One of the perks of staying in Regensburg was, it’s conveniently located in the center of Bavaria, making a day trip to nearby cities wasn’t so much of a hassle. Marion had a few places lined up for me, and the first was… Nuremberg!
Being a HUGE fan of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King (I watched the play many, many times over Christmas, and never got bored of it), I was more than excited to see the place where the story set.
It seemed like the weather was in our favor, just like the previous day. The clear blue sky greeted us when we got out of the apartment, and it was perfectly warm. “You’re so lucky that the weather is like this when you’re here,” Marion told me.
It was still sunny when we got to Nuremberg over an hour later, and the first impression of the city didn’t disappoint.
But as we went further into town, it got even better.
A little bit about Nuremberg, this city held great importance through the years. It was the unofficial capital of the Holy Roman Empire, the center of the German Renaissance, and also a key location for trade routes. During the Nazi era, owing to its relevance to the Holy Roman Empire and its location in the center of Germany, it became the place of the Nazi conventions, Nuremberg rallies.
The old town of Nuremberg is surrounded by walls, meant as a defense mechanism in the old time. Stretching for 5 km, which around 4 km of the walls are still standing, these walls helped Nuremberg survive many attacks during the 13th-16th century. These walls, along with the Nuremberg Castle, is considered to be one of the greatest medieval weir systems in Europe.
We spent the first hour strolling around the city center. The Haupmarkt was like farmers market (my favorite!), and I walked really slowly, stopping here and there to take pictures of the stalls with colorful vegetables and fruits. The place was buzzing with activity, and the whole atmosphere was just warm and friendly.
The Church of Our Lady, or better known as Frauenkirche, stood gloriously against the blue sky just a few meters away from the market.
We went uphill for the famous Nuremberg Castle, which comprises of 3 parts, one of them is the Imperial castle (Kaiserburg).
With spring well underway, cherry blossoms could be seen everywhere around the castle, making it all the more beautiful.
It was love at the first sight. And if you think it’s too soon for the L word, the next few pictures will show how Nuremberg deserved it.
One of the many things that the castle offered was the view over the city. We climbed the stairs to the top of the Sinwell Tower, and it was then my love for Nuremberg was cemented. Standing there, looking at the city below me, I was at a loss for words.
After spending longer time than normal at the Sinwell Tower, we continued exploring the castle.
There was a double chapel in one corner, and we climbed the stairs to the upper chapel. Although the castle at that time was generally packed with tourists, this chapel was quite peaceful and serene.
Next was the Bower, the Imperial castle museum. It housed many historical armors and weapons, along with other exhibits.
The last stop was the Deep Well, which provided water supply for the castle. Every 15 minutes, there was a demo showing the shaft being driven down 50 meters into the rock, which was quite impressive.
After the castle tour, we had lunch at a cafe nearby. We chose to dine outside, and it was the perfect opportunity to just sit and relax, while also watching people come and gone.
Feeling full and happy, we continued our walk to Albrecht Dürer’s House, a museum dedicated for Dürer’s life and work. Albrecht Dürer is a German Renaissance artist, renowned for his woodcut prints. The tour provided a glimpse of his life, through his 4-storey residence that exhibited many of his work and personal things. Intriguingly, the tour was ‘guided’ by Dürer’s wife, Agnes, through the headset. The historical facts were also spiced up with her woes and struggles of living in the house, which made the tour more personal and special.
After that, we took another a stroll around the city (seriously, it seems all we did that day was strolling, with a few stops in between. But I didn’t mind one bit!). Having seen it from above earlier, I’d known that Nuremberg was stunning, but I didn’t expect it to be just as beautiful when I was walking through the streets (I mean, everything looked better with panoramic view, right?). Nuremberg had its own charm, and in every corner there was something interesting to see. I loved everything about this city. The bright walls and the colorful half-timbered buildings, the distinctive roofs and their gables, the narrow alleys, the pieces of art that could be found in the most unexpected places, and the city as a whole.
A little while later, we found ourselves walking along the Pegnitz River, one of the most beautiful parts of the city.
Crossing over the Pegnitz, there was the Hangman’s Bridge. As the name suggests, it used to be a place where a hangman lived (he lived in the tower beside the river, to be exact. You can see the tower in the picture below).
As the river was close the the main square, we went there again, and this time there were a lot more things to see. Since Easter was only a few days away, the market was full of Easter goodies.
So colorful and pretty.
The Gothic architecture of the Frauenkirche, which could be seen from between the stalls, still made me stop to take pictures, adding to the many pictures of the church I’d had from earlier that day.
Outside the church, there’s a 14th-century fountain called the Beautiful Fountain (Schöner Brunnen). Legend has it that if you find the golden ring and spin it 3 times while making a wish, it will come true. Marion found it for me, and I spun it around, silently wishing with all my heart for another chance to visit Germany.
I’d only been in there for less than 2 days, but Germany always had a special place in my heart (still does). I didn’t have a second thought about what I was going to wish for. I’d been to Germany for a couple times then, and I thought it would be enough to fulfill my curiosity. There are many places I visited once and that was it. But Germany is different. In a way, it will always be an unrequited love for me, and I know I’ll always have this longing to come back again, someday.
Before we went home, we made a stop for the Way of Human Rights (Straße der Menschenrechte), a monumental sculpture just outside the Germanisches Nationalmuseum. Each pillar has an article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, engraved in various languages.
Writing this post has made realized that maybe I’m not that good at writing, seeing how much I struggle to describe this city (I’m running out of adjectives here). Either that, or Nuremberg was too pretty.
It was starting to get dark when we walked back to the car. Before we went home, I bought Lebkuchen, German sweet snacks (it’s like gingerbread if you’re wondering). I had the best of intentions to bring some for my friends, but it may or may not have disappeared even before my trip ended. It was too delicious, and in my defense, I wasn’t good at resisting temptation (okay, so it did disappear).
That day, at the Beautiful Fountain, I made a wish to go back again someday. Two years after that, I still make the same wish, over and over again.
Only a special place does that.
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