Before-and-after photos show how the coronavirus pandemic emptied out Europe’s famous Christmas markets

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Roemerberg square in Frankfurt, Germany before and after the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Christmas markets are a cherished tradition in Europe, and usually attract millions of visitors every year.
  • But this year, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has forced countries to cancel or diminish their Christmas festivities. 
  • Scroll down to see before-and-after photos of Europe’s famous Christmas markets.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Christmas markets are being canceled this year amid concerns about the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The markets are a cherished tradition in Europe, and usually attract millions of visitors every year.

But in 2020 the large squares where people would usually gather to drink mulled wine and eat festive Christmas treats, are looking eerily empty.

Scroll down to see before-and-after photos of Europe’s Christmas markets.

BEFORE: The city of Nürnberg in Germany has one of the country’s best known Christmas markets, drawing millions of locals and tourists every year.

europe christmas market coronavirus before after
A traditional Christmas market in the square in front of the Church of Our Lady in Nuremberg, Germany, on December 1, 2017.

Some 85 million people visit Germany’s Christmas markets every year, according to Deutsche Welle.

Source: Deutsche Welle

AFTER: But Christmas festivities had to be canceled last month, leaving the city’s large square looking a lot emptier than usual.

europe christmas market coronavirus before after
Church of Our Lady in Nuremberg, Germany, on November 23, 2020.

BEFORE: In Frankfurt, Germany, the famous Christmas market usually looks like a Winter wonderland.

europe christmas market coronavirus before after
Roemerberg square in Frankfurt, Germany, on November 25, 2019.

AFTER: But this year, the square has been left vacant and visitors can only view a single, large Christmas tree.

europe christmas market coronavirus before after
Roemerberg square in Frankfurt, Germany, on November 27, 2020.

BEFORE: In Germany’s capital, Berlin, a Christmas market usually lights up the Gendarmenmarkt square.

europe christmas market coronavirus before after
A traditional Christmas market in the Gendarmenmarkt square in Berlin, Germany, on November 25, 2013.

AFTER: This Christmas, the square looks like it does all year round, with not a single decoration in sight.

europe christmas market coronavirus before after
Gendarmenmarkt square in Berlin, Germany, on November 23, 2020.

BEFORE: In Dortmund, the Christmas tree is the annual attraction as it’s rumored to be the in the world.

europe christmas market coronavirus before after
Christmas Market in Dortmund, Germany, on December 17, 2018.

The tree, which is usually surrounded by festive stalls, measures up to 150 feet tall every year, according to the market’s official website.

Source: Dortmund Christmas Market 

AFTER: But this year, officials haven’t even put up the Christmas tree.

europe christmas market coronavirus before after
Dortmund, Germany, on November 23, 2020.

BEFORE: Other landmarks in Germany, including the Baroque Charlottenburg palace, usually also step up their decorations during the festive season.

europe christmas market coronavirus before after
A traditional Christmas market in front of the Charlottenburg Palace in Berlin, Germany, on November 24, 2008.

AFTER: But the Christmas market in front of Charlottenburg Palace has also been canceled.

europe christmas market coronavirus before after
Charlottenburg Palace in Berlin, Germany, on November 24, 2020.

BEFORE: It’s not just Germany’s markets that are being called off. In Prague, the Old Town Square is usually packed with gingerbread-eating visitors.

europe christmas market coronavirus before after
Old Town Square in Prague, Czech Republic, on December 5, 2019.

AFTER: But this year, nothing but a lit-up Christmas tree remains after the market had to be canceled.

europe christmas market coronavirus before after
Old Town Square in Prague, Czech Republic, on November 28, 2020

BEFORE: Strasbourg in northeastern France is known as the European capital of Christmas, with its incredible markets attracting 2 million visitors every season.

europe christmas market coronavirus before after
Traditional Christmas market in Strasbourg, France, on December 20, 2016.

Source: Noel Strasbourg

AFTER: The city has still put up decorations and is running some activities, but officials have had to massively ramp down the usual festivities.

europe christmas market coronavirus before after
A street decorated for Christmas in Strasbourg, France, on November 27, 2020.

BEFORE: Brussels is also a popular city to visit during Christmas time.

europe christmas market coronavirus before after
The Grand Place in Brussels, Belgium, on December 18, 2019.

AFTER: But its biggest event of the season, Winter Wonders, had to be canceled last month.

europe christmas market coronavirus before after
The Grand Place in Brussels, Belgium, on November 24, 2020.

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