Beautiful and Chilling

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 🙂

L and H at breakfast

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.Cereal choices

This is probably the smallest bowl I have ever eaten from.  They are not giant grapes, just a very small bowl.
fruit, yogurt and cereal

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.Meat and fish at breakfast


We walked in to the main square which is less than 5 minutes away.  This wooden statue slowly revolves and is very charming.Wooden mving statue

The next 3 photos show the beautiful sculptures along the outside of the Rathaus – the town hall to you and I.Rathaus sculptures 3 Rathaus sculptures 2 Rathaus sculptures 1 The Rathaus is the building on the right of this picture.Rathaus

Several of the buildings have beautiful painted murals along the outside.Painting on buildings 2 Paintings on buildings 1

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! 
Signs to museums

Down in the main square the Christmas Market is open for business again.  Look how dark it still seems – it’s 9am !HauptMarkt at 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.
Drawing of plans for parade ground

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.Photo of parade plans

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.L and H next to sign about parade grounds Sign about parade grounds

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.Side stands decaying

This is a view from the back of one of the 3 sides of the spectator stands.Outside side stands

This is a view from the top of what was the main stand.View from top to side stands

I have very mixed feelings about the maintenance of this structure.Sturctural condition of main stand

I found it unsettling to see my children standing in the place where AH once stood, saluting while the crowd cheered.Where AH used to stand

I found it chilling and was keen to move on.View from the top

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.  View of main stands

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.Harvey finds snow

The sun came out briefly.

Remnants of main stand in Zeppelin field

This is a view across the lake to the Congress Hall.  This unfinished building was in the style of the Colisseum.NS Hall from opposite the lake

More snow – still fun, no matter that it is black!Harvey in the ice

This is the Grosse Strasse which would have led from the Congress Hall to another large parade ground which was never built.The Grosse Strasse

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.Ice on the lake

This was a very welcome cup of tea inside the Documentation Centre.
Tea in glass mug

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’.Nuremberg Trials Display

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.Going round the exhibition

It was not very interesting for Harvey but he was really good and allowed us time to wander round the exhibition.  Display of AH

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.Nuremberg tram

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.Bakers in Nuremberg

Back in all the bright lights and cheerfulness of the Christmas Markets.Nuremberg Markets

Late lunch for Lara and Harvey.  I was not very hungry so declined.Lunch 17-12-12

Look at these beautifully painted gingerbread cookies.Painted gingerbread 1

They are used as Christmas tree decorations, hence the hole in them.Painted gingerbread 2

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.Almond Lebkuchen

I had to buy another.Lebkuchen Stall

These little dolls house pieces are so cute.Dolls House things 1

The little cutlery trays are my favourite.Doll's house things 2

Dolls house things again


We also wandered down to the children’s Christmas Market.Street from Children's Market

Ho ho ho !Ho Ho Ho

The stands here have decorations on top.Characters on roof

There are rides for the children too but Harvey is way too grown up for such things now, don’t you know.
Children's Chirstmas Market



After a relax in the hotel, we headed out to a very local German restaurant for dinner.  We ordered a large salad to share.
salad and beer

We sat in a cosy booth.ating dinner

Lara had beef with potato dumplings and sauerkraut which was all delicious apart from the potato dumpling which was quite peculiar in texture.Lara's dinner 17-12-12

So I was able to share my chips with her.  I wanted the Weiner Schnitzel which is pork escaloppe and it was really good.Weiner Schnitzel

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.Appel strudel

The ambiance in this cute little restaurant was lovely.  It was very cosy and welcoming and we had a good meal.Inside the restaurantSo 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.


About Lose Weight and Gain Health

Hi! My name is Zoe and I live in Hastings, East Sussex, with my son Harvey and dog, Milton. I have been fighting the fat for years but this time I am serious. I want to lose weight and gain health. This blog is about how I am changing my lifestyle so I can lose weight but not by just "being on a diet" but by making small changes to our lives so that as I lose weight, I gain health. I want my family to be healthy too and never have to struggle with their weight like I have. In common with many large people, I have gained and lost weight many times over the years. This time, I want to lose it and maintain a healthy low weight. I am interested in eating food that is nutrient dense and delicious and that appeals to children and adults. I do not eat animal products so follow a vegan diet. I try to use locally produced food supplemented with what I can grow myself. I support and try to use local farmers markets and farm shops. Another objective is to add more exercise to our days. It sounds so simple when I write it down :-)
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4 Responses to Beautiful and Chilling

  1. laura1952 says:

    You are braver than I. I don’t think I could ever bring myself to step foot there for fear of the haunting that would take so long to leave me. I am so glad Harvey wasn’t old enough to know about one more man who did things no human heart should.

  2. Lucy Murphy says:

    What an interesting trip. i LOVE the dolls house stuff – and those amazing gingerbread biscuits. Cute. xx

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