How do you spend your weekends? Sleeping until late? Lazy days with coffee in bed and then watching TV until midnight? Or you still keep active and running? When I’m on travels, lazy weekends are not for me. This time as well, the morning started very early. A lot of things were planned for today. Once we came to the Central train station of Munich, we bought Bayern Tickets, we went to find our gate to the train, that was going to take us to Nuremberg (aka Nürnberg). A bit less than 2 hours on the way, and we are in the second largest city in Bavaria after Munich and 14th largest city in Germany.
The first place that we saw was the Handwerkerhof which is a medieval shopping area located at Königstor, opposite to the central railway station. This is a miniature town in the heart of Nuremberg’s medieval center. Walking on the cobblestone streets you can see several shops and markets, cozy cafes and handcraft studios.
Entrance to the medieval village is free, but take in mind that it is closed on Sundays and public holidays, as well as the winter period between December 30 and early March.
Konigstrasse (Königstraße) is the main walking street in Nuremberg leading from the main station into the old town. This is a busy street with the main tourist attractions all around, historical buildings, restaurants, shops. Walking up on the street we reached one of the most important churches of Nuremberg – St. Lorenz Kirche (St. Lawrence church). This was a medieval lutheran church of the former free imperial city of Nuremberg, dedicated to Saint Lawrence. During the II World War the church was badly damaged which was restored in later years. Construction works began on the church in the 13th century, but were completed only in 1477. The church is built in Gothic style and you’ll be amazed by its decorations and the interior. It has a huge three-part organ, which dates back to 1862. The main organ was installed in the 1930s and is one of the world’s largest organs! Just imagine, it has 12,000 pipes spread across 165 registers.
Colossal towers of the church has 80m height and can be seen almost from every part of the town. The church’s belfry contains 16 bells, the oldest of which is from the 14th century.
Just next to the St. Lorenz church you can see the Tugendbrunnen, The Fountain of Virtue, which is one of the most iconic landmarks of Nurenberg, completed in 1859. The fountain depicts seven important human virtues: Justice (can be easily identified by a scale and a blindfold) as the most important virtue is placed on top, the other six virtues circle the bottom level of the fountain. Faith carries a cross, Love is identified by two children, the symbol of Hope is an anchor, water jug signs the Temperance, a lion symbolizes Generosity while a lamb stand for Patience.
The town of Nurenberg is separated into two parts by River Pegnitz and has several old and new bridges to cross it. But probably the most famous one is the 13th century bridge Museumbrucke (Museum Bridge), which gives view to Kreuzigungshof, Heilig-Geist-Spital (Holy Spirit Hospital), well preserved medieval hospital dating back to 1332.
Just a few minutes away we reached the Main Market Sqare of Nuremberg (Hauptmarkt) which was the center of activity in the city since medieval times. You can find fresh fruits and vegetables, regional specialties at the daily market stalls, or can just take a sit and enjoy the historical architecture around. Here is also located the Schöner Brunnen, one of the symbols of Bavaria, which is the restored replica of the 14th-century Beautiful Fountain, built to resemble a Gothic spire.
Here is also one of that 3 main churches of Nuremberg – Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady). This is a Gothic catholic church dating back to 1362. In 16th century there were “running men” installed on the façade’s mechanical clock. Look carefully and you can notice the the figure of the emperor, who is surrounded by seven prince-electors. At midday you can hear the bells chiming and see the procession of prince-electors moving around the emperor. It is also famous for its grand interior, which we could appreciate only after having a hot coffee at a cute Italian restaurant nearby Cucina Italiana, as the entrance to the church was closed for visitors during regular service time.
Not far from here, just a few buildings away, there is the third important church of Nuremberg located, St. Sebald Lutheran church. This is city’s oldest parish church also from 13th-century. The church was destroyed during WWII but was beautifully restored and currently it represents city’s medieval history. St. Sebald church and St. Lorenz church mirror each other. They have the same style of Gothic architecture, dual towers and amazing interior and stunning nave. Inside the church you can see the Baroque-style galleries that were added in the 17th century as well as the treasured artifacts that survived the war. All 3 churches are free to visit. Don’t miss them out during your visit in Nuremberg!
How come could we come to Nuremberg and miss the Kaiserburg, the Castle that hosted kings and rulers from around the Holy Roman Empire and the Kingdom of Bavaria throughout the ages. The castle located on the top of rocky hill is dating back at least to 1050 and contains Imperial Castle Museum, where you can see all the equipment of royal life. If you have a chance, climb up the staircase of Sinwell Turm‘s upper floor with timbered interiors added in the 16th century to discover the tower’s high observation platform and admire the view of Nuremberg city. Otherwise you can enjoy the view of the city from the Castle’s central courtyard, which we had as an option.
The castle complex is open daily, except for December holidays and Shrove Tuesday. You can visit the castle gardens and the Maria Sibylla Merian Garden for free but take in mind that they are closed throughout winter. If you are visiting Kaiserburg only, you can purchase combination tickets for access to the museum, the chapel, the tower and the well house. But if you’re traveling in Bavaria and planning to visit more than 2 castles in this region, it’s definitely worth to buy Bavarian Castle Pass, which will make your visits more comfortable and less expensive!
With this Bavarian Castle Pass you can also enter Museum Tucherschloss (Museum Tucher Mansion) and Hirsvogel Hall, which was located in about 10 min walk from the Nuremberg Castle. We couldn’t enter and see all the rooms of the castle as it was a guided tour needed in German. We skipped this, but could walk in the quiet courtyard and enter the Hirsvogel Hall and enjoy a part of the concert organized there. Indeed it was amazing inside.
There was also a small beergarden or a cafe in the courtyard, so if you wish, you can have a sit and enjoy a snack here.
With this our sightseeing part of Nuremberg was finished, yet it was only half day passed. We had another trip planned for this day to amazing Würzburg, so we had to do all quick and selected the most important landmarks to see for this half day. But if we had more time to spend here, there were so many museums and interesting places to visit that probably a day wouldn’t be enough! After having a lunch with famous local sausages and beer in one of the breweries at Konigstrasse we went to the railway station again and took our train to Würzburg, to discover another beautiful city in Bavaria. But our adventures in Germany are not yet finished. More stories to come soon 😉