We are currently transferring from Nuremberg to Regensberg to change ships due to the problem of low water in the Danube River. We had packed our bags last night and they have been transported ahead of us while we had our morning tour of Nuremberg.
It was interesting to see this city which was virtually destroyed in WW2. It has been rebuilt in a way that replicates its original appearance and it would be easy to be deceived into thinking that many of the buildings are original.
Nuremberg was important in the Middle Ages as it lay on a number of key trade routes. The ‘Reichstage’ or Imperial Diets met at Nuremberg Castle and in 1219 it became a free city. It became a protestant city with it’s importance declining after the Thirty Years War in the mid 1600’s. It later grew as an industrial city and was the home of Siemens and MAN. This has now been helped by the Maine – Danube Canal which is 171 km long. Built in 1997, it allows boats to access the port which is in an industrial area just oustide the old town. Some of the locks on this canal are over 24 metres in height. .
In the 1930’s Nuremberg became the centre of Nazi’ism. Hitler chose this city to be the site of huge conventions and parades in an attempt to maintain the link back to the Diets of the First Reich. Some of the Nazi structures still exist – the Semi-Colloseum like Nazi Convention Centre, the SS Barracks and the Zeppellin Field where huge military parades were conducted.
After the war, the famous trials of war criminals were held here at the Palace of Justice. These provided the first application of modern international law in the world. They were held at Nuremberg firstly because this city was in the area of Germany occupied by the Americans, secondly because it had intact court and prison facilities and thirdly, for its symbolic value in making it the place of Nazi demise.
There is a rather grand Imperial Castle on the hill above the market square. It’s stone walls, dry moat and half timbered buildings make it very picturesque.
Back at one of the market square cafes Uli, one of the passengers with a German background, intoduced us to some Bavarian cakes and hot chocolate. We shared a plum cake and a honey cake which both came with great dollops of whipped cream. These were followed by a taste of one of the local food specialties – gingerbread cake with icing. Thèse were amost enough for us to Wang to tale out German citizenship! Next, it was backgammon to thé boat for lunch and then our three hour (210 km) portage to the other ship.