Sunday, July 23, 2017

Surprising Nuremberg

"Nuremberg shines throughout Germany like a sun among the moon and stars." Martin Luther

Half timbered houses in the Alstadt
On January 2, 1945, the British Royal Air Force and the U.S. Air Force flew over Nürnberg (Nuremberg) leveling nearly 90% of the Alstadt (Old Town). What was once one of the most important cities of the Holy Roman Empire was turned to rubble. Hitler's rallying ground during World War II was effectively stamped out though it took until April 1945 to weed out German resistance during the house-to-house campaign. 

After the war Nuremberg was rebuilt from the ground up using the same stones that were the foundation of the old structures. What we see today is a faithful reconstruction of Nuremberg's glorious past. In the image above, restored half-timbered houses dot the Alstadt.

Saint Lorenz Church
Construction of St. Lorenz Church began in the 13th century and was completed in 1477. It became a Lutheran church during the Reformation. The current church was heavily damaged during WWII but it was painstakingly restored to its former glory. The front façade is made of brick with two green copper spires, a rose window, and an arched door. Buttresses support the Gothic structure on both sides. Unfortunately,  I wasn't able to view the interior because when I came back from walking around the old town, there was a group of protesters in front of the main portal.



Heilig Geist Spital
The Heilig Geist Spital was a former hospital for the sick and elderly. It now houses a restaurant. It makes a pretty picture with the Pegnitz river running underneath the building.

Schöner Brunnen
The Schöner Brunnen (beautiful fountain) was erected between 1385-1396. It looks like a church steeple decorated with gilt and statues representing the world view of the Holy Roman Empire. In the background is the Frauenkirche, a Catholic church from the 14th century.

Frauenkirche and Hauptmarkt
The Hauptmarkt has been around since the Middle Ages. These days it is open Mondays through Saturdays and among its offerings are fruits and produce, flowers and plants, bread and cake, cheese and meats. This is also the venue for the annual Christmas Market. There are outdoor cafés to sit and soak in the scene. 

The Frauenkirche (Church of our Lady) is a brick, Gothic church commissioned by Charles IV, the Holy Roman Emperor from 1352-1362. His son, Wenceslas, was baptized here in 1361. This Church has a mechanical clock or Männleinlaufen that is activated at noon and the figures of the Electors parade around the Holy Roman Emperor below the clock on the front façade in commemoration of the Golden Bull of 1356. The Golden Bull established the constitutional framework of the Holy Roman Empire for 400 years.

Albrecht Dürer House
Albrecht Dürer, the foremost German Renaissance artist, lived in this house from 1509 until his death in 1528.  Dürer's works include paintings, engravings, woodcuts, and altarpieces. He was also a prolific writer. Among his best known works are the Four Apostles, the engraving of  Adam and Eve, the Apocalypse woodcuts and his three self-portraits.

Street corner statues
An engaging feature of Nuremberg are these statues found on various corners in the old town. Some of the figures are of saints and the Virgin Mary with the Child Jesus. Some statues are gilded or painted such as the example above.

Handwerkerhof of Nuremberg
Nuremberg is a two hour train ride from Munich using the local train. A one way ticket is 20€. There are ICE trains that cover the distance in just an hour but the fare is triple the price Alternatively, Flixbus makes the journey to Nuremberg in 2 hours from the bus terminal off of Arnulfstrasse, a short walk from the Hauptbahnhof. Flixbus drops off passengers across from the train station in Nuremberg. The bus has a restroom.

The tourist information center in Nuremberg is inside the walled city, right by the Frauentorturm which can be reached from the train station using the underpass. You can get a map and help with directions at this office. There are also postcards and souvenir items for sale here at reasonable prices.

*****

Images by TravelswithCharie



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