Germany, Nürnberg

Nuremberg is nearly 1000 years old. In 1356, it was designated as the Imperial City where the emperor had to hold the first day of the Imperial Diet. Nuremberg is considered as the "treasure chest of the German Empire" and the epitome of medieval Germany. Follow this route to get an overview of the city.

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This walk starts from the main city attraction, the Imperial Castle. During the Middle Ages, the Imperial Castle was one of the most important imperial palaces in the Holy Roman Empire. Nowadays, the castle hosts the exhibition "Emperor - Empire - City", with its tour of the historic rooms. It investigates how the Holy Roman Empire worked.

The 360-degree view from the 30-metre high Sinwell Tower (the large round tower) over the sea of medieval roofs in the town is a must. In the photo, you see the Eastern view towards the Burgrave's castle (or at least what remains of it). The nearest tower is called the Five-cornered Tower and the farthest is Luginsland Tower ("look into the country"). Between them there is a granary and a stable for horses, hence the name is Imperial Stables.

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A narrow street leads to the Tiergartnertor Square with the popular tourist attraction, the Durer House. It is the house in which the painter Albrecht Dürer lived and worked from 1509 until 1528. The shiny figure at the corner is a typical representative of a wealthy house of that period.

Follow Am Olberg Lane to enter the Fortress Gardens.

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A view from the Fortress Gardens. The Great Hall of the Imperial Castle is in the photo.

An Italian, Antonio Fazuni, created the cunning fortifications that go in zigzags allowing for no dead ground. Bridges and tunnels were arched to protect against enemy fire.

At the western end of the Old Town, there is the Chain Bridge (it dates back to 1824) and the former Schiess House. The Chain Bridge was the Germany's first suspension bridge. In my opinion, this is the best scenic view of the city and the Pegnitz river. In the photo, you see Max Bridge which is the oldest stone bridge in the city.

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A view from Max Bridge: the Weinstadel House with the Hangman'Tower.

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We arrive at the Fleischbrucke (Butcher's Bridge). It was constructed as a single arch in 1598, similar to the Rialto Bridge in Venice. The bridge's name is a reminder that butchers slaughtered their animals at stalls located on the Market Square.

A horned, stone ox rests atop the arched gate. The inhabitants of the city say that his ox symbolises their Franconian stoic composure. The ox is also reported to have heard many strange tales in his time but he never utters a sound.

The Latin phrase below the ox reveals that this ox was never a calf.

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Our Lady's Church was completed in 1355. The sanctuary is an exquisite example of the 14th century architecture. Shortly before noon each day groups of tourists gather in front of the church in order to enjoy the Mannleinlauf glockenspiel of strutting men passing the emperor. Another work of Gothic art is the Schoner Brunnen (Beautiful Fountain) at the far end of the square. It was first erected between 1385-1396 and underwent several restorations over time. The current fountain is made of shell limestone and a copy of the 1903 model. It is a 19-meter high gilded and brightly painted pyramid that was originally made of sandstone and now on display in the German National Museum.

The forty figures adorning the fountain represent the world of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. Starting at the base, there are philosophers and arts men; above them, evangelists and church fathers, next are the seven electors and nine heroes. Moses and the prophets are featured in the upper level.

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At the stroke of noon, a door opens and two trumpeters announce the appearance of Emperor Charles IV who sits on his throne and awaits the arrival of the seven electors. The glockenspiel from 1509 is reminiscent of the significance of Emperor Charles IV who visited the city 45 times.

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An impressive wall painting from 1910, on the side of the Chamber of Trade and Commerce building, depicts a convoy of merchants. The motto underneath reads "Nuremberg goods are legion in every region". It reminds of the importance of the trade system which was essential for the growth of the city.

The city's location in the centre of Europe, enabled establishing commercial links in all directions. By around 1500, Nuremberg had had a monopoly in some trades, e.g. spices. No wonder the Nuremberg merchants were called "Pfeffersacke" (pepper sacks), meaning "moneybags".

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St. Sebald's Church. St. Sebald is the patron saint in Nuremberg. This is the oldest parish church in Nuremberg. Sebaldus was a hermit who probably lived in the nearby forests in the 11th century.

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