If you follow me on Instagram, you probably know that this summer’s bucket list is exploring Germany from inside out. I’ve been trying my best, really – experiencing the best of Berlin, eating bratwursts in Leipzig, visiting castles in Schwangau and palaces in Potsdam, learning super useful long German compound words, and generally absorbing as much German culture around me as possible. This summer hasn’t only thoroughly widened my cultural horizons, but also given me a reason to celebrate my first big travel anniversary – the 50th city I’ve ever visited. It happened to be Nuremberg and it happened to be absolutely amazing. I have honestly had the best time of my life on this trip! Nuremberg is now definitely my favourite Bavarian city and here’s why:
1. That walk along the Wall
There are not many cities in the world that are completely surrounded by the defensive wall, but Nuremberg is one of them. The historic centre is safely hidden behind the thick, heavy pieces of stone used to protect the city from invaders back in the Middle Ages. The Nuremberg wall has just a few gates that lead you inside the city, so be attentive – if you’re in a car and you miss the right entrance, you’ll have to make the whole 5km-long drive around the city all over again.
2. Reliving the Nuremberg trials at the Palace of Justice
Even though the dark part of the German history ended in 1945, it took the world another year to draw a thick line between right and wrong – I’m talking about the famous Nuremberg trials. There were quite a few cities that were considered as the location for the trial (among them Leipzig), but the final choice fell on Nuremberg. It happened for two reasons: first, even though more than 90% of Nuremberg’s city centre was completely destroyed, the Palace of Justice remained undamaged. It also conveniently came with a nearby prison, which was quite handy. And secondly, since Nuremberg was considered to be a birthplace of the Nazi Party, ending everything where it started just seemed like an obvious symbolic gesture. Nowadays, you can visit the courtroom, watch videos from the trials, read the biographies (all in German, though) and pay tribute to the victims of the Holocaust by educating yourself about the past.
3. Taking a stroll in Weißgerbergasse
The prettiest (and most photographed) street of Nuremberg. If you go there, you’ll understand why: all those colorful timbered houses just look so cheerful that it makes you smile! At least, that’s the effect they had on me.
4. Checking out the famous Nuremberg markets
Germany is well-known for its street markets, which are seriously the best thing you can experience throughout the whole year, especially winter. Nuremberg’s Christkindlesmarkt is probably the most famous (and pinterested) Christmas market in the world, but in the hot summer days people can still enjoy the beauty of bargaining, the exciting buzz, the street musicians, and the best fresh fruits you can ever get.
5. Felling royal in the Nuremberg Castle
Built on a huge sandstone rock, visiting the Nuremberg Castle is reliving a fairytale. Being one of the most impressive medieval fortifications in Europe, it is actually a city inside a city inside a city. Being there is an absolutely wonderful, magical feeling and the view you get over the city is just so sweet and lovely that you never want to leave! The whole complex comprises the Imperial Castle, the Imperial City and the buildings of the Burgraves of Nuremberg. Oh, and some secret gardens, too!
4. Visiting Albrecht Dürer’s house
Rabbit. Rhino. Praying hands. These are the three famous images that your brain most probably comes up with at the mentioning of Albrecht Dürer – that Christ-looking painter, whose name is the definition of the German Renaissance. Born and buried in Nuremberg, Dürer’s art has conquered the whole world, now exhibited in the galleries of Madrid, London, Florence, Dresden – you name it. Nuremberg, which was heavily damaged during World War II, had the luck to protect the painter’s house from bombs and fires, so that we could enjoy a lovely little museum there now. You get a very informative sneak peek into medieval household with its low ceilings and dark kitchens, and, of course, get to see Dürer’s workshop, where he mixed paint, made prints and expressed his genius self.
7. St. Lorenz or St. Sebaldus?
St. Lorenz is (for a good reason) considered to be the most beautiful church in Bavaria, but in my opinion, St. Sebaldus, Nuremberg’s oldest church, is a good competition. What St. Lorenz has in abundance for the exterior, St. Sebaldus compensates for the interior. There are the most spectacular examples of wood carving that you can ever see and, on top of that, the historical significance of St. Sebaldus isn’t any less important than St. Lorenz. So which one will be your favourite?
I guess you’ll never know unless you visit Nuremberg!