Saturday, February 2, 2008


Yesterday I made it to Nürnberg (Nuremberg for people from the US). We had just under two hours on the train, which was a nice ride.

The city is known for a lot of things, including lebküchen, the largest International toy fair (which begins next week), The Nürnberg Trials, Heilig-Geist-Spital, which housed lepers and was one of the largest in medieval times, the Nuremberg Kaiserburg, a castle made of sandstone rock (below) and Albrecht Dürer, the great artist.

It's a really beautiful city that of course has tons of history to go along with it. We walked all day and stumbled upon some great things.

The Hauptmarkt is a smaller take on Munich's Viktualienmarkt, with plenty of fresh foods + flowers. Located directly behind that is the Schöner Brunnen. This is the fountain I mentioned previously that holds the lucky golden ring. Finding the ring, without loads of tourists there to ogle it was a different story and took some time.

Several things struck me - they love their polar bears... Nürnberg is where the polar bear recently gave birth to twins, one of which disappeared and the other named Flocke is Germany's newest Knut. It's rumored Munich zoo is getting a baby polar bear as well. I really hope if they do they'll put some money towards the polar bear habitat there, because it's not so great. As we walked through the city it was evident the people are very proud of their polar bears, demonstrated through window displays and in several pastry shops.

The city itself is really quite old, and was a major trade route from Italy + Northern Europe. While the city was bombed during WWII and ninety percent was demolished, they seemed to have rebuilt very nicely.

I was happy to see the Albrecht Dürer Haus, where the artist mapped the stars of the northern and southern hemispheres and created many beautiful engravings, woodcuts, and watercolor paintings. His rabbit statue is a bit strange, but that seemed to be the norm around the city. Very bizarre sculptures.

There are plenty of churches for devout Catholics that dot the city. As we were exiting the door to one of the churches was really heavy. After getting it open a little old German man said he thought there was a child on the other side. We got a good laugh out of that. The interiors are distinctly different, however my favorite church was St. Klara, which is close to the train station. It's a beautiful ultra modern church with a lot of character and great design elements. It also had a slightly kitschy touch in the prayer room that sort of screamed 'viva las vegas'.

Also no surprise... I loved the lebküchen - the German gingerbread that Nürnberg is so well known for. I went for the moist ones with a bit less sugar, but they are divine. If Stefan's lucky I might just share them with him.

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