We didn’t want to leave only remembering Nürnberg for its Nazi past, so today we explored really old parts of the city, some remaining from its heyday in the 14th century.
However, 90% of the city was bombed during the war, so much of what we saw today are artful reconstructions. We’re getting quite used to accepting those as the real thing.
There are remains of the three miles of walls that surrounded the medieval city, which we entered through the King’s Tower. It led to a main street which was busy with pedestrians and shops among the churches and and municipal buildings.
We spent some time at the Germanic National Museum, which featured everything from several Dürer portraits (more about him later), a Rembrandt, the world’s oldest globe (1490), some wonderful wood carvings, and street signs from East German days where the inhabitants had sometimes graffitied their sentiments about Russian names. Quite a collection.
This museum also had the best gift shop we have seen yet. Don had to restrain me from buying the Angela Merkel cookie cutter (with recipes). At least they have her in good company with some other famous Germans. It was also very tough to to resist the cat butt magnets. But one has to travel light…
We also went to the City Museum, occupying a merchant’s house of the late Renaissance. Lovely plasterwork and woodwork. Of special note is the actual throne of the Holy Roman Emperor from 1520 (later repainted) and a 16th century view of the main market square, through which we had just passed. It has a wonderful gold fountain that has entertained since medieval days.
We stopped for sausages and schnitzel in a lovely square just around the corner from Albrecht Dürer’s house.
He lived here for 28 years and when he bought the house in 1507, it was almost 100 years old. It survived the bombings, and is today just as rambling and crooked as you might expect.
Dürer was a contemporary of Michelangelo, and quite a genius in his own right. It is amusing to see that whenever there is a merchandising connection to him in any museum, it is always his rabbit that comes front and center. It’s hard to believe he would consider that his most representative work, but you can find that little rabbit just about everywhere, including tote bags, magnets and cards sold across the street from his house.
There was so much to marvel at here, so kudos to Nürnberg for restoring a most lovely city. We’ll forgive it an unfortunate period in recent history, and try to remember it for its golden years.