"Nuremberg" Top 5 Page for this destination Nürnberg by nicolaitan

Nürnberg Travel Guide: 942 reviews and 3,147 photos

Nuremberg far exceeded our greatest expectations - a wonderful city. Much smaller than the more famous German tourist haunts, it obviously will have less "things to see". Nonetheless, we found the people friendly, the tourist attractions uniformly interesting and worth more time than we had, as well as excellent food, good shopping, and a fun environment. Most of the attractions are easily accessed by walking through the walled city and the comprehensive public transit system is easy to use for the remainder. My tips will try to present the best of Nuremberg in something resembling a logical order.

The History

There is, sadly, no greater testament to the importance of relatively small city to modern Germany and its history than the central place it occupied in Nazi culture. Hitler called Nuremberg "the most German of all cities" and elevated it far beyond its anticipated place based on size. A town has existed on the banks of the Pegnitz river since at least 1050 and became an important city first because the congresses of the Holy Roman Empire convened at the castle. With Augsburg, Nuremberg was also a major trade center in the Middle Ages between Italy and northern Europe. After 1356, new kings were required to convene their first courts here and as an Imperial Free City it was chosen to house the imperial jewels. Despite location on only a minor river, its status as a craft and trading center grew.
Its critical position on trade routes meant an early arrival of Renaissance art and in the 15th and 16th Centuries, Nuremberg was a center of artistic achievement for Germany as well as a center for science ( esp printing ) and culture. This independent spirit led to an early adoption of the Reformation.
Nuremberg's star fell in the 16th Century = the independent-minded Protestants fell from favor with the ruling Catholic Wittelsbach family combined with the siege of Nuremberg during the Thirty Years War and outbreaks of assorted plagues led to economic downfall not to be redressed till the late 19th Century. In 1806, Napoleon made Nuremberg a controlled province of Bavaria. Industry and prosperity returned in the late 1800's although politically Nuremberg would remain a backwater until 1933.
Nuremberg has a long history of anti-Semitism. As early as 1298, the Rintfleisch massacres cost 20000 Jewish lives in Nuremberg, Bamberg, Wurzburg, and Rothenburg ODT. Over the centuries, there were several pogroms culminating with exile of Nuremberg's Jews in 1670.

The Nazi Years and the Present

Given the importance of Nuremberg to the past and especially the Holy Roman Empire, as well as other less salubrious events, Adolf Hitler chose this city as the site of the huge annual NSDAP rallies and party congresses. The Nuremberg Laws of 1935 represented the first step on the road to the Final Solution. The monumental Congress Hall, stadia, and Parade Grounds were constructed at the " Soul of the Nazi Empire". WWII led to the absolute destruction of this city - by 1945 it accounted for fully half the war armament and vehicle production for the entire nation and paid the price with saturation bombing which levelled 90% of the buildings. After the war, the famed Nuremberg trials led to the execution of many prominent Nazis as well as long jail terms and for some acquittal for war crimes. The Nuremberg Trials have been the subject of many movies and much literature, but none is so compelling as the original film from the trials shown at the Nazi Documentation Center.
Nuremberg has been rebuilt physically as well as economically and socially. Its churches, castle, and extensive Gothic buildings and museums make it a most rewarding city for the modern tourist and the Nazi Documentation Center is unforgettable. The frank, sometimes brutal, honesty of the Documentation Center say a great deal about Nuremberg's understanding of the past.

  • Intro Updated Dec 2, 2007
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Reviews (29)

Comments (14)

  • breughel's Profile Photo
    Mar 13, 2013 at 4:14 AM

    Very interesting historical pages. Fine that you reviewed the Middle Age period, often overseen.

  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo
    Dec 20, 2012 at 7:17 AM

    Great tips Lew!

  • Durfun's Profile Photo
    Jun 3, 2011 at 11:22 AM

    Great page, I'll have to make notes for my visit. Love the quirky merry-go-round :-) Still have not seen Bavaria!!

  • omidamini's Profile Photo
    Jul 15, 2009 at 1:45 AM

    Your Nurnberg Page is very helpful, Thanks alot, I hope see you here.

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo
    Apr 12, 2008 at 9:38 PM

    Top page here!I greatly enjoyed my visit here for one of Bavaria's best Christmas markets - and had a ball staying up in the Castle's youth hostel.The RC Mary statues according to my gd German friend are still regarded as essential for Good Luck to RC's!

  • Ekaterinburg's Profile Photo
    Apr 1, 2008 at 3:30 PM

    Rooftops, Anunciations and Durer - what more could anyone want? I'm going to Bavaria with the UCC group in December and hope to get to Nuremberg. After reading this page I feel like I know it already:))

  • Mar 1, 2008 at 5:34 PM

    Thats my birthplace. volopolo

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Jan 30, 2008 at 11:39 AM

    Hi Lew, you've certainly done your homework on Nürnberg! Very detailed and informative tips. Thanks for emphasizing the Documentation Center.

  • Jan 23, 2008 at 4:18 PM

    Brilliant Page!!!!! Thanks for the VT postcard of the trams too! I think the Sevilla trams are, in general, plastered with adverts more! In your photo there were still trams in which you could use the windows! ;)

  • Andi14's Profile Photo
    Jan 11, 2008 at 9:42 AM

    Just got back from Nuremberg, where we visited Confiserie Neef after reading your recommendation. We really enjoyed the apple cake - and the respite from the freezing winter day! Thanks!


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