christmas market in Heidelberg, Germany. The Christmas market In the Old Town of Heidelberg underneath the famous castle is one of most picturesque christmas markets in southern Germany. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
In this Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018 photo a girls sits on the ground as she takes part in a Christmas story telling performance at the traditional Christmas market in Heidelberg, Germany.  The Christmas market In the Old Town of Heidelberg underneath the famous castle is one of most picturesque christmas markets in southern Germany.  (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
In this Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018 photo a girls sits on the ground as she takes part in a Christmas story telling performance at the traditional Christmas market in Heidelberg, Germany. The Christmas market In the Old Town of Heidelberg underneath the famous castle is one of most picturesque christmas markets in southern Germany. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

HEIDELBERG, Germany (AP) — Germany's popular Christmas markets are back in business, and the Gluehwein is flowing in Heidelberg's old town — under the city's landmark castle.

Spread across several city squares, Heidelberg's Christmas market offers some 140 stalls along with an ice rink and a carrousel for children. The market is open well into the evening through Dec. 22.

Christmas markets large and small are a feature of most German cities during Advent. Heidelberg's is one of the most picturesque, with the illuminated castle presiding over the festivities.

Traditional offerings include gingerbread hearts, often emblazoned with Christmas messages.

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