Nuremberg (Nürnberg), a beautiful Bavarian gem in disguise.

Frauenkirche Nürnberg (Church of our Lady, Nuremberg) built in the 14th century decorated in full pomp during the Christmas Market Season (Advent Season)

Nuremberg (Nürnberg / Nuernberg) is truly one gem of a city, disguised in all the major tourist hotspots in south Germany. It is the first city that came to our minds, while still learning German in Goethe Institut, Mumbai, when someone suddenly blurted ‘Christmas Market’ in the class. Yes, it is the ‘City’ that should be very high on your bucket list or wish list, whatever you call it these days, when you think in terms of Christmas Markets and all things Christmas.

Frauenkirche Nürnberg (Church of our Lady) during the rest of the year with the main city market square in front of it where the Christmas Market takes place.

Nuremberg is famous for the biggest Christmas Market not just in Germany, but in the whole of Europe. It is also one of the oldest Christmas Market that has been running annually during the Advent Season since centuries. The Christmas Market is called “Christkindlesmarkt” in the local language (Image below).

The Christmas Market in Nuremberg is called Christkindlesmarkt in the local language. It literally means ‘the spirit of Christmas’ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_market

But Nuremberg is not just famous for its Christmas Market, it also has a beautiful hill top Castle of its own called the “Kaiserburg Nürnberg” that sits right in the middle of the old town, which hosts an amazing Imperial Castle Museum (image below) with artefacts dating back to the 18th Century. The views from top of the Nuremberg Castle (images below) are simply mesmerising. Nuremberg or Nürnberg, as the city is called in German, competes well with any other European city in its beautiful tiled roofed homes (images below), some of which are over hundreds of years old. The city has a strong medieval flair with its fortified walls and watchtowers (image below) along the old city centre. At the old towns main square is the “Schöner Brunnen” (images below), literally meaning ‘beautiful fountain’ which is partly gold plated and the famous Frauenkirche (Church of our Lady) which looks breathtaking during the Christmas time with its beautiful lighting and decorations (images above).

View of the Imperial Castle of Nuremberg from top of a watch tower located near the castle.

Another very important ‘first’ for Nuremberg which very few people know, including a lot of locals, is that Nuremberg was the first city to introduce the Railways in Germany. It was the contemporary Nuremberg’s factory owners who invested heavily in the introduction of a pilot project to lay the first railway track between Nuremberg and the neighbouring city of Fürth (also in Bavaria) along the already existing road, connecting the two town.

On December 7, 1835 at 9 am, the first Steam Locomotive (named Adler) driven train left the Nuremberg Station towards the Fürth station to complete the 8 Km distance. It was named Die Ludwigs-Eisenbahn Gesellschaft (The Ludwig-Railway Company) after King Ludwig of Bavaria.

England had inaugurated its first commercially run railway between Manchester and Liverpool just five years prior (1830) to this event happening in Germany. The transfer of technology was in-fact from England to Germany really quick in this case. The Stephensons Company built the first locomotive called “Adler” for the Nuremberg-Fürth Railways. The original Locomotive ‘Adler’ is still on display in the German National Museum (Deutsche Bahn Museum), Nuremberg.

The Ludwigs-Railway-Company, Germany’s first Railway powered by steam engine. Contemporary depiction of the event by renowned painter and architect Carl Alexander Heideloff.
Picture taken from the Book “Ein Jahrhundert unter Dampf. Die Eisenbahn in Deutschland 1835-1919” published by the DB Museum.
Map of the first railway track laid between the cities of Nuremberg and Fürth (8km distance) from around 1835
Picture from the Book “Ein Jahrhundert unter Dampf. Die Eisenbahn in Deutschland 1835-1919” published by the DB Museum.

The fact that Nuremberg was chosen as the first city to get the Railways in German Empire at that time, itself proves its rich cultural, political and economical past. Nuremberg has a very rich history of Kings, Business owners and Banks right since the 14th – 15th century. This, in addition to the fact that, there was a lot of trade happening between Nuremberg and Fürth along the Chaussee (Middle Ages Rural Highways) pushed the factory owners to take this risk and build the first Railways in Germany.

This event led to, the so called ‘frenzy’ of Railway boom in the German Empire. Germany saw a rapid expansion of Railway-Network in the next four to five decades until Carl Benz and Gottlieb Diamler independently and simultaneously invented the first motorised cars around 1885 in Germany. Railways in Germany also hugely shaped the two world wars in the 20th century. That’s also the primary reason, why The German National Railway Museum (Deutsche Bahn Museum / DB Museum) is located in Nuremberg, which I personally highly recommend every rail enthusiast to definitely visit when in or around Nuremberg.

View of the Christkindlesmarkt (The Christmas Market) with the Frauenkirche (Church of our lady) in the background, from above.
Beautiful evening musical events happening just in front of the Frauenkirche during the Advent Season.
The Schöner Brunnen or the beautiful fountain studded in gold is beautifully lit up during the Christmas Season. In the background is the copper roofed St. Sebalds Church (Sankt Sebalduskirche) which is also extremely beautiful.
A very typical Christmas market shop in Nuremberg displaying all handmade stuff, in this case different figures, including Nutcracker, for Christmas decorations at home.
Another example of a Christmas market shop displaying model towns for Christmas decorations for children at home.
The ‘Schöner Brunnen’ at the main market square during the rest of the year with the St. Sebald’s Church in the background.
The German Empires Imperial Crown is placed in the high security walls of the Nuremberg Castle in the Chamber of Royal Regalia. The Nuremberg Castle Museum is also a must visit when in this beautiful city.
A model of Nuremberg from the Middle Ages which shows how the city must have looked like during the medieval period around the river Pegnitz.
Plate Armour on display in the Nuremberg Castle Museum. Along with it are a lot of medieval era weapons and other household things that people used on day to day basis, which are displayed with detailed information both in English and German.
A scaled model of The Nuremberg Castle which just shows how beautiful the castle looks from above.
A view of the beautiful tiled roofed homes from top of the Nuremberg Castle Tower (Sinwellturm) when looking towards the south.
Another beautiful image showing the beautiful medieval era churches of St. Sebald, the Frauenkirche and the Mittelalterliche Lochgefängnisse (Medieval Cellular Jail)
A view toward the west from the Nuremberg Castle Tower, showing the Neutorturm (New Gate Tower) along the northern section of the ancient Citywall, which like Rothenburg ob der Tauber also can be walked.
A view of Nuremberg’s homes located east of the city castle.
The Handwerkerhof (Medieval Tower) located just opposite the Nuremberg’s main railway station.

Nuremberg also had its share of the dark history. It was a city were the NS Party met regularly during the 1930 for their rally and party meeting and even started constructing the worlds biggest Congress Hall (Kongresshalle) on the NS grounds, where 1400 people were working on the construction permanently. The construction never saw its completion due to the interruption during the second world war. The unfinished structure had reached a height of 39 meters till 1945. The NS Party never met here but in the Luitpold Hall (image below) located nearby.

Information board located at the inner courtyard of the unfinished Kongresshalle (The Congress Hall) construction site. It shows the information of the structure before 1945.
Information board located at the inner courtyard of the unfinished Kongresshalle construction site. It shows the information of the structure after 1945.
An image showing the Inner side of the Kongresshalle (The Congress Hall) taken from the inner courtyard.
The Luitpold Hall where the NS Party regularly met during the 1930’s and 1940’s. It is located near the unfinished construction site of the Kongresshalle (Congress Hall) in Nuremberg.

Nuremberg is the second largest city in the state of Bavaria, second only to the states capital ‘Munich’, and has a population of around 500,000. Along with Fürth, Erlangen, and Schwabach it forms a metropolitan area with a total population of over 780,000. The larger Nuremberg Metropolitan Region has over 3.5 million inhabitants. The local dialect is called Franconian. More than 90% of Nuremberg was bombed and destroyed during the second world war. After 1945 it was carefully rebuilt in a medieval style with a Bavarian charm.

Google Maps Image of the City Borders and the proximity to a number of National Highways.

The city has more than 50 museums a few of which I have already mentioned above. I highly recommend visiting the Imperial Castle of Nuremberg with its Museum, the DB Museum (especially for Railway History fans), The German National Museum, House of Albrecht Dürer (The Great Renaissance Painter of Germany), Nuremberg Toy Museum, Nuremberg Transport Museum and the Neues Museum Nürnberg (Modern Art Museum).

HOW TO REACH?

By Air:- Nuremberg has its own airport ‘The Albrecht Dürer Airport’ located 5 km north of the city with continuous flight to other German cities, major European cities and popular tourist destinations on the Mediterranean coast and Canary islands. It is also surrounded on all sides by cities with airports of their own. Stuttgart Airport (230km; approximately 2hr 30mins), Frankfurt Airport (230km; approximately 2hr 20mins), Munich Airport (161km; approximately 1hr 45mins), Leipzig Airport (275km, approximately 3hrs).

By Train: Nuremberg was the first city to get the railways in Germany and is hence a major hub for the German railways with trains coming in from all the corners of the country on an hourly basis. It a big railway junction where a lot of people change trains, so expect big crowds when travelling with train to this city. To check the connections click here.

By Car: Nuremberg is extremely well connected by Roads and its proximity to A3, A6, A9 and A73 (National Highways) makes it very easy to reach.

WHERE TO STAY?

Nuremberg has a over 200 hotels and plenty of hostels. To name a few: Melter Hotel, Hotel Five, Hotel Drei Raben, Hotel Victoria, Hotel Elch, Design Hotel Vosteen, Hotel Prinzregent and Hotel Novotel Nuremberg are a few elite ones that offer good amenities. The A & O Hostel Nürnberg, City hostel Nürnberg and Five Reasons Hostel are a few of the good hostels for travellers on a budget. People of Nuremberg have some fabulous Airbnb to offer.

PLACES OF INTEREST NEARBY:-

ROTHENBURG OB DER TAUBER

ULM

NOERDLINGEN

TÜBINGEN

I would finally like to thank all the readers for taking the time to read my second blog. All the photos were taken by me on my iPhone except the two pictures from the books on the Railway History of Germany.

On a closing note I recommend everyone to visit Nuremberg especially during the Christmas Market season so as to enjoy the city in its true colours.

3 thoughts on “Nuremberg (Nürnberg), a beautiful Bavarian gem in disguise.

  1. Pingback: My Day Trip to Rothenburg ob der Tauber a.k.a. The Disney Land City, The true Fairytale Town in South Germany | Miles To Adventures

  2. Pingback: Ulm, “the tallest Church in the world” and the birthplace of “Albert Einstein”. | Miles To Adventures

  3. Pingback: Nördlingen, a hidden Medieval Gem in South Germany | Miles To Adventures

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