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A silhouette of Nuremberg Castle at sunset.
Map of Germany showing the position of Nuremberg.

Nuremberg Travel Guide

Bavaria’s second largest city has been the centre of historical events in Europe for many hundreds of years. Dominating the skyline is the Nuremberg Castle from where the Holy Roman Empire was administered. This central position in the Middle Ages would go on to shape the city for centuries to come. Cultural developments put Nuremberg at the centre of the German Renaissance. Political history made it a symbolic choice for the Nazi Party and their annual rallies until the start of World War Two. As the ceremonial birthplace of the Nazi Party and the racist Nuremberg Laws, it was a fitting city to host the Nuremberg Trials.

The imperial castle in Nuremberg, Bavaria.

Nuremberg Imperial Castle

The Behaim Globe in the Germanische National Museum, Nuremberg.

The Behaim Globe

A close up on one couple in the Marriage Carousel Fountain, Nuremberg.

Marriage Carousel Fountain

Typical gingerbread at the Nuremberg Christmas market.

Christkindlesmarkt

Interesting Things to Know About Nuremberg Before You Go

  • The first recorded mention of Nuremberg is from 1050, as the location of an Imperial Castle. And for many centuries after this Nuremberg was the symbolic centre of the Holy Roman Empire. From the mid fourteenth century newly elected rulers were required to hold their first assemblies here. In an age when kings were itinerant, Nuremberg was a popular residence, and it was here that the imperial regalia was kept. The focus in Nuremberg was the Imperial Castle on a rocky outcrop around which the town developed. It was one of the most heavily fortified imperial palaces of the early Holy Roman Empire. Today it is one of the most visited attractions.
  • On the seventh of December in 1835 the first railway in Germany was inaugurated. It ran alongside the road between Nuremberg and the nearby town of Fürth, which is only 7 km away. At the time, the Nuremberg – Fürth road was the busiest road connection in Bavaria. The first locomotive to offer a commercial service for passengers and goods was a British made steam locomotive named the Adler, German for eagle. Visitors to Nuremberg can visit the DeutscheBahn Museum, one of the oldest technology history museums in Europe, and experience more about the history of railway in Germany.
  • Nuremberg is also well known for its connection with the Nazi Party. The historical position of the city at the heart of the Holy Roman Empire as well as its strategic position on the German railway network made Nuremberg a ideal location for the party to hold their conventions here, the Nuremberg Rallies. At the 1935 rally Hitler called for, amongst other things, citizenship to be revoked from German Jews. The so-called Nuremberg Laws. Physical signs of the rally grounds still exist. A self guided tour of the various features is possible, as are guided tours. The Documentation Centre Nazi Party Rally Grounds, housed in the incomplete Congress Hall, documents the history and tyranny of the rallies.
  • As Nuremberg had developed into one of the most important industrial cities in southern Germany, the manufacture of military armaments, including tank engines, submarines and aircraft, was was carried out here. Not surprising then the city was a high profile target for allied bombing campaigns. During one of these the medieval old town was targeted, where an estimated 90% of the town was destroyed in about an hour. Nuremberg has since undergone significant regeneration and reconstruction and it now has an international airport. This ease of access has made the city and its historic Christmas market a popular destination for tourists. Over two million people visit the city each December.
  • Partly because of history, but again also for logistical reasons, Nuremberg was chosen for the location of the military tribunals that followed World War II. Nuremberg was thought of as the birthplace of the Nazi Party, a more practical reason for the holding of the trials here, was the size and relatively undamaged state of the Palace of Justice. A permanent exhibition is housed in the Palace of Justice that explores the background and legacy of what went on in Courtroom 600 in 1945. A monumental sculpture in the city centre, the Way of Human Rights, is an attempt to transform the reputation of the city. From one associated with political crimes to one that is closely linked to the valuing of human rights.

Thematic Walking Tours of Nuremberg with GetYourGuide

Gate to the Way of Human Rights in Nuremberg, Germany.

The Way of Human Rights is a monumental sculpture by Israeli artist Dani Karavan, opened on 24 October 1993. The choice of this work of art was an explicit attempt by the city to distance itself from the association with the Nazi Party. A part of various efforts to recast present day Nuremberg as a ‘City of Peace and Human Rights’. And this worked. This thought-provoking sculpture was specifically mentioned in the citation of UNESCO’s Prize for Human Rights Education, awarded to the city in 2001.

Nuremberg Travel Planner

Historic Places to Stay in Nuremberg

You’d be hard pressed to get more historic in Nuremberg than a room in the Imperial Castle. The Jugendherberge Nürnberg opened its doors in 2013, and is one of Europe’s largest and most modern youth hostels. Bedrooms, both private and communal each with a bathroom, are in what were the castle stables. See the photographs and book online with Booking.com

Travel and Sightseeing in Nuremberg