Today’s post features a visit to the rally grounds of the National Socialist Party. There is nothing gruesome shown but if you do not want to read about it or see photos, please don’t read today’s post.
The time difference means the mornings are darker longer. We didn’t sleep longer though 🙂
The hotel laid on an impressive spread. I had just 2 dsps of granola, plus some pumpkin seeds, prunes and lots of fresh fruit with yogurt.
This is probably the smallest bowl I have ever eaten from. They are not giant grapes, just a very small bowl.
The cereal would not have kept me full for long so I added a protein course; 2 slices of cheese, 3 types of ham, a Nuremberg Wurst, Frankfurter, boiled egg and 3 types of smoked fish. Just little tastes of lots of different foods for variety. I added some more fruit too.
We walked in to the main square which is less than 5 minutes away. This wooden statue slowly revolves and is very charming.
The next 3 photos show the beautiful sculptures along the outside of the Rathaus – the town hall to you and I. The Rathaus is the building on the right of this picture.
Several of the buildings have beautiful painted murals along the outside.
There are museums everywhere. The guidebook listed 41 and some of them are almost tempting to go to as they sound so bizarre such as a hat museum, pigeon museum and a dialysis museum!
Down in the main square the Christmas Market is open for business again. Look how dark it still seems – it’s 9am !
Thanks to the very helpful lady at the Tourist Information centre, we successfully boarded the correct bus and arrived at the Dokumentationszentrum Reichsparteitagsgelande or, in English, the Documentation Centre Nazi Party Rally Grounds.
We visited some of the buildings built by the National Socialists (NS). The National Socialists are a part of Nuremberg’s relatively recent history. Nuremberg was the town where the first laws against Jews were published, where the NS party held their main rallies and also where, at the end of the second word war, the main protagonists were tried and then variously hanged, imprisoned or pardoned.
Before looking at the permanent exhibition inside, we walked around the 4 km² grounds, where Albert Speer’s designs that were actually built remain.
This photograph shows, in black and white, which parts of the planned rally grounds were actually built and the orange parts show those areas which were planned but never built.
We set off to walk around. No tour is needed because there are plenty of information boards to tell you what you are looking at.
Mainly this was a bleak, grey and cold winters day which seemed fitting really to be walking round a place where such an evil man demonstrated his power. Most of the main parade ground is today unused and falling apart.
This is a view from the back of one of the 3 sides of the spectator stands.
This is a view from the top of what was the main stand.
I have very mixed feelings about the maintenance of this structure.
I found it unsettling to see my children standing in the place where AH once stood, saluting while the crowd cheered.
I found it chilling and was keen to move on.
The allies blew up the Swastika which once stood above the central part of the building and took down the columns which ran along the top of the stands in both directions from the centre so it no longer looks like a grand place.
This is not a period of history Harvey has learnt about yet and he is too young to be educated to the horrors of this time. He was delighted to find some snow and his child appropriate enthusiasm for it helped lighten the mood here.
The sun came out briefly.
This is a view across the lake to the Congress Hall. This unfinished building was in the style of the Colisseum.
More snow – still fun, no matter that it is black!
This is the Grosse Strasse which would have led from the Congress Hall to another large parade ground which was never built.
We walked approximately 3 km round the mainly frozen lake. The cold, damp air made my chest very painful and I found breathing deeply quite impossible. I feel irritated to be poorly on holiday but I pushed myself to do everything I wanted to do anyway.
This was a very welcome cup of tea inside the Documentation Centre.
The Documentation Centre is inside the North Wing of the unfinished Congress Hall. Designed by the National Socialists to accommodate 50,000 people it is now occupied by a permanent exhibition called ‘Fascination and Terror’.
It was very affordable at Euros 5.50 for all 3 of us and that includes the audio guide. The exhibition focuses on the causes, contexts and consequences of the tyranny of the National Socialists. Since this is in Nuremberg, the exhibition focuses on the rallies and then the trial at the end of the war.
It was not very interesting for Harvey but he was really good and allowed us time to wander round the exhibition.
We were all relieved to get out though and to be waiting for our bus back to the Christmas Markets and a more cheerful and happy place. I am pleased I visited here but I will never return. It is too grim and ghastly to contemplate what was celebrated here.
The bus dropped us off near this bakery. I would be intrigued to try some of this very dark bread which I assume is rye.
Back in all the bright lights and cheerfulness of the Christmas Markets.
Late lunch for Lara and Harvey. I was not very hungry so declined.
Look at these beautifully painted gingerbread cookies.
They are used as Christmas tree decorations, hence the hole in them.
I did have this almond Lebkuchen. It was amazing. Like a cross between a gingerbread and a macaroon it was moist, chewy, lightly spiced and almondy. Quite incredible.
I had to buy another.
These little dolls house pieces are so cute.
The little cutlery trays are my favourite.
We also wandered down to the children’s Christmas Market.
Ho ho ho !
The stands here have decorations on top.
There are rides for the children too but Harvey is way too grown up for such things now, don’t you know.
After a relax in the hotel, we headed out to a very local German restaurant for dinner. We ordered a large salad to share.
We sat in a cosy booth.
Lara had beef with potato dumplings and sauerkraut which was all delicious apart from the potato dumpling which was quite peculiar in texture.
So I was able to share my chips with her. I wanted the Weiner Schnitzel which is pork escaloppe and it was really good.
We all had apple strudel. I was disappointed as it didn’t seem very traditional to me and was smothered in icing sugar and accompanied by vanilla sauce, ice cream and cream.
The ambiance in this cute little restaurant was lovely. It was very cosy and welcoming and we had a good meal.So that is a little sample of Nuremberg. A fascinating place with so much about it that is quite beautiful but a history I find so chilling. The history of Nuremberg is not celebrated in any way but neither is it ignored. It is presented factually which is probably as it should be. Tomorrow will be more about the present.