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Nuremberg (Nürnberg): a suggestive medieval city

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Nuremberg (Nürnberg) (500,000 inhabitants) is an important city in Bavaria located north-west of Munich along the banks of the Pegnitz river. Nuremberg is the most important city in Franconia and the second largest after Munich in all of Bavaria.

The city of Nuremberg was founded in the 11th century as an imperial castle. In the following years the city had a remarkable development, it was the seat of the Imperial Diet (Reichstag) becoming the “unofficial capital” of the Holy Roman Empire. In 1219 Nuremberg became a free imperial city. The development of the city also translated into an increase in trade and commerce, Nuremberg became, together with the city of Augsburg, one of the two large commercial centers on the merchant route that connected Italy to Northern Europe.

The city experienced its heyday in the 15th and 16th centuries when it became one of the main centers of the German Renaissance and humanism. Nuremberg was one of the first European cities where science, in particular astronomy, printing, and mechanical inventions were developed. During the Thirty Years War, in 1632 Nuremberg was occupied by Swedish troops. The trade and importance of the city decreased significantly after the war. Only with the industrial revolution of the nineteenth century did Nuremberg return to have a certain importance as an industrial center.


Despite the damage suffered during the Second World War, the city preserves interesting civil and religious buildings and a city wall enriched by 80 towers. The buildings of Nuremberg testify to the flourishing past of the city, its historic center is almost entirely surrounded by medieval walls, they extend along a 5 km route, divided into two walls, they were built between the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. On the walls there are four monumental gates: Laufer Tor, Frauentor, Spittlertor and Neutor.


The Nuremberg Imperial Castle (Nürnberger Burg) is one of the oldest buildings in the city and dates back to the 12th century. Inside the castle there is the imperial residence (Kaiserburg) with the chapel (Kapelle) built at the end of the XII century in Romanesque style. Next to the castle are the mighty Tiergärtnertor, a square tower from the 16th century, and the Pilatushaus, a half-timbered house from the 15th century.

In the heart of the historic center is the Hauptmarkt, the square where the famous Christmas Market (Christkindlesmarkt) takes place. In the square are the Schöne Brunnen, a beautiful 14th century fountain, and the Frauenkirche, a 14th century Gothic church. Near the square, along the Pegnitz river, there is the ex-hospital of Holy Spirit (Heilig-Geist-Spital), a 14th-century building with additions from the 15th century.

Also nearby is the Fleischbrücke Renaissance bridge that spans the Pegnitz River. Beyond the bridge is the splendid Lorenzkirche, a masterpiece of Gothic art built between the 13th and 15th centuries. The wealth of the city is reflected in the city’s Gothic buildings and houses that dominate the urban landscape. One of the most scenic places in Nuremberg is located along the river at the Weinstadel, the ancient wine warehouse, built as a hospital in the 15th century and then used as a wine storage area from the 17th century.

Just north of the Hauptmarkt are the Altes Rathaus, a Renaissance town hall, and the late Romanesque church of St. Sebald, the oldest church in the city, with splendid stained glass windows and the Gothic-Renaissance tomb of Sankt. Sebald (Sebaldus-Grab) work of the 16th century by Peter Vischer the Elder.


Nuremberg houses some interesting museums, including the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, a museum dedicated to German art and culture through the centuries from prehistory to the present day, there are paintings, sculptures, sacred objects, musical instruments. The Albrecht-Dürer-Haus is a museum dedicated to the Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer, the artist lived in this house for almost 20 years until his death. The Kunsthalle Nürnberg is an art gallery exhibiting works by contemporary artists. The Neues Museum Nürnberg is a museum dedicated to modern and contemporary art and design.

For those traveling with children an interesting museum is the Transport Museum (DB Museum). One of the oldest technical history museums in Europe, it is formed by the German Railway Museum and the Museum of Communication. There are ancient trains and locomotives, as well as model railways and an 80 m2 railway model.

Another museum suitable for children is the Toy Museum (Spielzeugmuseum Nürnberg). The museum provides an overview of the cultural history of the toy. In the various rooms of the museum there are toys ranging from the Middle Ages to the present day, there are dolls, toy trains, wooden toys, toy soldiers, legos, etc. Another interesting destination for those with children is a visit to the Nuremberg Zoo (Tiergarten Nürnberg) where about 300 species of animals are visible.

The climate of Nuremberg.



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