The Historical City of Nuremberg, Germany

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Nuremberg's Fascinating History Includes Middle Ages and the Nazis

Documentation Center of Former Nazi Party Rally Grounds - Nuremberg, Germany
Linda Garrison

Nuremberg is remembered for its place in history as the site of the Nuremberg Nazi Party Rallies of the 1930's, the Allied bombings during the war, and the Nuremberg trials afterward. However, the city's fascinating history dates back to medieval times, when the city was founded in the 11th century. Nuremberg is located at the crossroads of several trade routes and has long played an important historical role.

Although much of Nuremberg was destroyed during World War II, the medieval parts of old town have been faithfully reconstructed. River cruises sailing the Main-Danube Canal stopover in Nuremberg for a tour of the medieval parts of the city and those sections connected with World War II. The canal is about a 15-minute bus ride from the old town, and the city tour sometimes includes a traditional Bavarian lunch and a beer. Nuremberg is also the site of one of the best Christmas markets in central Europe, so river ship passengers can also visit the city in the early winter.

River cruise passengers sailing the Danube River between Budapest and Amsterdam usually spend a day in Nuremberg and travel by bus around the city since all the important historical sites are not within walking distance of the river ships like they are in other ports along the river like in Regensburg, Passau, or Melk. The bus tour usually includes a photo stop at the Documentation Center and the unfinished Congress Hall, which were the sites of the Nazi Party rallies in the 1930's and 1940's. Another photo stop related to the Nazis is the old courthouse where the Nazi War Crime trials were held after World War II. The buses can't go into the old medieval section of the city, so river cruise passengers are invited to walk around this section of the old city with a local guide. The Market Square, old towers, and other ancient structures are fascinating to see. Those who love to shop appreciate the time allotted to shopping at the end of the tour before reboarding the bus and heading back to the river ship.

The Documentation Center at the Nazi Party Rally Grounds in the photo above has exhibits providing information on the history of the National Socialist Party in Nuremberg.

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Congress Hall - Former Nazi Party Rally Grounds

Former Nazi Party Rally Grounds and the river in Nuremberg, Germany
Linda Garrison

The Congress Hall was the largest preserved Nazi building and is part of the rally grounds complex. It is unfinished, but was designed to seat 50,000. 

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Stadium at Former Nazi Party Rally Grounds

Former Nazi Party Rally Grounds
Linda Garrison

During the reign of Hitler prior to World War II, many parades and rallies were held at this site in Nuremberg. Those who lived during this era remember watching the newsreels of Nazis marching at these parade grounds in US movie theaters of the 1930s.

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St. John's Cemetery

Flowers on headstones at St. John's Cemetery in Nuremberg, Germany
Linda Garrison

St. John's Cemetery in Nuremberg is the most famous cemeteries in the city and one of the best-known in Europe.

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Nuremberg Nazi Trials Courthouse

Outside of Nuremberg Nazi Trials Courthouse in Nuremberg, Germany
Linda Garrison
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Nuremberg Train Station

Nuremberg Train Station in Nuremberg, Germany
Linda Garrison
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The Schöner Brunnen Fountain - Nuremberg

The Schöner Brunnen - Beautiful Fountain in Nuremberg
Linda Garrison
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Old Town Nuremberg, Germany

Bridge over river in Old Town Nuremberg, Germany
Linda Garrison
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Old Town Nuremberg

Bikes parked by medieval block building in Old Town Nuremberg
Linda Garrison
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Nuremberg Tower

Medieval Nuremberg Tower
Linda Garrison

Nuremberg has an extensive set of medieval city walls surrounding the old town.

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Holy Spirit Hospital in October

Holy Spirit Hospital on the river in Nuremberg in the fall
Linda Garrison

The Holy Spirit Hospital in Nuremberg was one of the largest hospitals of the Middle Ages. It was founded in 1332. The next photo shows the hospital in June.

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Holy Spirit Hospital in June

Holy Spirit Hospital on the river in Nuremberg in the summer
Linda Garrison

This photo of the Holy Spirit Hospital, which was built in the 14th century, was taken in June. Compare it to the previous photo that was taken in October.

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Church of Our Lady

Church of Our Lady in Nuremberg
Linda Garrison
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Church of Our Lady Clock

Nuremberg Church of Our Lady Clock
Linda Garrison

The "Running Men" clockwork was created in 1509 and every day at noon seven electors pay homage to Emperor Charles IV sitting on the throne.

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St. Lorenz Cathedral in Nuremberg

St. Lorenz Cathedral in Nuremberg
Linda Garrison
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Statue in Old Town Nuremberg

Ship of Fools statue in Old Town Nuremberg
Linda Garrison

Old town Nuremberg has numerous interesting statues such as this one, which seems to definitely have a dark theme of death.

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