Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Overnighting in Nuremberg

I had not planned to go to Nuremberg, famous for its Nazi history and the subsequent war trials. But the guide book gave it 3 stars since its streetscapes and major buildings are evidence that Nuremberg was once the wealthiest and most important cities in medieval Germany, and a centre for the German Renaissance. But more importantly for us, it seemed like the best place to stay if we wanted to visit both Bamberg and Rothenberg, which we had been told were two of the loveliest towns in Germany, when first planning this trip.
Nuremberg is also noteworthy in that it was the one place on this tour that TripAdvisor let us down. Its #1 hotel choice, Hotel Victoria, did not live up to our expectations nor compare with the other #1 hotel choices we stayed at. Although to be fair, it did have an excellent location immediately inside the city’s well preserved medieval wall, close to the train station, and the price included an excellent breakfast.
The city did have some very impressive buildings and streetscapes, including a large building near our hotel with a most unusual dormer window arrangement and lots of elaborate cathedrals.
However, the highlight of our trip to Nuremberg was a visit to the German National Museum, which according to our guide book is considered Germany’s largest and most important museum of art and culture. 
It seems it was common in the middle ages to do these full size paintings of a person resting in his coffin.
The caption on this painting of a young woman and an older man describes her carefully crafted smile which is shared with the viewer
I was interested in the artwork, which included an excessive number of works illustrating the chopping off of heads, and a full sized painting of a man in his coffin.

A section was devoted to the art of the Third Reich, including what were purported to be some of Hitler’s favourite paintings.
Some were gleefully anti-Semitic, while others clearly illustrated Hitler’s preference for an Aryan race. He also liked nudes.
There was also a display of art from the former East German Republic although I couldn't find anyone in the gallery who could explain the full meaning of this particular piece. Parts were evident, but others....
I was intrigued by this more contemporary piece representative of the 70's in Germany. As we saw in Hamburg, the Germans don't want to forget the 70's
There were also floors full of objects of everyday life…including wonderfully ornate antique ice sleds and lots and lots of military equipment.
I was intrigued by an illustrated fold-out painting on wood which appeared to celebrate the members of the local chapter of the Urban Development Institute of the day!

Following our tour of the museum we were off to Rothenberg, a somewhat convoluted 73 minute train journey that required 2 transfers with only 5 minutes to spare for each. The trip was complicated when I discovered that the cobble-stoned streets of Bamberg and Nuremberg had taken their toll on my trusty Victorinox luggage. But fortunately, it could be carried as a knapsack as well as pulled, and after learning how to say glue in German, it was subsequently repaired. As you'll see in the next post, we made it to Rothenburg, and I'm so glad we did.

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