Germany City Travel Guide: Nuremberg

Nuremberg (Nürnberg)

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Historically Nuremberg was one of Europe's most important and culturally endowed cities. It was the unofficial capital of the Holy Roman Empire and the residence of German kings. In the mid-fifteenth century, Pope Pius II penned the following eulogy: "Nothing more magnificent or splendid is to be found in the whole of Europe, When one perceives this glorious city from afar, its splendour is truly dazzling. When one enters it, one's original impression is confirmed by the beauty of the streets and the comeliness of the houses. The burghers' dwellings seem to have been built for princes." And on and on.

With the opening of trade routes to Asia and the Americas, Nuremberg began a slow decline. This was exacerbated by the Reformation, and its concurrent loss of patronage from the Catholic emperors. On January 2, 1945, a hail of Allied bombs reduced 90% of the downtown area to rubble.

Today Nuremberg is a thriving industrial, commercial and hi-tech center with workers from all over Europe -especially the former Eastern bloc -plying their trades. The horror of January 1945 are but a historical footnote and lodged in the local collective memory; however, visually, there are no signs.

The city is still known for its gingerbread and handmade toy industries. It is perhaps best known, though, as the center of the German Renaissance. Among the leaders of this movement, Albrecht Dürer stands hand and shoulders above the rest. Today his house is a popular tourist destination.

Nuremberg's main sights are contained in the lovingly restored Altstadt (Old City) and the city also boasts the Germanic National Museum, a wonderful toy museum (Spielzeungmuseum), the Neus (New) Museum that is devoted to design since 1945, the Congress Hall in which the Nuremberg trials took place, and the 12th-century church St. Sebaldus-Kirch. This the oldest and most significant church in Nuremberg and is blessed with great statuary and sculpture.

Mid-twentieth century Nuremberg recalls the Nazi rallies in the massive stadium, the destructive Allied bombing campaign and, after the War, the trials that took place in the city. The site of the infamous Nazi rallies now contain a permanent exhibition entitled "Faszination und Gewalt" (Fascination and Terror).

The city has now recovered its past glories and Nuremberg is a lively place to visit, especially in summer, when the magnificent Altstadt is buzzing with outdoor music, street theatre, and nightlife. Moreover, the month of June is when the city hosts Kulturzirkus and Meistersingerhalle. The former is a festival of international theater. At the end of June the latter, Meistersingerhalle, showcases organ recitals throughout the city's churches.

Nuremberg Tourist Offices

Nuremberg Tourist Office
At the main station (Hauptbanhof): 0911/2-33-61-32
Or in the Rathaus, Hauptmarkt 18: 0911/2-33-61-35

Getting to Nuremberg


A small airport, Nuremberg is serviced by 14 airlines that fly throughout Europe including a direct flight to London Stansted. Nuremberg airport is 6.5km north of the city center. Tel: 01805/99-66-33.


From the Nurnberg Hauptbahnhof (main station) it is two hours to Frankfurt, 6 to Berlin, and 1 hour and forty minutes to Munich. Trains reach Bamberg in a hour or less. Tel: 01 805/99-66-33. Take the U2 subway in just over 10 minutes to the center or bus #32. The north-south, east-west subway lines intersect at Hauptbahnhof.


A3 Autobahn to Frankfurt, A9 to Munich and Munich.


For those with a bit more time, it is possible to travel on the Rhine, Main, or Danube, via the Main-Danube Canal. Call Hafenver-Waltung Nurnberg: 0911/64-29-40.


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Hotel Nestor: 4 Star Hotel with 74 rooms; 10 mins from the old city.
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Local football teams

FC Nuremberg currently plays in the Bundesliga's Second Division. The team plays its home matches in the Frankenstadion, which first opened in 1991. In preparation for the World Cup, seating will be expanded to 45,000, including extra seats for the media and VIP boxes.

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