Three days in Nürnberg
Just three days: that’s all the amount of time I needed to fall in love with Nürnberg, this German gem of a Bavarian city, set along the Pegnitz River.
I chose to be accommodated in Boxdorf, approximately 10 kilometers north of Nürnberg, in a lovely 4 star family-run hotel called Hotel Schindlerhof. This Japanese-themed hotel has a zen kind of atmosphere that cannot be explained, yet must be absolutely experienced. One of the greatest perks was their bike rental facilities, considering the fact that Boxdorf is a wide green area surrounded by lovely nature just waiting to be explored.
As I set myself out to discover the city, I learned some interesting historical facts as well. Nürnberg was originally a castle and by 1219 AD, a settlement developed around it, soon making it a free imperial city. The inhabitants were craftsmen and patricians. During Middle Ages, Nürnberg grew into a strong economic and cultural center and, by late 17th century became part of the kingdom of Bavaria. Unfortunately, during World War II, the city was severely damaged, yet remained the famous location of post War Trials, in which Nazi perpetrators were tried and punished for their crimes.
Today, Nürnberg is a major producer of mechanical, optical and electrical goods and a production center for the toy industry. In line with its commercial development stands the city’s international airport, which is an important base for commercial and VIP flights and aircraft maintenance centers.
Strolling through the city, by far the most remarkable sight is the Historic Center (Altstadt), where the medieval origins of Nürnberg become obvious in a remarkable way: beautiful Bavarian architecture on cobblestone streets, cozy shops, half timbered houses and remarkable churches. Among these, St Lorenz church was the one I found truly impressive, due to its beautiful gothic ensemble and its architectural finesse. On the inside, St Lorenz is an art museum: altarpieces, sculptures, paintings and many other remarkable Gothic style artifacts.
Further east, I walked along The Beautiful Fountain, a monument 19 meters high shaped as a Gothic spire.
Passing by, I couldn’t miss visiting the City Museum Fembohaus, where the history of Nürnberg is so wonderfully illustrated in the shape of handicrafts, documents, city models, magnificent room decorations, movies and paintings.
The north of Old Town proudly displays the landmark of Nürnberg: Kaiserburg (The Castle). A hike to the top of the fortress guarantees the most beautiful views of the city.
In my Altstadt hike, Pilatushaus caught my eye, with its late Gothic style architecture and interesting facade. Entering it, I had the chance to enjoy the latest temporary modern art collection exhibited.
I was, of course, curious to see the famous Trial Courthouse, set into the Palace of Justice: a 2 hour tour of the courtroom and museum, where I experienced the bitterness yet just end of a cruel time in history…
To end my trip on a more cheerful note, I decided to visit the zoo and dolphinarium, a place both educational and fun. There are around 290 animal species to observe, including large mammals, different predators and a variety of monkeys.
Leaving Nürnberg has left me feeling nostalgic, like I have just travelled back in history and now I miss all of it. I then justly came to the conclusion that this city is not to be visited only once. I will be coming back!