"Nürnberg - Oft-missed Jewel of Franconia" Nürnberg by flyingscot4
Nürnberg Travel Guide: 883 reviews and 2,997 photos
One of my two favorite cities in the world, Nürnberg, Germany is the capitol of Franconia which is part of Bavaria. Nürnbergers consider themselves Franconians first, then Bavarians, and always German.
Nürnberg was, and is still remembered as the city of the Nürnberg War Crimes Tribunal following WWII. It was a National Socialist Party (Nazi) headquarters, and has many famous WWII landmarks including the Documentation Center, the immense parade ground (Zeppelinwiese) with Hitler's viewing stand (the Tribune, and open to the public) as well as the court house where the trials were held.
What is not as well-remembered is that this beautiful city was 90% leveled by allied bombing in January 1945. Only Dresden, Germany (of Kurt Vonnegut's marvelous book, "Slaughterhouse Five") was more devastated. Following the war, the city was rebuilt and recreated much as it stood before the ravages of war. It is today's Nürnberg that is the subject of this guide.
I was stationed in this city from 1962 to 1965. It was at that time that my infatuation with Germany began. I am still enchanted by the country and its people and I visit as often as I can. I stroll through medieval towns marveling at what was accomplished so long ago. I can visit Rothenburg ob der Tauber or Dinkelsbühl over and over again, each time finding something new. The fairy tales from my childhood memory come to life in some of these small towns and villages. Germany is a unique country to me just as Bavaria is a unique state and Nürnberg is a unique and wonderful city.
The opening photograph is one of the most famous Nürnberg sights. It is the Weinstadl (Wine Storage House or Depot), Wasserturm (Water Tower), and Henkersteg (Hangman's Bridge which is hidden by the willow tree). Condemned criminals were brought across the bridge to the Water Tower, where they were hanged. It is a perfect example of the half-timbered buildings that are common sights in this country.
(I have written that Nürnberg is my favorite city in Europe. By that I mean the continent. My "favorite" city in the world is still Edinburgh, Scotland. Perhaps it is because my heritage on both sides of my family is Scottish. Whatever the reason, Nürnberg is next on the list. What I like about Scotland is the wild country and scenery, the history, the clans, the battles, the craic, the music, and the people. The Scots and the Irish are the most friendly people that I have found in the world [I haven't been everywhere yet]. But to be honest, I can't afford even pub food in Britain anymore. So I wander around with a diet of sandwiches for a couple of weeks at a time. One of the things that I love about Nürnberg is the food. There are so many reasonably-priced restaurants all over the city. Nobody does pork better than a German, and Nürnberger Bratwurst is the best in the world, as far as I am concerned.)
Nürnberg was a walled city in the middle ages. Much of that wall and its towers are still in existence. The wall ramparts are usable and the 80 towers are most impressive. Much of the wall was destroyed at the end of WWII, but it has been faithfully recreated. The tower in the photograph is the Königstor (King's Gate) and it is the Frauentor (Queen's Gate) on the other side. The walk around the entire walled-city is over 3 miles, but worth it if one has time. More about this coming later following my next trip in April 2007.
These are actually two castles in one. One of them, the Kaiserburg, was originally built in the 11th century, followed by a Hohenzollern structure next door. The interior of the Kaiserburg is open by tour (in German) only, but the grounds are free. Some of the best views of the city are found from the walls of the structure. On one of the northern outside walls is found a set of hoof prints. The legend goes that a certain robber baron named Eppelein von Gailingen (born c.1310 in Illesheim; died May 15, 1381 in Neumarkt) was about to be hanged for his crimes, and asked as his final request, to be allowed to sit upon his horse one last time. His wish was granted and he spurred his horse over the wall, into the moat, and escaped. He was recaptured eventually and received no last wish. He died on the "breaking wheel" instead (a much more gruesome death than hanging). In the 16th century he apparently became a romantic folk hero and songs were written about his exploits. More about the castle is coming later following my next trip in April 2007.
- Pros:Nürnberger Bratwurst, reasonable dining, great city, wonderful people.
- Cons:none - everyone should see the Documentation Center once
- In a nutshell:Watch for new tips coming after my trip in April 2007.
One of the few artifacts not destroyed by the allied bombing in WWII, "der Schöne Brunnen" is located in Nürnberg's... more travel advice
The wall around the old city of Nürnberg is part of the marvelous history of this Franconian City. It was much destroyed... more travel advice
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