Day 2. Nuremberg Castle & Old Town

A leisurely breakfast in the stylish restaurant of Nuremberg’s Leonardo Royal Hotel was a perfect way to start the day tucking into a varied buffet selection followed by omelettes freshly made to order.  After downing two cappuccinos we were ready for the day ahead and utilised our Nuremberg Cards by taking the metro, followed by a tram to Tiergärtnertor.

Breakfast room, Leonardo Royal Hotel Nuremberg
The hotel’s attractively furnished restaurant

This tram stop was just a short walk from Albrecht Durer House located just below the Imperial Castle and we had managed to time our arrival just as the museum was opening its doors.  Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) is recognised as one of the leading artists of the Renaissance period transforming printmaking from craft to fine art, often depicting religious subjects.

Albrecht Durer House, Nuremberg
Albrecht Durer House in the Altstadt

We took a self guided audio tour of the half timbered house where Dürer lived and worked from 1509 until his death in 1528.  Standard admission is €6 and as with all museums/ attractions visited during our stay included in the Nuremberg Card.

Gallery in Albrecht Durer's House, Nuremberg
Gallery in Albrecht Durer’s House

The building was one of the few survivors of the devastating bombing of the Altstadt (old town) in 1945.  The house was converted into a museum in 1971 and we were able to view the period furnishings of the time.  There’s also a recreation of Dürer’s workshop with working printing equipment (demonstrations available at certain times).

Architecture of Nuremberg's old town
Architecture of Nuremberg’s old town

From the museum we strolled around the corner to join a guided tour of the Rock Cut Cellars (€9.90).  Occasional English speaking tours are offered but at the time of our visit only German ones were available.  This wasn’t a problem though as we were given audio guides which we listened to at numerous points whilst the guide spoke to the rest of the group.

The starting point of the Rock Cellars Tour Nuremberg
The starting point of the Rock Cut Cellars Tour

The tour set off from the courtyard of Brauereiladen and we were taken to the entrance of the cellars just behind the Albrecht Dürer statue located just down the road.  After going down a flight of steps our tour guide led us through a series of narrow tunnels on varying levels.

Nuremberg's Rock Cellars
Exploring Nuremberg’s Rock Cellars

The tunnels hewn out of sandstone were where the fermentation and storage of beer took place in the 14th century.  At that time there were more than 40 breweries which was a considerable number for a population not exceeding 30,000.  As there was a law requiring everyone who wished to produce beer to have a beer cellar this is how the underground labyrinth of Rock Cut Cellars came about.

Nuremberg Rock Cellars
Spirits stored in the Rock Cellars

Nowadays only a small section of the cellars are still used for storing beer.  As well as finding out about the history of the cellars and how they were built we also learnt about the fermentation process and how the cellars were used for local people to take shelter during WW2 bombing raids.

Ayrer's Whisky Distillery, Nuremberg
Ayrer’s Whisky Distillery

The tour lasted approximately 70 minutes and ended back at the brewery courtyard where we were shown into the Ayrer’s whisky distillery.  Surrounded by oak barrels we learnt about Franconia’s very own single malt whisky and its fermentation process.  I knew that this part of Germany was famous for its beer but hadn’t realised that it also produced an award winning single malt whisky.

Imperial Castle Entrance, Nuremberg
Looking back at the castle entrance
Imperial Castle, Nuremberg
The Imperial Castle

It was then just a couple of minutes walk uphill to our next destination, the Imperial Castle (admission €5.50).  Nuremberg’s castle was one of the most important Imperial palaces of the Holy Roman Empire in the Middle Ages and its residents were loyal to the empire’s cause.  The castle was so well fortified that it acted as a safe base for the head of the empire.

Courtyard inside Nuremberg Imperial Castle
A courtyard inside the Imperial Castle

During the Second World War much of the castle was destroyed with the exception of the Romanesque Gothic section and the Double Chapel but was later sympathetically rebuilt.

The Knight's Hall, Imperial Castle, Nuremberg
The Knight’s Hall, Imperial Castle

We took a self guided tour of the historic rooms which commenced in the Kaiserburg museum detailing the castle’s history and displaying medieval armour and weapons.

Kaiserberg Museum, Imperial Castle, Nuremberg
The Kaiserberg Museum at the Imperial Castle

The tour then led us into the Knight’s Hall where emperors met important visitors and where legal matters were attended to.  Next we viewed the Corner Chamber with its Imperial Crown Jewels and an impressive wooden model of the Altstadt before moving into the elaborate Double Chapel.

The Double Chapel, Imperial Castle, Nuremberg
The Double Chapel within the Imperial Castle

Despite the weather being a little gloomy we enjoyed some good views from the ramparts looking down onto the red rooftops of the old town.

Views from Nuremberg's Imperial Castle ramparts
Views over the old town from the castle ramparts

Exploring the Imperial Castle had been memorable and I’m so pleased we’d had an opportunity to visit.

Lunch at the Hausbrauerie Altstadt ,Nuremberg
Lunch at the Hausbrauerei Altstadt

Leaving the museum we wandered back downhill and popped into Hausbrauerei Altstadt a traditional pub next to where we had taken the Rock Cut Cellars tour earlier.  Here we enjoyed bowls of steaming hot soup and glasses of their red beer which hit the spot nicely and set us up for an afternoon of sightseeing.

Fembo House City Museum, Nuremberg
Fembo House City Museum

It was then just a short walk through the old town to Fembo House City Museum, located within a large Renaissance period merchant’s home constructed between 1591-1596 (admission €6).  The façade of the building suffered only minor damage and was converted into a museum in 1953.

Inside Fembo House City Museum, Nuremberg
Inside Fembo House City Museum

After picking up audio guides we toured the exhibition rooms which took us on a journey through the city’s past bringing 950 years of Nuremberg’s history to life.  Our self-guided tour passed through beautiful wood panelled halls and rooms filled with such items as period furniture, ceramics and old maps.

Painted ceiling at Fembo House City Museum, Nuremberg
Ornate painted ceiling at Fembo House City Museum

Leaving there we crossed the Pegnitz River to take a look in the state of the art glass fronted Neues Museum which we’d noticed the previous day.  Its striking modern architecture blends in surprisingly well with the medieval walls surrounding it.  Admission to the museum is €7 reduced to €1 on Sundays.

Neues Museum, Nuremberg
Spiral staircase at Neues Museum

The idea of the museum is to combine contemporary art and design into one museum covering the period from the 1950’s to the present day.  Firstly we viewed the permanent exhibitions on the ground floor which focus on abstract geometric designs and concrete art.

Neues Museum, Nuremberg
Art exhibits at the Neues Museum

Amongst the art work, one exhibit that caught our eye was the plastic bag Günter Fruhtrunk was commissioned to design for Aldi-Nord in 1970.  Remaining in use until 2018, this blue and white block design became an everyday icon and the striped arrangement of the pattern, an inspiration for other artists.

Aldi design bag on display in the Neues Museum, Nuremberg
Aldi design bag on display in the Neues Museum

We then mounted the wide spiral staircase leading to the upper floor to view a temporary exhibition, Lightsome by Keith Sonnier (1941-2020).  Sunnier was one of the first to use neon light in sculpture with his work consisting of numerous neon creations.

Lightsome exhibition, Neues Museum, Nuremberg
Part of the Lightsome exhibition

After completing our tour of this ultra modern museum we then took a step back in time at our final museum of the day with a visit to the Germanisches National Museum.

Germanisches National Museum, Nuremberg
Germanisches National Museum, Nuremberg

We had looked forward to our arrival here for more than one reason as we’d arranged to meet Marcus, a fellow blogger and highly talented photographer.  Our blogs were both established over six years ago and we have avidly read each other’s posts ever since.  In fact, it was viewing Marcus’s stunning photographs of Nuremberg that had inspired me to visit this beautiful city.  If you haven’t already come across Streets of Nuremberg I recommend taking a look as it not only includes amazing cityscapes but also provides inspiration and useful advice to enhance photo taking skills.

At the Germanisches National Museum with the Streets of Nuremberg
Taking a guided tour of the museum with Marcus and his wife. Photo credit: streetsofnuremberg.com

After greeting Marcus and his wife in the foyer they treated us to a highlights tour of this vast museum, the largest in the German speaking world dedicated to cultural history and art (standard admission €8).  The building itself is a blend of old and new from its modern entrance hall through to its original building in a 14th century cloister.

Street sign installation in the Germanisches National Museum, Nuremberg
The street sign installation in the museum lobby

The entrance lobby features a piece of art work entitled ‘Hauptstadt’ created in 1993-4 formed from a collection of Berlin street signs, some still in good condition whilst others show signs of wear and tear.

The world's oldest surviving globe, Germanisches National Museum, Nuremberg
The world’s oldest surviving globe on display in the museum

We viewed works by Albrecht Dürer whose house we had visited at the start of the day and looked in awe at the Erdapfel, the oldest surviving globe in the world which was produced between 1490/91 even before the America’s had been discovered.

Viewing the artwork in the Germanisches National Museum, Nuremberg
Viewing the artwork in the museum. Photo credit: streetsofnuremberg.com

A connecting door leads through to the magnificent former Carthusian monastery dating back to the late Middle Ages adorned with stone sculptures and religious regalia.

The Cloister of the Germanisches National Museum, Nuremberg
Entering the cloister

In other sections we glimpsed rare Baroque dolls houses, a golden headdress of a Bronze Age priest that had been unearthed not so long ago in a farmer’s field and one of the largest displays of historical musical instruments in Europe.  I believe it would have been impossible to see everything in one visit but during our 90 minute tour we managed to view some of the museum’s finest treasures.

The former Carthusian monastery chapel in the Germanisches National Museum, Nuremberg
The former Carthusian monastery chapel in the museum

We left the museum just as it was closing its doors and our fun meet-up with Marcus and his wife wasn’t yet over as they had reserved a table for the four of us at Schäufelewärtschaft, a restaurant favoured by locals tucked slightly off the beaten track yet no more than a 20 minute walk from the centre.

Inside Schäufelewärtschaft restaurant, Nuremberg
Inside Schäufelewärtschaft restaurant, Photo credit: streetsofnuremberg.com

The wood panelled restaurant had a homely atmosphere with its walls adorned with pictures of pigs as the restaurant specialises in traditional Franconian dishes.  Over glasses of locally brewed beer we studied the menu but the decision was simple as we couldn’t come to Nuremberg without sampling the local favourite Schäufele (pork shoulder).

The Franconian specialiity of Schäufele (pork shoulder)
The Franconian specialiity of Schäufele (pork shoulder) Photo credit: streetsofnuremberg.com

After bowls of soup with meat balls our main courses arrived and the pork shoulder even exceeded our high expectations being perfectly cooked, tender and delicious.  I can’t even begin to describe how good the pork crackling was as we savoured every mouth-watering forkful.  Portion sizes were generous and our mains came with a potato dumpling and a tasty dish of gravy.  We completed our meal with desserts of apfel strudel and kirschmichel, a delicious cherry pudding served with vanilla sauce.

Enjoying dinner with The Streets of Nuremberg
Enjoying dinner with The Streets of Nuremberg. Photo credit: streetsofnuremberg.com

Not only was the food spot on, the company was too as we all chatted away together in a relaxed manner as if we’d known each other for ages.  We’d met five hours earlier as virtual friends and ended the evening as real friends.  We were so pleased that we’d had an opportunity to meet and hopefully our paths will cross again sometime in the future for more lovely get togethers!  The end of a memorable day in beautiful Nuremberg.

 

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Nuremberg Castle & Old Town

 

45 thoughts on “Day 2. Nuremberg Castle & Old Town

  1. Pingback: Blogger Meeting • Streets of Nuremberg • Blogger Meeting

  2. ThingsHelenLoves

    Nuremberg would be an excellent choice at any time, but how lovely that you got to experience the city with blogging friends. Especially after the past few years when we’ve been all about distancing! It looks like you experienced some true German culture and hospitality. Another very enjoyable post, Marion.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It was such a great opportunity to meet up with blogging friends Helen and to be able to share some memorable moments together especially after such a lengthy spell of being unable to socialise. Thanks for your welcome thoughts, they are much appreciated.

      Like

    1. Thank you for taking an interest in this series of posts Tanya. I think you should definitely add Nuremberg to your list of German places to visit as its a beautiful city. Can’t wait to return to Bavaria and explore further.

      Like

  3. How can one not love your second awesome post on your trip to my hometown, Marion! Although we have talked about it over dinner, I’m blown away about the sheer number of activities you have put into your days here in Nuremberg. Thrown in your beautiful photographs and descriptions, I’m sure this will inspire many more people to visit and tour the “Streets of Nuremberg” 😉

    It was so much pleasure to finally meet you in person after following our blogs for all these years, and Birgit and I have so much enjoyed your’s and Mark’s company. Hopefully we meet again soon, either over in UK or back here in the area, as there is much more to explore.

    Marcus

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It was the icing on the cake to finally have the opportunity to meet you both and our hours spent together both at the museum and the restaurant were very special. I’m certain it won’t be too long before we get further opportunities to meet-up either in the U.K. or in Germany.

      Thanks for the positive feedback, it was an action packed trip but we never felt rushed and enjoyed each and every part of our visit. Best wishes, Marion.

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  4. It’s over 35 years since we visited Nuremberg so it was enjoyable to revisit via your post. Such a wonderful opportunity to meet up with a fellow blogger too. If things go to plan we may visit Bavaria again next year. Cheers, Mark

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Taking a tour through the Rock Cut Cellars sounds like a neat experience and a fun way to learn about their history. That’s neat that some sections of the cellars are still being used to store beer. Dinner that night sounds delicious.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I took an art history class years ago and my professor was a Durer fanatic. He only had eyes for Durer. It was so fun to connect those classes to your post and see where he was from and the beautiful place that inspired him. All of the buildings there are just so lovely! And what a treat to see the oldest globe. Great post Marion 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. We had a splendid day exploring the sights of Nuremberg and taking the Rock Cut Cellars tour. We were so pleased to have the opportunity of meeting up with Marcus and his wife and our time together couldn’t have been nicer! Thanks for commenting Allan and hope your week is going well.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Nuremberg is a delightful city and we enjoyed everything about it. It was also great to meet up with another member of the blogging community and we all enjoyed our time together. Thanks so much for commenting Lyssy and I hope your week is progressing well.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. The architecture in Nuremberg’s old town is just beautiful! And who wouldn’t like a tour through the rock cellars as well as a visit to a castle (both favourites of mine 😉). Soup and beer for lunch – that sounds perfect to me!
    And what a wonderful opportunity to meet a fellow blogger … I’m also a follower of Marcus’ blog (his photo’s are indeed awesome). Happy days as there were more museum visits – another great day in Nuremberg Marion. Thanks for taking me with you!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Nuremberg is such a beautiful compact city and the beauty is that most places are so easily walkable. The Rock Cut Cellar tour was fascinating and sampling the local beers was as well. I’m so pleased you also follow Marcus’ blog. I’ll never be in his photo taking league as he is so talented. We all spent a lovely evening together and returned home with fond memories of our time together. One day hopefully we’ll have an opportunity to meet up too!

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Welcome to Bavaria!
    been to Nürnberg but I´ve never been to many of the places you´ve visited.
    Lovely photos as well! we´ve been to the Imperial castle but my daughter had a tantrum so we did not take the tour inside.Probably that´s the reason to back soon again!

    Liked by 3 people

  9. What a museum-y city. Sounds right up our treet, the more I see of Nuremberg the more it appeals. The architecture really is gorgeous and I would be all over that pork shoulder. What a bonus that you got to meet up with a fellow blogger.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. More museums galore in Nuremberg! I’ve only passed in front of the Albrecht Durer House, but never went inside…as for the Imperial Castle, you captured the EXACT same view at the EXACT same spot for that photo. Definitely a beautiful, rooftop shot! That pork shoulder looks massive, and that enormous dumpling beside it is also a killer…paired that with a filling beer, and I’m sure you were knocked out after that!

    Liked by 3 people

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