Nuremberg

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The stellplatz in Feucht, just outside Nuremberg, is the 300th unique overnight stop on our trip (ie not counting places we’ve stayed at twice). It’s a lovely quiet place, and it’s made a nice change to spend the evenings in the tennis club bar instead of the van. We had dinner there one night as well.

The S-Bahn is a 10 minute walk away, and it’s less than 15 minutes from there to Nürnburg Hauptbahnhof. The one day travelcard for both of us cost just €12.50, and also enabled us to get around town on the U-Bahn, bus and tram. If any fellow motorhomers are thinking of visiting Nuremberg, then we would certainly recommend staying at the Feucht stellplatz.

The main reason for wanting to visit Nuremberg was to visit the Nuremberg Rally Grounds, and also the court room from the Nuremberg Trials. To satisfy my inner trainspotter, there’s also the Deutsch Bahn railway museum.

After Hitler declared Nuremberg the ‘city of Nazi party rallies’ in 1933, construction began at the Rally Grounds. Several monumental buildings were planned, with the Rally Grounds covering an area of 11 km². Only a few of these were ever finished, and the site today covers 4 km² with the Zeppelinfeld, Große Straße, stadium and partially completed Kongresshalle surviving. We took the number 8 tram to the end of the line, to visit the documentation centre at the Kongresshalle. It tells the story of the rise of the Nazi party, the construction of the Rally Grounds and the rallies which were held there and, like the other German documentation centres we’ve visited, it was really informative and very well done. We spent a good couple of hours in there.

Outside the Documentation Centre…

… and inside

Some of the many artefacts from the Nuremburg Rallies

The Kongresshalle today…

… and how it would have looked had it been completed

As the weather wasn’t great we returned the next day and walked round to the Zeppelinfeld. It felt strange to stand on the balcony from which Hitler had once addressed the 50,000 people attending the rallies.

In the Zeppelinfeld…

… standing on the balcony…

… and how it looked back in the day – all quite frightening

The Palace of Justice is located on the opposite side of the city, a few stops from the Hauptbahnhof on the U-Bahn. In November 1945 the trial of the main war criminals began in Courtroom 600. Several senior Nazis were found guilty, with sentences ranging from imprisonment to death by hanging. Courtroom 600 remains a working courtroom, but fortunately for us it was a public holiday (Reunification Day) and so we were able to sit in the public gallery. There’s also a documentation centre on the floors above, which went into a lot of detail telling the story of the Nuremberg Trials. Again, this was very well done.

Courtroom 600 today…

… and in 1945

Tapes of the court proceedings

We both enjoyed our visit to the Deutsch Bahn railway museum, where there were lots of interesting exhibits. Almost all of the notes were in German, so a lot of the detail was lost on us, but that didn’t spoil things too much. (We could have asked for an audio guide, but we’d had enough of those after the documentation centres.) There was an outdoor section to the museum – an engine shed and railway siding housing some old trains – as well as a huge model railway which was excellent, and must have taken years to build. We spent a good couple of hours mooching around, and we could easily have spent much longer in there.

Carol by one of the Inter City Express (ICE) high speed trains

Selfie time

Back in the days when the Germans bought British trains… these days it’s the other way round

The Trans Europe Express

How the railways looked post-1949

The model railway

The rest of our time in Nuremburg was spent wandering around the city.

The Hauptmarkt

Up near the castle

The Heilig-Geist-Spital (Hospital of the Holy Spirit)

The Stadtmuseum

Lorenz-Kirke

One of the fountains

The Way of Human Rights – each pillar details one of the articles from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Chocolate ‘Converse’ – from my favourite chocolate shop

On our final day we took the train to Fürth (the first German railway was the Nuremberg to Fürth line which opened in 1844). We’d heard that their annual festival – Michaelis-Kirchweih Fürth – was underway, so we went along to check it out. Basically the whole town centre had been turned into a giant funfair with loads of rides, tat stalls, food stands and beer tents. It was early in the day so it wasn’t too busy and most of the rides were empty, but we did notice a couple of primary school groups on an outing there – that never happened in our day! We walked around the town a couple of times and after lunch decided to call it a day. We took the U-Bahn back to Nuremberg, and after a beer there returned to the van and spent the rest of the afternoon chilling out.

Nürnburg Hauptbahnhof

Fürth town map – the whole area in green had been turned into the funfair

At the funfair

A fish and chips stall – the battered fish was cooked on the first floor and the lady rang the bell before sending it down the chute for serving

The town maypole

Tomorrow we’ll be continuing eastwards towards the Czech and Austrian borders, and we’ll then be turning around and heading for central and southern France.

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