Nuremberg / Nürnberg

Nuremberg is with 505,000 inhabitants Bavaria’s second-largest city behind Munich, from which it is about 170 kilometres (110 miles) north. It is the principal city of the Franconia region in the northwestern part of Bavaria, an area well-known for its breweries as well as for its vineyards. The metropolitan area around Nuremberg, which also includes the nearby cities of Fürth and Erlangen, both having a population of more than 100,000, is home to some 3.5 million people. Nuremberg received international attention in 1945, when the trials against Germans involved in Nazi atrocities were held here and it is also famous for hosting the Christkindlesmarkt, a well-known christmas market attracting about a million visitors per year.

Nuremberg was first mentioned in an official document dating to the year 1050 and since it is not clearly known when it was actually founded, this is considered the city’s founding year. In the course of the next centuries, the city grew considerably, largely thanks to it being situated along a number of important trade routes. In the years of the Roman Empire Nuremberg gained even further in significance as it was here, at the castle, that the rulers held General Assembly meetings and high court sessions. In 1219, Nuremberg received extended city rights including the right to mint coins by king Frederick II. The city developed into one of the most important European main trade and commerce hubs in that time. Nuremberg’s prominence among Roman Empire cities led to frequent disputes with local rulers, but the city grew even stronger and more independent from these. In the following centuries, the town found itself amid a number of wars, in particular those between Prussia and Bavaria, at the end of which Nuremberg became a part of Bavaria in 1806. In 1835 the city witnessed the opening of the first German railway, going from Nuremberg to nearby Fürth.  


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The headlines the city produced in the following century were less favorable. Nuremberg became one of the core cities of the Nazi regime when it hosted the party’s annual conventions, known as the Nuremberg rallies, from 1927 through 1938. The Reichstag would hold sessions in town a few times and pass the Nuremberg Laws here, revoking German citizenship to Jews. Due to this significance, the city became the target of several air raids during the war, culminating in the bombing night of January 2nd, 1945, when almost the entire medieval core city was destroyed and thousands were killed. However, the Palace of Justice remained largely intact and was subsequently chosen as the venue for the Nuremberg Trials after the war. 24 of the Nazi top officials were put on trial by the allies here and charged with war crimes in various degrees.

Nuremberg today boasts a healthy economy which contrary to most other German cities, still has a strong industrial sector, making up roughly a fourth of the gross value generated in town, despite the fact that some well-known companies folded here in recent years. Siemens has a large presence in Nuremberg and is one of the city’s largest employers, commercial vehicle builder MAN manufactures engines here. In addition, there a number of renown publishing houses located here and the city has dedicated several commercial areas around town to attract a growing number of high-tech businesses. Nuremberg regularly hosts several large-scale trade fairs, the most famous being the International Toy Fair in February.

Apart from fairs and a series of cultural events throughout the year and many sights including three castles, visitors will find Nuremberg to be a rather green city with a number of carefully landscaped, often historical gardens and parks. Tourists will also enjoy the varieties of the Franconian cuisine. Among others, the Rostbratwurst, a sausage specialty, is a local favorite.

To get to Nuremberg, travelers may choose the city’s airport as their final destination, to which there are connecting flights from Frankfurt, Munich and Berlin. One can also go by car, as it only takes some 90 minutes to reach the city from Munich or a good two hours from Frankfurt. In addition, Nuremberg is a stop for several high-speed train connections.