Germany. I have not explored much of it, save for the odd visit to my sister in the Black Forest, a road trip to Alsace, much of Germany remains new to me. For a while I was not a fan, but I cannot say I have given it a fair chance at making an impression on me, I am much too busy with my love affair with Italy. Germany; her history is complicated and her people suffer from a somewhat unfair narrative stemming from a dark past, because Germans, many I have met by way of work and other circumstances are amongst the warmest, precise, and fun people to be around. The town of Nuremberg is one of such, with a dark and complicated history, the darkest parts of it, is especially harrowing, but, to its credit, it makes no move to deny the terrors of its past, serving as a lesson for the future and present generations. The horror meted out in this town is documented, the truth is out in the open despite its surrounding charm. Nuremberg is a place that can take you to the deepest dark of its past and bring you into the light and charm of its present. This was the place where laws denying citizenship to jews were passed, the grounds on which the nazi rallies took place still stands. Kongresshalle, sits within the Nuremberg rally ground, the roman style construction was supposed to be the crown in the reich’s jewel but thanks to WWII this sadistic dream was never realised. Nonetheless, Nuremberg was a hot bed for the nazis following Hitler’s admiration for the city. It was also a target during WWII when the city was reduced to rubble. Following the fall of Hitler, it became the scene of the trials of twenty-two SS soldiers were held, after the fall of Hitler post WWII. The Nuremberg Trials.
This is now the Dokumentationszentrum Reichsparteitagsgelände: documentation centre Nazi rally grounds which details the bombastic elements of the minds behind possibly the darkest times in human history. Though much of the ground remains unfinished, the museum is house in a steel and glass annex, which creates a contrast to the rest of the town, much like the story of what it holds within; a permanent exhibition “Fascination and Terror” that covers the nazi regime and its terrifying ways in which it used propaganda to further its agenda with the masses. “Volksgemeinschaft”- the people’s community.
Much of Nuremberg was rebuilt using its original stones from the rubble remains after the bombing, and to walk around the old town is to be encapsulated in a world bathed in beauties of its past; you would hardly notice its dark and disturbing past or the destruction. As with any city, I love an old town; the heart and soul of a place really. It is filled with old buildings, nooks and crannies, market squares, old churches, cobbled roads, sculptures…
The old town is an oasis of endless charm that was the perfect breather for me after visiting Dokumentationszentrum and surrounded by the darkness of the past. As you walk the mall into the old town from the top of Koenigstrasse you can see Frauentorturm, church of St Lorenz, Heilig-Geist-Spital, this should take you all the way to Tiergärtnertor / Albrecht Dürer House, a spectacular place that is topped with the castle. It is like something out of Hansel and Gretel… sorry, sorry, pardon the cliche.
Come prepared for walks, history and everything in between. Oh and windows… there is something about the windows of Nuremberg that have me fascinated, I have a whole reel of them apparently. I guess look out for the next post on what to see in Nurnberg; windows. Search me.