City stroll in run-up to Christmas These shop windows are bringing Christmas magic to Bonn

Bonn · Christmas magic is on display in the shop windows with cuddly toys, chocolate and miniature carousels. A traditional nativity scene and Christmas stollen also point to Christmas in the year of Corona.

 Festive cheer at the Galeria Kaufhof in Bonn

Festive cheer at the Galeria Kaufhof in Bonn

Foto: Sofia Grillo

Dancing cuddly toys at Münsterplatz

The shop window of the Galeria Kaufhof store on the Münsterplatz is a must-see every year. For over 30 years the Steiff stuffed animals have been dancing and waving to marvelled children and adults who have their noses pressed up against the panes during the Christmas season. The crowds are usually particularly large when the Christmas markets are open - it is not uncommon to have to wait a few minutes before you can catch a glimpse of the Christmas magic yourself in the front row.

And this year it is worth it, even without a Christmas market - if not more so. The animal world in the shop window brings the missing hustle and bustle of the Christmas season to the centre of Bonn, at least in miniature. At the little Christmas market, the Steiff animals are serving up sweets, stirring mulled wine and, of course, frolicking around in front of the stalls.

Carousels for chocolate

Christmas time is chocolate time: The manager of the Coppeneur confectionery in Bonn's Friedrichstraße knows all about this. For Simon Mandt, the main business season starts now. He very much regrets that the Christmas market atmosphere is missing this year. So it is all the more important for him to create a Christmassy feel-good place in his shop window. And, as in previous years, he is doing this with miniature carousels and fairground rides. The one-kilo chocolate Father Christmas, on the other hand, is quite large and can be admired in the shop window by passers-by. The chocolate specialities are of course distributed around the small and large exhibits. And there are plenty of them. Mandt's plan for this year is: "A little less rides and more chocolate in the window".

Traditional Christmas nativity scene

In Friedrichstraße there is more to discover in the shop windows than just chocolate: The classic Christmas nativity is on display at "Geschenke Leopold". Since 1896, the traditional shop has been selling arts and crafts from the Erzgebirge, Christmas nativity scenes, religious and Christian gifts, literature, books, calendars and art. During the year, the shop windows are decorated with art objects, whereas at Christmas time, the nativity scenes are divided into two shop windows - with all the trimmings. "In addition to animals and people, palm trees, fountains, lanterns and torch fires can also be seen," says owner Susanne Leopold, describing the shop window.

Christmas stollen not to be missed

Traditional Baumkuchen rings covered in milk or dark chocolate, Christmas stollen and biscuits are a must in the shop window of the Müller-Langhardt confectionery on the Marktplatz in the run-up to Christmas. These Christmas delicacies are of course given the appropriate setting: a branch decorated with all the shapes and colours of Christmas, and a poinsettia, together with the sweet smells, lure the city shoppers into the traditional Bonn shop. The Müller-Langhardt confectionery has been based here since 1913. "In the past, the decorations with green, bright garlands were little more opulent. Today we keep it more simple," says owner Ulrich Müller-Langhardt.

Checking upcoming concerts was a must

The shop window of Mr. Music in Münsterstraße in Bonn is not decorated for Christmas. "In the past, we might have hung a Christmas bauble in the window," says owner Bernie Gelhausen, jokingly recalling the days when his CD and record shop was still located opposite the station on Maximilianstraße. Christmas bauble or not, a look into the Mr. Music window was still a must for many people in Bonn in the run-up to Christmas. Because here, music fans could see which upcoming concerts in the next year they wanted to secure tickets for or give away as presents. "CDs and records were not so much gifted. But concert tickets were," says Gelhausen. This year, however, the concert list is no longer on display in the window of the traditional shop: because of Corona, it is not certain whether concerts will even take place. And unfortunately, the CD and record business is not going well either, which is why Gelhaus is closing his shop at the end of the year. It will be his last Christmas business.

Model railway scene made hearts beat faster

Just a year ago, both children and adults squashed their noses up against the shop windows of the Puppenkönig toystore in Gangolfstraße. For the 93rd time, the over 100-year-old company had set up a model railway in a winter landscape over the Christmas season. It was to be the last time - the traditional company has closed. Some people in Bonn will certainly miss visiting the Christmas model railway. After all, years ago there was a huge outcry among the locals when the railway was not finished in time for Christmas. For the store, the model railway was not only a Christmas project, but one for the whole year. with the planning starting in spring, and the houses, trees and mountains prepared from late summer onwards. The efforts were rewarded with huge praise from the customers.

This is a list of traditional shops in Bonn and the region and does not claim to be complete or to have followed any objective criteria. It is not a ranking. The order is random. Is there a shop window missing from the list that you consider to be a must in the past or at present? Send an email to:

(Original text: Sofia Grillo, Translation: Caroline Kusch)

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