Located in the heart of old town in Nuremberg, St. Lorenz Church dominates the skyline. It is a medieval church that was built in the 1400’s, although it was largely damaged during WWII like many other buildings in Germany. Dedicated to St. Lawrence, the church has many interesting features, both in the interior as well as the exterior. St. Lorenz Church was built in the gothic architectural style and is the largest church in Nuremberg. Originally a Catholic church, the church was converted to Lutheran after the reformation.
One of the most prominent features within the church is the hall choir with its tabernacle. There is also some beautiful artwork that had been donated by wealthy citizens when it was first built and remains there even after the reformation. Like all gothic churches, the stained glass windows are also very stunning. With its high ceilings and large nave, the music of the organ and choir must sound beautiful inside of this wonderful church.
Although St. Lorenz Church is the most prominent church in Nuremberg, there is also the Church of Our Lady, which is another wonderful gothic style church in downtown Nuremberg. The mechanical clock on the front façade of the Church of Our Lady is one of the most interesting features of the church. We did not go inside of the Church of Our Lady, but we imagine that it is quite beautiful as well. There is also the St. Sebaldus Church, which has twin towers that look almost identical to those of St. Lorenz Church. When looking out from the Nuremberg Castle, both churches rise above the rooftops of old town. We definitely enjoyed our trip to Nuremberg and the St. Lorenz Church was definitely one of the highlights of our time in this historic city.
You don’t need to be a history buff to visit the famous courthouse in Nuremberg where the trials of the leaders of the Nazi party were held following the end of WWII. It is a stark reminder of the horrors that people are capable of when their power is left unchecked. It was also probably the most notable use of international law to punish those who committed the atrocities of the Holocaust as well as other war crimes. The courthouse is a short distance from the old town area of Nuremberg, but it is worth taking the time to visit this famous location.
As you take your self-guided tour of the courthouse, there are video stations at the different seats that allow you to see actual footage of the court hearings and listen to the prosecutors, judges, defendants, and others giving testimony. Hearing and seeing these moments from the past is certainly fascinating, although it is almost seems a little surreal. It is important for all generations to understand the significance of what occurred during this horrific period of our history. As you watch the trials through the footage taken at the time, you understand that these were real people, not just mythological figures in history books, who made decisions that seem unfathomable to us now.
Visiting courthouses and prisons aren’t often on the top of anyone’s trip itinerary, but there are times when it is important to make a point to visit these places. As a society, we turn these types of places into museums and historical landmarks as reminder of not only what happened, but also what the human race is capable of if we turn a blind eye to events that unfold around us. These might not be the most beautiful locations, nor should they be, but that doesn’t necessarily lesson the impression that they make upon you.
Nuremberg is truly a wonderful city in Germany with the walled old town and castle fortress sitting high above the medieval town. While Nuremberg is most known for the trials of the Nazi leaders at the end of WWII, there is much more to see than just the courthouse where the trials occurred. Most notably is the Nuremberg Castle, which provides spectacular views of the city. Almost all castles served as fortresses, while not all fortresses also served as homes to royalty and to the wealthy. Nuremberg Castle feels more like a true fortress than an actual castle, but many kings did stay at the castle throughout its almost thousand year history.
Walking along the walls of the fortification takes you back in time and it is easy to see why the castle fortress was considered to be one of the most important fortifications during the medieval period. Taking a self-guided tour of the castle grounds includes seeing the Imperial Castle, the Imperial City Buildings, and the former Burgrave’s Castle. There are no rooms decorated with historical replicas trying to depict what life was like in ancient times, but there is still plenty to make touring the castle worthwhile.
The views of Nuremberg are definitely the highlight of visiting the castle. There are several spots as you walk along the walls of the fortress up towards the heart of the castle where you can stop and look over the rooftops of old town and see the spires of the cathedral reaching skyward. There are so many interesting features on the castle grounds that you can easily spend a couple of hours walking around and exploring the historic site.
Nuremberg Castle is definitely one of the most important places to visit while you are in Nuremberg. The cathedral and the courthouse are the two other places that should be on your must-see list, but don’t miss out on visiting the castle and getting a true view of the old town and the city as a whole.