Sightseeing in Nürnberg
Virtually all tourist sights are within the medieval town wall, which is five km (three miles) long. It is possible to cross the old town on foot from the Hauptbahnhof to the Kaiserburg in about half an hour – however, few would want to rush through it that quickly.
For the purposes of this guide, the Lorenzkirche area is from the Hauptbahnhof to the River Pegnitz and the Hauptmarkt area from the river to the Kaisersburg. From here, return to the station through the western parts of the town – the Dürer Museum area, the western town walls, the Weisser Turm area, and the marvelous German National Museum. Use public transportation to reach the Nazi sights.
If time is limited, give preference to the German National Museum, the Kaiserburg, the town fortifications, and the Reichsparteigelände. The St Lorenz, St Sebald, and Frauenkirche are also interesting.
St Lorenzkirche Area
The modern Hauptbahnhof is just outside the town walls. From here, the main entrance into the old town is via the Königstor (King’s Gate), one of four remaining fat, round towers. In total, 71 of the original 130 defensive towers survived. Fine parts of the town wall can be seen at Frauengrabe, but the sections at the west of the town and below the Kaiserburg are even better. Behind the gate is the Handwerkerhof, Am Königstor, a restored medieval-looking area selling mainly arts and crafts.
Not all of Nürnberg is or tries to be medieval. The city is also proud of its role in contemporary design, not only in art but also in industrial products. The Neues Museum (New Museum), Luitpoldstraße 5, is dedicated to contemporary fine arts, applied arts, and design. In addition to the vast permanent exhibition, large temporary exhibitions are staged.
Königstraße leads up to the St. Lorenzkirche (St Laurent’s Church), Lorenzer Platz. This High Gothic church was erected over a century, starting from 1260, and enhanced in 1477 with Late Gothic elements. The second-largest church in Nürnberg, it was severely damaged in 1945, with only the towers left standing, but was rebuilt, with much of the art original. Of special note is the Englischer Gruß (Annunciation, 1517-18) by Veit Stoß, the tabernacle (1493) by Adam Krafft adorned with a crucifix by Stoß. The rose window in the west façade has a diameter of nine m (29 feet).
At the west of the church is the Nassauer Haus, Karolinenstraße 2, the oldest private home in Nürnberg. The lower two floors are from the 13th century, while the choir and towers are 15th century.
The Tugendbrunnen (Virtues Fountain) was completed in 1589 to symbolize Nürnberg’s independence as a Free Imperial City. The figures depict the virtues, with justice towering over the rest on the third level of the fountain.
The Museumsbrücke (Museum Bridge) crosses the River Pegnitz to the Sebald part of town. There are actually no museums near the bridge, but it affords the best views of the Heilig-Geist-Spital (Holy Ghost Hospice), Spitalgasse/Hans- Sachs-Platz. It is partly 14th century, but the most famous parts that span the River Pegnitz are 16th century. It now houses an old age home.
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