Published: August 7th 2012August 7th 2012
Our final destination was Nürnberg, which was 60-90 minutes journey by ICE train from Munich. My mother remembered the Gothic buildings which were seen just above the station buildings.
One of the good things about Nürnberg is Altstadt (Old Town) is near the central station and all of the attractions were within the city wall. We found the subway leading to Koning Tor and Koningstraße. Numerous stone buildings and half-timbered houses were standing on Koningstraße, and it was as though we had been transported to the medieval world from the modern life. Loads of food stalls and restaurants were opened, and it made the streets attractive and bustling with the increased number of the tourists and traders. We stopped at the bridge with the viewpoint of the medieval almshouse. I encouraged my mother to sketch it. At Marktplatz, various types of stalls had stood up and they were selling fresh fruits and vegetables, Asian and African crafts, grilling sausages, selling Lebkuchen-schmidt cakes etc. Traders were very friendly to the tourists. We bought a pack of Lebkuchen-schmidt cakes and apfelchips from the market.
We continued walking to the castle. My mother was interested in dolls which
were displayed on the corners of the buildings, which made the streets look more attractive and enchanting. The cobbled street led us to the site of Kaiserberg.
The Kaiserberg, the Imperial Castle overlooking Nürnberg, is the Franconian city’s outstanding landmark. The castle was built between 1017 and 1056 by Henry III, and the castle complex was used as a residence of the royal court and for ceremonial purposes and administration till the 16th
century. The Franconian castle together with the medieval town were hugely devastated by air-raids in 1945. Nevertheless, both medieval castle and town have been restored to its former glory.
We carried on walking uphill and reached the courtyard. We showed the Bavarian Palace cards at the ticketing office and were asked how long we were planning to stay in the castle. I replied, “One hour”. Having assumed that we were not German speakers, he said, “You can look round the museum and climb up the Sinwell Tower. Enjoy your day.” The Kaiserberg museum possessed a series of historical drawings, building plans and models, photographs of the medieval castle and town, and we could understand that
the reconstruction was carried out based on the original state. Moreover, there were numerous types of armoury items, swords, helmets, guns, and some of the everyday goods, e.g. cutlery set, cauldron, surgical equipment, trophies and various documents etc displayed in the museum.
Next, we went to Sinwell Tower. My father decided not to climb up and let ups climb up. The spiral staircase led us to the top of the tower, and it allowed us to overlook the old town and castle complex and see the new town beyond. We took a number of photographs from the viewing balcony. The one hour session didn’t include us to look round the palace and well which would be only run by German speaking guide. We decided to do the outer course walk and popped in the burg garden, which was northern side of the castle. Colourful and scented flowers were thriving on the low laurel hedges.
Afterwards, we walked down to the Marktplatz to have lunch.
Albrecht Dürer birth house
Albrecht Dürer is one of the most well-known German Renaissance
artists. My mother has been assigned to do copy sketch of the praying hands produced by Albrecht Dürer at her painting school.
We had planned visiting his birth house in the afternoon. The distinctive red coloured timber house was visible from castle’s balcony.
We paid €5 each for the admissions which included the multilingual audio guide. The voice was made Mrs Dürer. She talked through their intriguing private life including personal discussions as well as her thoughts of Dürer being a professional painter in the 15th
century. We were invited the Dürer’s convention rooms, kitchen, workshop rooms and bedroom, which has been converted to the document room. Mrs Dürer talked how the family used to gain local ingredient or meats from the famers and how she cooked using the square shaped fireplace. It was interesting too see the workshop rooms with containers of different powder and liquid which were made of the natural ingredients, the materials of which were displayed in the containers, as well as painting tools and printing tools, which were operated manually.
We also looked round the contemporary exhibitions based on Dürer’s paintings.
normal;">St Sebaldus Church
We popped in St Sebaldus Church on the Albrecht Dürerplatz, which is one of the oldest churches in Nürnberg. It was originally built as a Romanesque basilica and its distinctive architecture stands out in the medieval paintings. The church suffered serious damage during World War II. There were a series of pictures of the ruined church with collapsed roofs and wall, which looked similar to the one of Coventry Cathedral. My parents admired that the Romanesque church was reconstructed after the huge devastation. Despite the destruction, some of the old interior, e.g. shrine of St Sebaldus or stained glass windows have survived.
Secondly, we entered the Frauen Church on the east of the Hauptmarkt. The guided notes said that the Frauen Church was originally a Protestant Church, but numerous ornate carvings and reliefs were displayed on the interiors and exteriors. After the devastating war period, the church was re-built and heaps of artworks were attached to the church, and Frauen Church has been serving as a Catholic Church.
My mother was interested in seeing the district called Henkersteg, which was introduced
in “Chikyu no arukikata of Germany.” We turned right on Kaiserstraße and walked westwards. In fact, we did visit there a few years ago. Henkersteg, tucked away from the main shopping district, and possessed beautiful and peaceful scenery with wooden bridge, half-timbered houses festooned with geraniums and lush willow trees.
Finally, we visited St Lawrence Church standing on the bustling shopping streets. This church possessed an wealth of artworks, e.g. Altar of Deocarus or of the Twelve Apostles, centre panel or Altar of the Magi, the Annunciation with the chandelier of the Madonna, and 15th
century tabernacles. They are all delicate items so we admired that they have been maintained in good condition.
There were a lot of souvenir shops with wooden dolls and sweets selling along Konigstraße. My mother found it interesting to stroll through the enchanting medieval town, which has been painstakingly and skilfully restored based on the layout of the medieval period.