Nuremberg is a city in the German state of Bavaria, in the administrative region of Middle Franconia. Situated on the Pegnitz river and the Rhine–Main–Danube Canal, it is located about 170 kilometres (110 mi) north of Munich and is Franconia's largest city.
|Albrecht Dürer's House|
Nuremberg was a heavily fortified city that was captured in a fierce battle lasting from 17 to 21 April 1945 by the US , which fought house-to-house and block-by-block against determined German resistance, causing further urban devastation to the already bombed and shelled buildings. Despite this intense degree of destruction, the city was rebuilt after the war and was to some extent, restored to its pre-war appearance including the reconstruction of some of its medieval buildings. However, the biggest part of the historic structural condition of the old Imperial Free City was lost forever. Between 1945 and 1946, German officials involved in the Holocaust and other war crimes were brought before an international tribunal in the Nuremberg Trials.
Those who prefer open-air exploration, may take a look at some of Nuremberg's many historical buildings. The imperial castle is particularly impressive. Nuremberg's churches and fountains are also well worth a visit. All those who are curious for more, can visit the "Tiergarten" one of Europe's most beautifully landscaped zoos, the Planetarium, the State Theatre and Opera and many fascinating small theatres.
Every year, Germany's most famous Christmas Market opens its stalls for visitors from all over the world, right in the middle of the city, on Nuremberg Main Market Square. At 5.30 p.m. on the Friday before the first Advent Sunday, the Christmas Angel opens her market, reciting the solemn prologue from the gallery of the church of Our Lady. And as every year, by Christmas Eve, more than two million visitors from all over the world will have sampled the delights of the Christmas Market.
About 180 wooden stalls, festooned with red-and-white cloth, have given the Christmas Market its name of "Little Town from Wood and Cloth". 200 stall holders present their traditional wares: Nuremberg spicy gingerbread, fruit loaves, bakery goods and sweets, typical Christmas articles such as Christmas tree angels, cribs, Christmas tree ornaments and candles, toys as well as arts and crafts products. Favourite souvenirs include "Nuremberg Plum People", little figures made from prunes. And of course, by way of refreshments, there are always rolls with Nuremberg roast sausages and mugs of mulled wine. Nuremberg Christmas Market with its traditional image has also been a model for other Christmas Markets. The "Little Town from Wood and Cloth" has also been much in demand as a picturesque backdrop for TV productions.
- Lorenzkirche (St. Lawrence's Church). The building of this basilica, one of the most important buildings in Nuremberg, in high gothic style started between 1243 and 1315. The western façade between the two steeples is decorated with a rosette window and can be dated via the joint coats of arms of Charles IV and his third wife Anna von Schweidnitz who got married in 1353. Plans were changed during building, integrating the side chapels between the buttresses for the side aisles (1391) and the galleries above the side portals. Between 1439 and 1477, the vast late gothic hall chancel was added. During World War II, St. Lawrence's Church was badly damaged. Reconstruction started after 1945, directed by Julius Lincke (re-consecration on 10 August, 1952). The interior contains important works of art, including numerous epitaphs, stone and wooden sculptures, and most remarkably the tabernacle by Adam Kraft (1493/96), the Annunciation with corresponding chandelier by Veit Stoß (1517/18), the Deocarus Altar (1437) and the Krell Altar (1483). The pulpit is a neo-gothic work.
- The Toll Hall (Mauthalle) was built above the last-but-one city moat between 1498 and 1502 by Hans Beheim the Elder as an Imperial Corn Store. Carts could be driven into the house from both narrow sides of the three-storey sandstone building with its five attic storeys. Hatches for a block-and-tackle above the gable axes and on the eaves sides assisted in transporting the goods inside. In 1571/72, the City's Toll and Weights and Measures Office moved in. In 1896, Toll Hall, which had up until then been used by the Customs Administration, was sold by the Bavarian State to the Foundation for the Hospice of the Holy Spirit and the Landalmosenamtsstiftung, another foundation administered by the City. The house which in 1897/98 had been transformed into a shop and commercial building, burnt out completely in 1945, and was reconstructed in simplified form between 1951 and 1953. Today, the cellar vault supported by 26 pillars houses a restaurant with its own micro-brewery.
- The Germanisches Nationalmuseum. Founded in 1852, the museum houses a large collection of items relating to German culture and art extending from prehistoric times through to the present day. With current overall holdings of about 1.2 million objects, the Germanisches Nationalmuseum is Germany's largest museum of cultural history. Formerly the Germanisches Museum, it was founded by a group of individuals led by Franconian baron, Hans von und zu Aufsess, whose goal was to assemble a "well-ordered compendium of all available source material for German history, literature and art". The buildings incorporate the remaining structures of the former Nuremberg Charterhouse, dissolved in 1525 and used for a variety of secular purposes until in 1857 what was left of the premises, by then badly dilapidated, was given to the Museum.
- Albrecht Dürer's House. Under the heading "Back to Dürer", this house presents the residence and workplace of famous artist Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528). The house was built around 1420. It has five stories; the bottom two have sandstone walls, while the upper stories are timber framed; the entire structure is topped by a half-hip roof. In 1501, it was purchased by Bernard Walther, a merchant and prominent astronomer. Walter remodeled the house, adding small windows to the roof so that it could function as an observatory. Walther died in 1504, and Dürer purchased the house five years later. Special attractions include a painting and printing workshop from Dürer's time, where various artistic techniques are demonstrated. The lady of the house herself, Agnes Dürer, guides visitors through her house by audio-guide (in five languages), telling them much about the everyday life in this artist's household. By special request, she even appears in person to guide visitors through the house.
- The Imperial Castle, symbol of Nuremberg, rises high above the city. The castle, where between 1050 and 1571 all Emperors of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation were in residence at least for some time, is one of the most important imperial palaces of the Middle Ages. The Palas (main building) with its sumptuously furnished Emperor's rooms, the Roman double chapel, the deep well, and the Sinwell Tower, as well as a comprehensive collection of weapons and utensils can be visited today.