Why Strasbourg has the best Christmas tree in France

The 30-metre-high Christmas tree stands in Place Kleber © Leonid Andronov Getty Images

The 30-metre-high Christmas tree stands in Place Kleber © Leonid Andronov Getty Images - Credit: Archant

The Great Christmas Tree of Strasbourg, centrepiece for the city’s famous Christmas market, is the most popular festive tree in France in a new ranking. Here are 12 fun facts about Strasbourg’s sapin de Noël

Strasbourg is known as the Capital of Christmas © Leonid Andronov Getty Images

Strasbourg is known as the Capital of Christmas © Leonid Andronov Getty Images - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The Great Christmas Tree of Strasbourg is France’s most popular Christmas tree and is among the 10 most famous Christmas trees in the world, according to a new index. DIYs.com created a ranking of the 18 most popular Christmas trees around the world based on Instagram hashtags, global Google search volumes, the height of the tree, and the number of baubles needed to decorate them. The results put the Great Christmas Tree of Strasbourg in 8th place, ahead of London’s Trafalgar Square tree in 9th and the iconic Galeries Lafayette tree in Paris in 15th. Strasbourg’s Christmas tree also ranked higher than New York’s Rockerfeller Center tree, which took second place overall, for the number of baubles needed to decorate it and for its height.

So what do you need to know about Strasbourg’s famous Christmas tree, the symbol of what is considered to be the Capital of Christmas? Here are 12 fun facts:

1. 30 metres is the minimum height of the tree.

2. The tree weighs between 7 and 9 tonnes.

3. The trunk measures up to 120cm in diameter.

4. The search for the perfect tree begins in March each year, with the head of the production unit at France’s National Forestry Office driving hundreds of miles through the forests of Alsace and the Vosges Mountains to find it.

5. The National Forestry Office and its tree surgeons spend 120 hours getting the tree ready for its journey to Strasbourg.

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6. A further 250 hours are spent preparing the tree, which includes implanting between 50 and 80 branches from other trees to make it look fuller.

7. The tree is sited on Strasbourg’s Place Kléber, where it is the centrepiece for the city’s Christmas market, known as the Christkindlsmärik. Dating to 1570 it is one of the oldest Christmas markets in Europe and was the first in France.

8. The National Forestry Office gifts the Christmas tree to the city council.

9. 7km of twinkling fairy lights will illuminate the tree.

10. The lights take three weeks to install and requires two climbers, a dozen electricians, eight landscape designers and two 40m-tall cherry pickers.

11. 400 baubles will be used to decorate the tree this year.

12. Other decorations include biscuits, candles, illuminated angels and stars.

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