The ancient city of Nuremberg (Nürnberg) is an important center for arts and culture, as evidenced by the popular National Germanic Museum with its impressive collections of coins, paintings, archives, and decorative arts. The city has also long been associated with advances in science and technology, particularly in printing - it was home to Europe's first printing press - and astronomy (Nicolaus Copernicus's most famous work was published here in 1543). Despite having been severely damaged in WW2, many of the city's old medieval buildings have been painstakingly restored to their former glory. If possible, plan to visit during one of Nuremberg's popular festivals. Two favorites are the famous ten-day Old Town Festival musical and folk event, and International Organ Week from late June to mid-July.
1 National Germanic Museum
National Germanic Museum
The National Germanic Museum (Germanisches Nationalmuseum) is home to the country's largest German art and culture collection. The museum has more than 1.2 million items relating to the region's artistic and cultural history, including historical documents on parchment, a collection of 17, 000 seals, and a superb fine arts archive. Other notable highlights include a collection of 300, 000 prints and drawings, paintings representing all the major schools, historical musical instruments, a sculpture collection, and a fascinating display of antique toys and dollhouses. The same bright building houses the Industrial Museum (Gewerbemuseum), while for art lovers, the nearby Neues Museum Nürnberg has a large collection of modern and contemporary art.
Address: Kartäusergasse 1, D-90402 Nürnberg
2 Nuremberg Castle
To the north of the old town rises the Castle of Nuremberg, an impressive 351-meter-tall structure that dominates the skyline. One of the most important surviving medieval fortresses in Europe, the castle was the residence of all legitimate German kings and emperors from 1050 to 1571. At the lower end are the old imperial stables built in 1495 (now a youth hostel), and the Pentagonal Tower, dating from 1040. Higher up is the Kaiserburg, built in the 11th century (although much altered in later centuries), along with the Sinwell Tower with its wonderful panoramic views. Castle tours take in a number of fine rooms, including the 12th-century chapel and numerous notable works of art.