top of page
  • Writer's pictureSElliott

Day 8 - Hitler, Lebkuchen & Glass Trumpets

Updated: Dec 25, 2022

It was an early start today, a very early start, a bags before breakfast early start! We got our bags out on time and then headed to breakfast. We weren’t able to do our walking laps as the sun roof was closed, so once we‘d done our teeth and got out stuff, we headed to the lounge to while away the time before boarding the bus to Nuremberg.

Unfortunately we didn’t get on the earlier group so we didn’t leave until 9am. The bus first took us past the ex-headquarters of the SS towards the Nuremberg Rally Grounds. The ex-headquarters is now the office in charge of immigration and integration – I wonder what Hitler would think of that!

We also passed a large colosseum-like building - this was going to be the Kongresshalle at the centre of the Nazi Party Rally Grounds and was meant to be 50% bigger than the colosseum in Rome. It only reached half of its planned 70m height and wasn’t finished due to the start of the Second World War but still looks impressive. Soon after this we reached the Nuremberg Rally Grounds. This was where Adolf Hitler chose to hold his annual Nazi Party rallies in September. It was smaller than I had expected and a bit run-down. A lot of the original columns and palisade were removed due to the presence of swastikas on the stone. What I didn’t know was that Hitler planned to extend these grounds into a huge complex, including a marching ground twice the size of the rally grounds and a sports stadium so big that those in the upper reaches of the stands would need binoculars to know what was going on!

Pictures 1, 2, 3, 4 - Nuremburg Rally Grounds

We then drove into the centre of Nuremberg, past some of the ramparts to the Halls of Justice where the Nuremburg Trials took place after World War II.

Picture 5 – Imperial Castle

We finished the coach part of our tour at the Imperial Castle. This was built in the 11th century and the city walls, with their 126 towers, were completed in 1452. Nuremberg was the place for the Imperial Diet, the first meeting of the newly crowned emperors in Middle Ages. Rather than inheriting the emperor’s crown, the emperor was elected, although he wasn’t elected by the populace but by a select number of “prince-electors”, who usually elected one of their own to be emperor. Sounds strange to me.

On the way up to the castle we paused to look at the stonework. A lot of the stones had small holes in them, a bit like drilled holes for screws. These were for pincers to pinch the stones when they were being lifted into place. The castle was lovely, half-timbered houses with red beams and window boxes filled with red flowers.

Pictures 6, 7, 8, 9 - Nuremburg Castle

From the castle we had lovely views over Nuremberg. Most of the city was completely destroyed during World War II and the historical buildings were rebuilt to look like what they had done originally, though the internal floorplans were updated!

Pictures 10, 11 - Picture of Bombed Nuremburg and Re-built Nuremburg

From the castle we walked down through the old town, avoiding all the stunt bikers! The Red Bull District Ride was starting tonight so there was a bike route laid out through the old town, including ramps and jumps. A couple of the bikers did wonderful somersaults!

On our way through the town we visited the Gamekeeper's Tower. This is where the gamekeeper lived - his job was to ensure that there was enough game for any visitors to the town to catch, and that they caught them!! By the tower there is a small square with the building where Albrecht Durer lived. He was the artist who brought the classical motifs, used in Italy at the start of the Italian Renaissance, to Northern Europe. He is widely recognised as one of the most important figures of the Northern Renaissance.

Picture 12 - Gamekeeper's Tower

We ended our tour in the Hauptmarkt next to the Schöner Brunnen or “Beautiful Fountain” and it is! It was constructed in the 14th century by Heinrich Beheim and has 40 figures, all painted in bright colours and gilded with gold. These represent the world view of the Holy Roman Empire – Philosophy, the seven Liberal Arts, the four Evangelists, the four Church Fathers, the seven Prince-Electors, the nine Worthies, Moses and the seven Prophets.

Pictures 13, 14 - Beautiful Fountain

Also inthe square is the Frauenkirche. This church was built in the 14th century on the initiative of Charles IV and has a “Mannleinlaufen” or mechanical clock. This commemorates the Golden Bull of 1356 and was installed in the 16th century. The clock mechanism activates at midday every day. The clock has a number of figures that play instruments, ring the bells or go round to bow to the central figure – the Emperor.

Picture 15 - Frauenkirche Mannleinlaufen

Other buildings of note around the square are the Chamber of Commerce, which has paintings running round its walls, and the gingerbread shops. The famous Elisen Lebkuchen (gingerbread) is named after the beautiful daughter of a Nuremberg gingerbread baker. Although it is called “gingerbread” it is neither bread nor ginger. Instead it is made of flour and nuts with mixed spices. Needless to say, we had to try some! It was nice, reminiscent of carrot cake (without the carrot) but we found that the dark chocolate masked the taste of the actual Lebkuchen. You can get Lebkuchen without the chocolate covering. The name Lebkuchen comes from the German “Leben” for life and “kuchen” for cake. The spices in the Lebkuchen were said to be good for you and extend your life.

Picture 16 - Painted Building

We wandered through the old town before being escorted back to the bus and our 3hr bus trip to the next ship, the Vega.

On the way we stopped at a chocolate shop for a rest break. It was a lovely shop (which I think we left a bit emptier seeing the number of bags that came out of it) with mechanical elephants and other creatures all around inside it!

Picture 17, 18 - Inside the Chocolate Shop

Tonight we had a music night with the Bavarian Devils who performed the Spoon Polka and Woodcutters Dance – there were even solo performances on a glass trumpet and a hose!

Pictures 19, 20, 21 - The Bavarian Devils

2 views0 comments


bottom of page