In Pictures: Pandemic puts paid to Christmas markets around Europe

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The European plazas where people would usually gather at crowded stalls to partake in hot mulled wine, gingerbread, sausages and other delicacies are just empty squares due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Christmas markets, a cherished tradition in Germany and neighbouring countries, have joined the long list of annual traditions that were cancelled or diminished this year.

November saw many European countries impose partial or tougher lockdowns as new virus cases soared. The restrictions are either being retained or only partially loosened as Advent gets under way.

Here, we look at the bustling markets of recent years – and the empty squares of today.

Virus Outbreak Christmas Markets Germany
Roemerberg Square in Frankfurt, Germany (Michael Probst/AP)
Virus Outbreak Germany Christmas Markets
Charlottenburg Palace in Berlin (Michael Sohn/AP)
Virus Outbreak Germany Christmas Markets
Gendarmenmarkt Square in Berlin (Markus Schreiber/AP)
Virus Outbreak Christmas Markets Germany
A stark contrast in Dortmund, Germany (Martin Meissner/AP)
Virus Outbreak Czech Republic Christmas Markets
The Old Town Square in Prague, Czech Republic (Petr David Josek/AP)
Virus Outbreak France Christmas Markets
Traditional market in Strasbourg, France (Jean-Francois Badias/AP)
Virus Outbreak Belgium Christmas Markets
The Grand Place in Brussels, Belgium (Francisco Seco/Olivier Matthys/AP)

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