The Christmas market at Johannisstift in Spandau traditionally takes place on the 1st Sunday of Advent.
What is the Johannisstift?
The Evangelical Johannisstift was founded by Johann Hinrich Wichern in 1858. Its aim was to support the poor, the sick, prisoners and children. In 1910, the Johannisstift moved to a large site in Spandauer Forst.
Today, there is a hotel with a conference centre, a hospital, schools, a church, a bookshop, a swimming pool, a riding stable, a nursery as well as smaller shops and diaconal institutions.
Every year, Johannisstift celebrates a large harvest festival and Christmas market – thousands of visitors come to enjoy the atmospheric ambience on the grounds.
With the steam locomotive across Berlin
For the Christmas market, we went with the Berliner Eisenbahnfreunde on a special trip from Gesundbrunnen station to Spandau to Johannisstift.
Countless passengers were already standing on the platform waiting for the special train, which arrived on time with plenty of steam. You can only travel on the train if you have made a reservation. We had reserved five seats in first class. Here, in the old carriages, the seats are somewhat padded and so we were able to enjoy a comfortable two-hour journey.
Our journey took us along the eastern inner ring road in the direction of Lichtenberg. Via Biesdorfer Kreuz we passed Wuhlheide and reached Schöneweide. When we arrived at Güterbahnhof Neukölln, we returned to the inner ring. In Westend, the train then turned off towards Spandau. Shortly after Spandau station a short stop and after the train had backed up, we continued on the tracks of the Havelländische Eisenbahn to Johannisstift.
During the journey, you could get something to drink or a snack in the dining car. Father Christmas went from compartment to compartment and handed out sweets to the children.
I went up on the platform between two wagons and breathed the “smoky” air of the locomotive. Especially beautiful was the look of the people we passed. People on the passing trains waved at us, people on the side of the road looked amazed and everywhere the steam locomotive attracted enthusiastic glances.
Christmas Market at Johannisstift Spandau
Right next to the Johanisstift is a railway depot. Here the train stopped and after small exit aids were provided, we could leave the train.
Beforehand, of course, there is an announcement as to when the train would set off on its return journey, so that one could reboard in good time.
After only a few steps, we arrived on the grounds of the Johannisstift and were able to stroll through the small Christmas market.
There is always an Advent service at 10:30 a.m. in the collegiate church. The Christmas market opens at 11:30 a.m. and by 6 p.m. everything is over again.
Every year, the Christmas market is an indoor and outdoor experience for all ages. Brass music is played by various music groups, there is singing and, in addition to food and drink, there are numerous stalls with handicrafts. Many of the groups that exist at the foundation and the school groups offer the things that have been made during the year. The proceeds are used for the next projects of the vendors, e.g. new material can be purchased.
I always find the atmosphere at this Christmas market extraordinary. The grounds with their lighting are really beautiful.
Tip: Don’t be late for the Christmas market. Many of the food and drink stalls were already sold out when we got there around 5pm, and there were long queues at the remaining stalls.
Schönwalder Straße 26
only on Sunday of the 1st Advent
11:30 – 18 h