MANNHEIM, Germany — Munich officials are pulling a Christmas market near the city’s cathedral from its site following concern about a rise in the number of angry visitors storming its stalls, clashing with police and even trying to get inside the venue.
Munich city authorities said Friday that the “Emperor’s Tomb” market would be relocated before next year’s festivities and shifted to a new location. The venue had been in Munich’s popular central Christmas market area, where violent incidents over the past few days have seen police rescue onlookers from mosh pits.
Officials did not say where the new market would be located, adding that they were in discussion with other vendors at the neighboring Christmas Market on the Embankment, which has also been evacuated over concerns about vandalism.
Nearly two weeks ago, the city had decided to close the grounds until Thursday after one of the worst European market incidents. It reopened after just five days with tightened security.
Pictures this week showed fire trucks and security staff on top of the market area.
Police in Munich have found hundreds of beer bottles and pipes in recent days, often on the site of formerly locked markets in the Church of Our Lady of the Resurrection. They are also probing a possible “anti-Semitic threat” against the bazaar and are trying to determine whether it was “organized by a group” to cause trouble.
German authorities are trying to figure out why the country’s hard-core market-goer community has become more aggressive over the past few weeks, with one pastor saying he expects some kind of drastic change during this year’s festivities.
“Sedition is not normal to everyone,” Wolfgang Heller said. “This is an area where people go to pray to an icon, to get up close with it. … Something has happened, and we have to find out what happened.”