Friday, July 14, 2017

Europe 2017: Picture postcards from Nuremberg, Germany

With a population of 510,000, Nuremberg (German: Nürnberg) is Germany's 14th largest city. It's about 20 miles from my hometown, a quick-and-easy 16 minutes by train. It's always been my favorite "big city" in Germany, not only because it's the one I know best, but because the historic city center is so picturesque.

View from Nuremberg Castle


As the site of the Nazi Party's Nuremberg Rallies, the city was a major target for Allied forces in WWII and sustained extensive damage. Many structures were rebuilt, including the main churches in the city center. Today, Nuremberg is an important economic powerhouse, both in industrial production and advanced technologies. In addition, Nuremberg has always been a center of the arts and sciences and is home to major museums such as the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Germany's largest museum of cultural history, and the Spielzeugmuseum, one of the best-known toy museums in the world.

My favorite thing to do in Nuremberg is to take a leisurely stroll through the city center, taking in the sights, sounds and smells (many stalls sell the famous Nuremberg Rostbratwurst). That's exactly what my family and I did the other day. Here is my photography booty.


Heilig-Geist-Spital, built in 1332 over the River Pegnitz as a public facility to care for the sick and elderly

Fleischbrücke over the River Pegnitz in the pedestrian zone

Königstraße, one of several shopping streets in the pedestrian zone

Seen in front of a restaurant on the Hauptmarkt, these olive trees in steel containers have impressively thick trunks

The Hauptmarkt (Main Market Square) is a large square in front of the Gothic Frauenkirche (Our Lady's Church). In December, it hosts Nuremberg's world-famous Christmas market. The rest of the year it's home to vendors selling a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, flowers, spices, baked goods, and the like. Yesterday there was even a stall selling sushi.

Frauenkirche on the Hauptmarkt

Lavender

Love-in-the-mist (Nigella damascena) sold for its attractive seed capsules

These Allium flowers were impressive in size

Artichoke flowers, Eryngium and bulrush (Typha)

Organic herbs

Potted clumping bamboo (Fargesia sp)

After leaving the Hauptmarkt, we proceeded to walk up the hill towards the Imperial Castle:

St Sebaldus Church, originally built in 1225, heavily damaged in WWII and rebuilt afterwards

Fembohaus City Museum, housed in a patrician home built in 1591-1596

Red geraniums seem to be the official window box flowers in Nuremberg:





View towards the Hauptmarkt from the Castle hill


Nuremberg's Imperial Castle is a commanding presence on top of a sandstone ridge in the middle of the city. The beginnings of the medieval fortification can be traced back to circa 1000. The Imperial Castle dates to 1138-1254. Wikipedia has a great aerial photo that shows the entire complex.





The area just below the Imperial Castle is home to many traditional timber-framed houses:



Reflection in a car window


Tiergärtnertor, one of several gates in the city walls


Now we're back in the pedestrian zone:

Kettensteg, a pedestrian chain bridge across River Pegnitz  

My favorite public art piece in the pedestrian zone is the Ehekarussell, a large fountain created between 1977 and 1981 by German sculptor Jürgen Wegner and installed in 1984. Six scenes show the ups and down of marital life--from courtship to the bitter end. When the Ehekarussell was first unveiled, it caused quite a stir. Many considered the depictions to be coarse and vulgar. Others, myself included, think they're humorous and, in the case of some relationships, not far off the mark.






More plant sightings in the pedestrian zone:


My favorite church in Nuremberg is the Lorenzkirche (St Lawrence Church), which dates back to the early 1400s:



The church was heavily damaged in the WWII and then meticulously restored. It was one of the first churches in Germany to become Lutheran (in 1525). The interior is stunningly beautiful.





One our way back to the main train station, we made a quick stop at the Handwerkerhof, a collection of restaurants and shops selling local arts and crafts. This is one the best places in Nuremberg to buy high-quality souvenirs although the typical tourist junk mass-produced in China has made inroads here as well.


And one final picture postcard, this time showing red and white impatiens instead of geraniums:



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15 comments:

  1. Going along with your family on vacation is almost as good as being there myself, and a lot cheaper. Thank you!

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    1. Cheaper for sure! And easier on the tailbone, too. But I'm happy to take one for the team :-).

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  2. Beautiful pictures! Thank you!

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    1. Thank you for coming along. My next post will be extra special, I hope.

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  3. We have a lot in common, Gerhard!
    I agree, Nuremberg is also my favourite town. I actually come from Nuremberg's neigbour town.
    Aber wie kommt ausgerechnet ein Franke, wo doch Franken so heimatverbunden sind, in das Sacramento Valley? Ich bin eigentlich nur von Mittel- nach Unterfranken gezogen. Und mein Mann (ursprünglich aus Chicago) ging gleich mit. :)
    Viele Grüße aus den Hassbergen
    Sigrid

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    Replies
    1. The short story: I went to graduate school in California, fell in love, got married, and somehow 25+ years went by :-).

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    2. A similar story happened to us 22 years ago, just the other way around.
      Have a nice weekend!

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  4. It looks stunning! I'm glad there was an effort to rebuild destroyed building faithfully or at least sympathetically rather than succumb to fifties and sixties box architecture.

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    1. I agree! It's hard to tell what was rebuilt after the war, everything was done so perfectly. The Germans, what can I say :-).

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  5. So much more interesting than downtown Los Angeles!

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  6. What a beautiful city and such a historical treasure. What I particularly like is he idea of pedestrian zones; often historical cities are ruined by the presence of cars.

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    1. Even my hometown (pop. 11,000) has a small pedestrian zone. It really does make for friendlier cities.

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  7. Really nice city, no wonder you like it. Germany, yes: don't see a single bit of litter on the ground in any of your photos. I wish the whole world was like that.

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  8. I love the marriage fountain, but you didn't post my favorite...the rabbit! Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

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