Monday, June 2, 2014

Nuremberg

After spending two days of my Christmas trip in Nuremberg, I'd have to say that it was by far one of the most interesting places I have ever been.  Nuremberg is the second largest city in the region of Bavaria in Germany.  The old town part of the city is walled.  Although a large portion of it was destroyed in World Ward II, much of its medieval structures were rebuilt.



For several years Nuremberg had strong ties to Nazi history - Nuremberg Rules, Nuremberg Nazi Rallies, and the Nuremberg Trials.  For many years after World War II, much of the city tried to ignore their history and move past it.  However, over the last few years they've realized that most of their young people didn't have an understanding of what happened there, so there has been a recent push for teaching local history.  We took an incredible WWII tour with "Geschichte Fur Alle" (History for All)  - an awful period of time but a fascinating tour.
Due to Nuremberg's central location and its history with the Holy Roman Empire, it was chosen to be the "ideal" location for all things Nazi.  Albert Speer, Hitler's architect, was charged with creating Nuremberg into the "City of the Reich Party Congress".  Congress Hall (above) was designed after the Colosseum in Rome, but was never finished.
Zeppelin Field was built as the Nazi Rally Grounds.

 The grandstand structure is still there and now used for sporting events and concerts.  

 I must say it was quite surreal to be on these grounds shown in the pictures.  Even more so was that the area is now used as a park of sorts.  We walked by roller bladers and kids playing soccer (fußball) and families with little kids riding bikes.  I would imagine being a resident there, you couldn't spend your time dwelling on this past, remembering yes, but not dwelling.  As a visitor, I had a hard time wrapping my mind around this awful place being used for their everyday life.
After a gut wrenching start of the tour we ended at the Palace of Justice and more specifically Court Room 600, the site of the Nuremberg Trials.  


 Still a working courtroom, we were able to sit in the stands since we visited on the weekend.  After learning more about the part Nuremberg played in the Nazi history, this courtroom was such a symbolic place to have the trials.

The small museum inside the courthouse was riveting.  The place was like a three-ringed circus during the trials, and the museum did a good job presenting that.  

Even though Christmas had come and gone by the time we arrived in Nuremberg, the Old Town was still lit up beautifully.  My iPhone took some nice nighttime photos...

The SchΓΆner Brunnen (The Beautiful Fountain)-1396 and Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady)-1361 




 Lebkuchen (like gingerbread) is a specialty of Nuremberg.  
Lorenzkirche (St. Lorenz Cathedral) built between 1243-1477, but sustained damage in WWII.  Reconstructed in 1952.

Nuremberg is a charming city with loads of history.  I was glad to have visited.

7 comments:

  1. Lovely shots of a lovely city.

    If that's the narrative they're handing out on a tour they aren't being quite truthful.
    Nuremberg was chosen long before the Nazi period as the place with purity. It wasn't part of the Roman empire and that bit was very important to Wagner, Nietzsche et al. Bayreuth was the only other place that was seen as having that grace.
    You kinda have to grip your mind and wrack it into something weird to come close to getting the Nazi mind, if you come at them directly. However if you come down on them from about 1848 it's not so difficult. And what make them incredibly scary to me is the sheer normality and logic of their thought. In those rallies, Hitler wasn't introducing anything new. It was a relatively simple chauvinism.

    A beautiful review of a lovely city.

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    1. Hmmm, I think maybe my writing was just not as clear as it should have been. I was trying to say essentially the same as you, with the reasons to why he chose it. It is my understanding that the first references of the castle in Nuremberg link it to being built as part of the Holy Roman Empire but later the castle and surrounding town was given independence. When I mentioned its history with the HRE, I meant the link it had with it as, if I'm remembering correctly, Nuremberg played an important role in it.
      Anyhow, I think I'm digging my writing hole even deeper. :) I was trying not to include too much detail making it more about the photos (and because obviously I shouldn't be writing about history), which maybe made it unclear.
      But, yes that's what I meant!

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  2. Sorry, tiz hard to see the length of the passage in the little box. And I realised as soon as I saw it out it the open it was going away from your topic.

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    1. No, not at all. And I didn't find it off topic. I tried to summarize and minced my words instead. :)
      I find that only seeing about 4 lines of all of my comments while I'm writing them, I'm rather shocked when they post and they're several inches long.

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    2. I rather enjoy your long ones.
      It was possible to delete a comment in blogger but I cannot if I post in wordpress format.

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  3. What an interesting tour you had....I found it fascinating. Today is a particularly good day to read about how awful that period of German History was. The mindset of German culture was particularly open to Nazi thought.

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