Nuremberg: Beautiful Historic Town.
Nuremberg is easily the most beautiful German town I have ever visited. The old town has a wonderful castle, stunning churches and town squares, wonderful old Franconian buildings and the loveliest river walk I have ever done. Add to that sculptures, statues, fountains, markets and great places to eat and drink. We lived on Nuremberger sausages for two days they were delicious and I'm not even that fond of sausages.
This was my first visit to Nuremberg and we had originally intended only to stop for one night, but when I read the VT pages on it, it sounded wonderful, so I persuaded my husband that we must stop for two nights. We were glad we did.
War time Nuremberg.
Nuremberg was also famous for more sinister reasons and we spent an afternoon looking around the park where the famous Nuremberg rallies once took place. It is such a peaceful place now with lakes, greenery, birds, flowers, people canoeing, jogging, cycling, roller blading. Reminders of the past include the Zeppelin Stadium where Hitler once addressed the crowds from his little podium in front of a replica of the altar of Pergammon. Also the Grosse Strasse which was intended to stretch all the way to the castle in the old town, but was never completed and the Kongresshalle, modelled on the colliseum and now an empty shell part of which houses the Nuremberg symphony orchestra and part of which houses the Museum of Documentation. We got there by taking the S2 line from the hauptbahnhof to Dutzendteich Station. Exit the station and go right.
Ibis Nuernberg Altstadt: Great Location.
This hotel is right next to Nuremberg Station. Exit the old town exit, walk straight ahead for one minute you are there, Easy walking distance to all the sights. Restaurants close by and an Aldi supermarket immediately opposite. The room is typically Ibis basic but clean and comfortable, No tea/coffee/no safe. Although we generally had hot water, we did both have to have cold showers due to lack of hot water once on our two night stay. We were at the back of the hotel and did not find it noisy, We did not eat breakfast at the hotel. Staff were pleasant enough without being effusive. Check in/ check out was quick and efficient. If you got to Nuremberg using a train ticket from another destination in Germany, you can use the S-bahn on your day of travel for free. For example, if you want to go the site of the Nuremberg rallies, grosse strasse or the kongresshall. I would stay here again due to the convenience o the location. Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple. Address: Koenigstrasse 74, Nuremberg, Bavaria, 90402, Germany.
Kaiserburg Castle is situated on a small hill overlooking Nuremberg's old town. Much of the castle and gardens can be wandered around free of charge. You only pay entry to go up a tower or into a museum. We only looked at the free parts. The castle consists of several towers, several buildings and stretches of wall. There is a viewing point which affords lovely views over Nuremberg, lovely castle gardens. The toilets were located here and I was very glad to find them, too I can tell you. Near the gardens there is a viewing platform which overlooks Durer's House and square. You can enjoy a spectacular view and take a great photo from there.
The Marriage Fountain: Ehekarussell.
The Marriage Fountain is on Karolinestrasse near the White Tower UStation. This sculpture seems to specialize in the horrors of marriage with couples strangling each other; couples where one is huge and stuffing her face, while the other is starving and skeletal; couples surrounded by demanding children; couples where one wants to be quiet and the other is blowing a trumpet in her face. Guess the sculptor was not too happily married or had a weird sense of humour. It was quite funny. Nearby is the white tower, Elizabeth church and another church. The fountain is supposedly based on a poem called Bittersweet Marital life by Hans Sachs.
Frauenkirche:Church of Our Lady.
The Frauenkirche overlooks Haupt Markt Platz. This church has lovely carvings on the outside and is peaceful on the inside. According to our friend who is a long time resident of Nuremberg, it is from this church that the Christ kind opens Nuremberg's annual Christmas Market. There is also a mechanical clock on the front of the church. Every day at noon 7 elector figures come out of the clock to pay homage to King Karl IV.
Haupt Markt Platz is a large square containing the Schonner Brunnen Beautiful Fountain. At the time of our visit there was a colourful fruit, vegetable and flower market taking place here. The Frauenkirche and the new rathaus overlook this square. There are also several restaurants and a little supermarket here, too.
Tiergartentor Platz: Albrecht Duerer House.
This beautiful square has wonderful old Franconian houses, Durer's House, a slaughtered hare statue, a well. There is a wonderful viewpoint over this square from the castle gardens. You can access the castle from here by going up the steps or through the archway, though that is a much longer route. The famous artist Durer's house is on this square and there is a statue of him down the hill a bit on Durerplatz.
We did not go inside this church. I think it was not open, but we did look at the wonderful carvings on the outside including the carving of the devil crushing a terrified naughty child.
St Seabald's Church: Sebalduskirche.
This is a beautiful church with several lovely carvings on the outside. Entry is free, give an optional donation towards the upkeep of the church. Inside is peaceful with many lovely stained glass windows and paintings. There was an exhibition of old photos showing the square around the church in Hitler's time with swastikas hanging from all the windows of the surrounding houses. This interested me, because I have just finished reading The Book Thief a novel set in wartime Munich. It tells the story of a German family who hide a Jew in their basement. In one scene they are panicking because they have to hang their flag out of the window, but cannot find it. Saint Seabald's was flattened by bombs in 1945 and some of the other photos show the damage and devastation that was done to this lovely building. They then go on to show the restoration and rebuilding that took place. So the exhibition is about triumph over despair. There was a cross of nails on display on one of the church's pillars. This was made from three nails retrieved from the smouldering remains of Coventry Cathedral's spire. Coventry Cathedral was flattened in 1940. The cross was given/lent by the people of Coventry and, for me anyway, was a powerful symbol of the unity felt by those who have suffered in a war regardless of what side they were on.
Beautiful Pegnitz River.
The walk along this river is truely stunning We started from the bridge near the Holy Ghost Hospital and explored both directions to the limits of the old city. If you are on the bridge near the Holy Ghost Hospital looking towards the castle the loveliest stretch of river is off to the left. You will find many bridges, little waterfalls, the hangman's house (apparently the hangman lived away from everyone else as he was so unpopular due to his profession) towers, statues and fantastic views. This was my favourite part of Nuremberg. The walk to the right from the hospital is also lovely, but if you can only do one side, go left. This river flooded really badly in 1909. We found the high water mark and saw pictures of the Haupt Mark under water.
Nazi rally grounds: Zeppelinfeld.
We spent an afternoon looking around the park where the famous Nuremberg rallies once took place. It is such a peaceful place now with lakes, greenery, birds, flowers, people canoeing, jogging, cycling, roller blading. Reminders of the past include the Zeppelin Stadium where Hitler once addressed the crowds from his little podium in front of a replica of the altar of Pergammon. Also the Grosse Strasse which was intended to stretch all the way to the castle in the old town, but was never completed and the Kongresshalle, modelled on the Colosseum and now an empty shell part of which houses the Nuremberg symphony orchestra and part of it houses the museum of Documentation. We got there by taking the S2 line from the hauptbahnhof to Dutzendteich Station. Exit the station and go right.
We are very fortunate in that we have a friend who lives in Nuremberg. This summer she took us by car to the village of Lauf. Lauf would also be perfectly easy to reach by public transport as it is on the S1 line from Nuremberg. Lauf has wonderful Saxon style architecture. It is not a big place, but it is very, very pretty. It has a lovely old town square with town hall and church. This is a pleasant place to sit and eat or drink in one of the open air cafes.
Lauf also has a castle which dates from 1360. At the moment you can admire the outside of the building and wander through its courtyard. According to our friend there are plans to develop the castle and open it up as a museum.
Lauf like Nuremberg and Fuerth is located on the lovely Pegnitz River. It would be lovely to take a long walk along the banks of this river. Wejust had a short walk along the river as we had limited time.
Everywhere: Nuremberger sausages.
While in Nuremberg you have to try the wonderful Nuremberg sausages. You order by number. Minimum is usually six and most places serve them with either potato salad, grated horseraddish or sauerkraut. I ate them three times on a two night stay and I don't even like sausages. Delicious washed down with cold beer.