Nuremburg, Germany is a beautiful and fascinating city with a storied past. Along with its famous St. Lorenz Church and Nuremburg Castle, this city boasts 54 museums, numerous parks and pedestrian-only spaces. It is a popular tourist destination, known for its Christmas Markets, hand crafted arts, culinary tours and Nazi history.
Hauptmarkt Square, Nuremburg’s Main Market, is not only centrally located in town but has been a center of activity since medieval times. Besides vendors under striped awnings selling seasonal produce and fresh flowers, you will also find among many other gems, world renowned gingerbreads, sausages and warm pretzels. Christkindlesmarkt is also held here, one of the largest Christmas Markets in Germany and one of the most famous in the world. This winter outdoor marketplace draws two million visitors to Nuremburg each year.
Hauptmarkt Square is surrounded by beautiful and historic structures such as the Frauenkirche (“Church of Our Lady”). This Gothic style church, built between 1352 and 1362 is located on the east end of the market. The Schöner Brunnen (Beautiful Fountain) is a 14th-century fountain in the shape of a golden Gothic spire, seen above. It is believed that two brass rings embedded in the fence surrounding the fountain on opposite sides bring good luck to those who spin them, and there was a crowd lined up to do just that!
A short walk from the Main Market is Nuremberg Castle. It is actually a group of medieval fortified buildings on a sandstone ridge overlooking the city’s most historical area. It is considered one of Europe’s most formidable medieval fortresses, representing the high power of the Holy Roman Empire and the superior status of the Imperial City of Nuremberg.
They were located inside, near the entry of castles and other fortified buildings. Once an invader breached the walls and the moat and progressed towards the inner rooms, they had pass under these Murder Holes, where hot grease and sand and sharp objects were thrown down at them. The hope was to thwart these infiltrators from gaining deeper access into the castle.
Albrecht Dürer Home
Albrecht Dürer, was an extraordinary artist born in Nuremburg in 1471. Because of his brilliant work as a painter, printmaker, woodcut and copper engraver, he was generally regarded as German’s greatest Renaissance artist. Do you recall his very famous woodcut “Praying Hands”? Even at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina (We are all heading there next, you know) there is a large wall display of his work. Albrecht Dürer’s House is located just steps away from the Nuremburg Castle and is today a museum to commemorate his life.
Half-Timbered Homes were Cheap
Half-timbered homes look lovely today in these quaint cities in Europe. They were common methods of home construction at the time, with their exposed rough-hewn wood with areas in-between filled with plaster, brick or stone. But centuries ago, they were considered cheap. Owning a half-timbered house meant that you could not afford to finish it out completely in stone.
Perhaps for many, the of city Nuremburg, Germany evokes images of its role in the Nazi Regime. The mayor of the city claimed that it was “the most German of German cities” because of its rich imperial and Germanic history. The Nazi’s decided that Nuremburg would be the ideal setting in which to carry out its activities. In the 1930s Nuremberg became a center of the Nazi Party. Boycotting of Jewish businesses began here as well as fervent party rallies. The city’s name was also used for anti-Semitic regulations, called the “Nuremburg Laws”.
Hitler declared in 1933 that Nuremburg would be “the city of rallies”. Zeppelin Field was constructed under direction of Hitler’s architect Albert Speer between 1934 and 1937. As many as 100,000 people attended Nazi party propaganda rallies here. Hitler wanted these buildings on the Party Rally Grounds to stay intact for thousands of years, like the great cathedrals of medieval times. Today, Zeppelin Field is left as a “Monument Against Forgetting.” Today, buildings are in disrepair, their past stature long gone. Grass grows between the concrete structures.
During World War II, Nuremburg was systematically and severely bombed by the U.S. and Great Britain. Ninety percent of the city’s medieval center was destroyed in only one hour. However, in following years, major structures were rebuilt and the city redeveloped. Also, after the war, the city was chosen as the site of the Nuremburg Trials, when prominent members of the Nazi party were tried for their roles in the Holocaust and other war crimes. During this time, the eyes of the entire world turned towards this quiet town in Bavaria as the horrific actions of Nazi leaders were revealed.
Coming up next: Bamberg, Germany!!
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