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