We decided to take a quick trip to Nürnberg this weekend and we were pleasantly surprised by the charm of the city. At this point, we find that we don’t have time to investigate some places before we travel there, so we simply make our plans, read a few reviews of places to see and then let the place reveal itself to us. We didn’t have many preconceptions about what we would see when we went to Nürnberg, but we did expect it to be similar to Köln or Frankfurt, but it was smaller and prettier than we expected. The old town is surrounded by a stone wall with a castle sitting on the hill overlooking the city and still has some of its medieval architecture.
Before traveling to Germany, our only thoughts of Nürnberg (Nuremberg) were associated with the famous trials of the NAZI leaders which took place in the city. We made sure to take time to visit the courthouse, which is still in use today, and learn more about the momentous events that occurred within those walls. Trying to understand how the role of justice has changed when it comes to war and atrocities that are committed by a country and how other countries can come together to impose punishment on those in charge is actually a relatively new concept. For all of us who grew up knowing that cruelty, genocide, and torture can be held accountable at a global level can thank those who put the policies in place at the end of World War II. Whether some countries can still escape this justice is obviously something to be debated at a different time.
It was a cold weekend, which is par for the course at this time of year, and we even woke up to snow on Sunday before heading back to Frankfurt. Nürnberg was also the place where punishment was dealt throughout the history of Germany, so perhaps there was some slight coincidence to the decision to hold the war trials in the city, but the main reason was due to the fact that the city had not been destroyed like so many others. Visiting the executioner’s house and the castle were definitely highlights of our visit as well as seeing the various churches and cathedrals that are always a centerpiece of old world cities.
It was a quick weekend trip and we enjoyed every minute of it. At some point we need to take a break and get some sleep, but that isn’t going to happen for a few weeks at least. We will relish some of these unexpected journeys in the years to come as much as we enjoy those trips that we have spent weeks planning and making sure that we know in advance everything that there is to see and do. So, here is to unexpected journeys in 2017 🙂.