Nuremberg Documentation Center
After Munich, Nuremberg is one of the major cities in the German state of Bavaria. Southern Nuremberg is a grim reminder of the atrocities of the National Socialist Party. Even now, there are the remains of Nazi buildings spread across an area of 11 square kilometers.
The National Socialist Party intended to construct their Congress on the Nazi Party Rally Grounds. Originally built to house 50,000 people, the structure was left unfinished. Today it houses the Nuremberg Documentation Center. A permanent exhibition “Fascination and Terror” details the history, activities and consequences of the Nazi regime of terror.
The Documentation Center has won many awards such as the Innovation Prize of Nuremberg, and is recognized by the British Guild of Travel Writers.
Albrecht Dürer’s House
Nuremberg is home to some of the last remaining burgher houses in Germany. One of them is the home of Germany’s most famous artist, Albrecht Dürer, who worked and lived in Nuremberg for 20 years. The house also holds the reputation of being the only surviving house of an artist in Northern Europe from the 15th century.
Born in Nuremberg, Albrecht Dürer became famous for his beautiful woodcut prints. He held favor with the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, as well as rubbed shoulders with other famous artists like Leonardo da Vinci and Giovanni Bellini.
One of Nuremberg’s most famous fountains, Schöner Brunnen, is found in the city’s market square. However, this is a replica that was placed here in the beginning of the 20th century. The original fountain was erected around 1385-96, fragments of which can be found in the Germanisches Nationalmuseu.
Schöner Brunnen is around 19 meters tall and imitates the structure of a Gothic spire. There are two brass rings on the fence surrounding the fountains. It is believed that spinning the rings brings good luck. If you are in Nuremberg, don’t forget to give it a try!
Schöner Brunnen is adorned with nearly 40 colorful figures that illustrates the world as per the Holy Roman Empire’s ideology. The figures include:
- 7 Liberal Arts
- 4 Evangelists (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John)
- 4 Church Fathers
- 7 Prince Electors
- Nine Worthies (King Arthur, Emperor Charlemagne, Lord Godfrey of Bouillon, Joshua, David, Judas, Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, and Prince Hector)
- 7 Prophets (Daniel, Joel, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Amos, Hosea and Jeremiah)
Nuremberg Imperial Castle
One of the most significant palaces of the Middle Ages, the Nuremberg Imperial Castle was the temporary residence of all the emperors between 1050 and 1571. The castle was symbolic of the power of the Holy Roman Empire, and the significant role played by the Imperial City of Nuremberg.
The Nuremberg Imperial Castle is built around an inner courtyard. It consists of the following:
- Pentagonal Tower and Walburgis Chapel (former Burgrave’s Castle)
- Imperial Stables (former corn granary of Nuremberg)
- Sinwell Tower
- Bower (houses the Imperial Castle Museum)
One of the big highlights of the Nuremberg Imperial Castle, is the observation platform on Sinwell Tower. At a height of 385 meters, the Sinwell Tower offers panoramic views of the city of Nuremberg.
Despite the cloudy days, I still think this photo captures the cityscape perfectly.
Together with the Nuremberg Imperial Castle, the city walls run for 5 kilometers (only 4 kilometers remain today), and are considered one of Europe’s most extensive medieval fortifications.
As you walk around Nuremberg, you will come across some of the remnants of these medieval city walls.
The three-aisled basilica Lorenzkirche is one of the most important Evangelical Lutheran churches in the Bavarian region. Dedicated to Saint Lawrence, the church sustained severe damage during World War II and underwent extensive restoration.
Designed in the late German Sondergotik style of Gothic architecture, Lorenzkirche’s western facade is quite remarkable. It consists of a striking ornate portal decorated with statuary, an indented rose window, stained glass work, and twin towers. During the iconoclasm of the Reformation period, wealthy citizens of Nuremberg refused to remove the art works of the Lorenzkirche, thus preserving treasures of immense value.
Fun fact: Consisting of over 12,000 pipes and 165 registers, the three-part pipe organ of Lorenzkirche is one of the largest in the world.
Nuremberg has many prominent parishes and churches, and that includes Frauenkirche, Franconia’s first Gothic church.
In 1356, seven prince-electors proclaimed the Golden Bull and paid their respects to the Holy Roman Emperor, Karl IV. This historic event is celebrated every day at noon by the mechanical clock and glockenspiel, Männleinlaufen. During World War II, the Männleinlaufenwas safely stored in a bunker.
The most famous of Nuremberg’s churches is Sebaldkirche. The city’s oldest church, Sebaldkirche was constructed in the 13th century. Originally designed in the late Romanesque architectural style, later modifications incorporated Gothic elements. Sebaldkirche too suffered during World War II, and had much restoration work done.
The church’s highlight is the bronze shrine of Saint Sebald, Nuremberg’s patron saint. This Gothic and Renaissance masterpiece took the artist, Peter Vischer the Elder and his two sons, 11 years to complete. It is believed that the bones of Saint Sebaldus lie in the silver embossed casket.