It’s Christmas time
00:00 / 00:00
17 December 2015
Photo: Anna & Michal
As people head out to get last-minute gifts, we bring you a festive episode looking at how Christmas affects our cities. We visit Strasbourg’s 400-year-old market, discover how things got a bit out of hand with lightning decorations in Colombia and head to Madrid for a diplomatic Christmas fair. Plus: a lesson in festive window dressing in New York.
17 December 2015
Photo: francois schnell
The self-declared European capital of Christmas is home to a Christmas market that dates to 1570. With more than 2 million visitors a month, the Strasbourg Marché de Noël embodies the cross-border history of the Alsace region.
Share chapter 1
Photo: Mario Carvajal
Colombia has always taken festivities quite seriously. In recent years, it’s become the norm for Colombian cities to compete with each other in the scale and spectacle of Christmas decorations. And even though there is no official prize, regional pride is at stake.
Share chapter 2
Photo: Phil Roeder
Nothing signifies Christmas in New York more than the Rockefeller Center’s Christmas tree and a stroll down Madison Avenue, where the major department stores transform their windows into a major spectacle. We meet the man who has been creating the window displays at Bergdorf Goodman for almost 20 years.
Share chapter 3
Photo: jacinta lluch valero
This week Madrid will open its first Christmas Fair of International Cultures. Together with the participation of 48 embassies, the six-day event is set to become an all-singing, all-dancing celebration of what unites the world’s cultures and religions over the holiday season.
Share chapter 4
Want more radio episodes like these in your inbox?
Sign up to Monocle's email newsletters to stay on top of news and opinion, plus the latest from the magazine, radio, film and shop.
The Urbanist - latest episodes
Konstantin Melnikov’s most significant building was the house he built for himself in 1929. It remained in the Melnikov family for decades until, in 2014 after much legal wrangling, it was taken over by the Moscow Museum…
We continue to explore the pages of ‘The Monocle Guide to Building Better Cities’. This week we’re off to the Catalonian capital to hear how the city has changed through the years and what lessons it has learned for the…
After being a ghost town for decades, Rowley in central Alberta has been reinvented. With old Western-style buildings still intact, it has become a quirky spot in the middle of the Canadian prairies and an open-air museum…
All this month we’re dedicating the show to chapters from our new book: ‘The Monocle Guide to Building Better Cities’. We start off with a series of essays that look at some of the challenges our urban areas face and how…
Peckham Rye has long been a source of inspiration to artists and writers; in this week’s Tall Stories we explore the history and atmosphere of the London park where William Blake once saw angels and to which Muriel Spark…
There is something magical about finding an old photo of a familiar place and seeing how much it has changed. It is a powerful reminder of the life that unfolded on the streets long before you arrived.
Monocle’s Toronto bureau chief shows us around The Bentway, a newly opened public area for the city under the Gardiner Expressway.
We tour a new exhibition shining a light on Jerusalem, meet the architecture duo building libraries to bring the community together and ask: if everyone else was giving up their data, would you do it too?
Monocle editor Andrew Tuck takes us on a stroll through London’s Hyde Park to visit a structure floating in the Serpentine: the Mastaba.
We profile two new books: Alexandra Langue’s ‘The Design of Childhood’ and Kelvin Campbell’s ‘Making Massive Small Change’.
Far away from the splendours of Vienna’s historic city centre lies a stupendous piece of architecture. It’s all concrete and glass, and it would be a perfect example of brutalist architecture were it not more of a sculpture…
Our thoughts on what should be private or off-limits are changing in every aspect of our lives, including the way we inhabit cities.
Monocle’s Ed Stocker takes us to the Williamsburg waterfront in New York, where a new space has just opened to the public.
What role does the humble public library play in cities today? Join us as we hear about the impromptu libraries popping up in private houses, reminisce about the bookmobile, discover how one library has employed a team of…
These white elephants are blamed for destroying communities around the world but Monocle’s Fernando Augusto Pacheco suggests that we look at them differently.