Nürnberg, Germany

Nuremberg is located on the Pegnitz river and the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal. It is in the heart of the Franconia / Bavaria state of Germany. It is Franconia’s largest city and is located 170 km’s north of Munich. In 2006, it’s population was 500,132. It is located 302 meters above sea level. Nuremberg saw great expansion from 1050-1571 because it was located on one of the key trade routes for the region and thereby was referred to as the “unofficial capital” of the Holy Roman Emperor as often royal meetings took place at the Nuremberg Castle. In 1219 it became a Imperial Free City under Emperor Frederick II and was popular as one of the two great trade centers on the route from Italy to Northern Europe. 1298 saw a horrible massacre (one of several in the Rintfleisch Massacres) of the Jewish population as they were accused of having desecrated the host with a hidden agenda to combine the northern and southern parts of the city which were divided by the Pegnitz River – and since the Jews settled there, this was one of the means the city had of getting rid of them. The area is now the City Market, Frauenkirche, and the City Hall (Rathaus). From the 15th-16th centuries, the German Renaissance flowered in this center. Then in 1525, the Protestant Reformation took influence in the area, and in 1532 the religious Peace of Nuremberg was signed here. The Thirty Year’s War did its damage in 1632 and declined thereafter until recovery in the 19th century as it grew into an industrial center. Because of the bankruptcy after the war, Nuremberg was given to Bavaria who took over the debts and guaranteed amortization. Eventually Nazi Germany landed here. Because of its former relevance to the Holy Roman Empire, the Nazi Party chose the city to be the location for the huge Nazi Party conventions – the Nuremberg Rallies that were held from 1927-1938. When Hitler rose to power in 1933, the rallies became huge state propaganda events and Nuremberg became a center of Nazi ideals. It was here that Hitler ordered the Reichstag to convene at Nuremberg to pass anti-Semitic Law to revoke German citizenship for all Jews. Today there still remains many examples of Nazi architecture. With WWII, Nuremberg became the headquarters of Wehrkreis (military district) XIII and an important site for the production of airplanes, submarines, and tanks.

A subcamp of Flossenbürg concentration camp was located here providing much slave labour for Nazi projects. From 1943-1945 roughly 90% of the city was destroyed by systematic bombing by the Royal Air Force and the US Army Air Forces killing 6,000 residents and displacing 100,000 others. Extensive use was made of slave labour.[2] The city was severely damaged in Allied strategic bombing from 1943-1945. After War, the city was rebuilt to its pre-war appeareance including reconstruction of the Medieval buildings. War trials were held here from 1945-1946 to persecute German officials involved in the Holocaust even though the Soviet Union wanted the trials to take place in Berlin. It was chosen for the trials because it was in the American occupation zone, the Palace of Justice was spacious and largely undamaged with an adjoining prison. The city had been the location of the Nazi Party’s Nuremberg rallies; and the laws stripping Jews of their citizenship were passed there so there was symbolic value in making it the place of the Nazi demise. Today, Nuremberg is associated with its traditional gingerbread (Lebkuchen) products, sausages, and handmade toys. The world’s first pocket watches, called “Nuremberg eggs”, were made here in the sixteenth century. In the nineteenth century Nuremberg became the “industrial heart” of Bavaria with companies such as Siemens and MAN establishing a strong base in the city. Nuremberg is still an important industrial center with a strong standing in the markets of Central and Eastern Europe. Items manufactured in the area include electrical equipment, mechanical and optical products, motor vehicles, and printed materials. The city is also strong in the fields of automation, energy, and medical technology. Siemens is still the largest industrial employer in the Nuremberg region but a good third of German market research agencies is also located in the city. The Nuremberg International Toy Fair is the largest of its kind in the world. The city also hosts several specialist hi-tech fairs every year, attracting experts from every corner of the globe. [ wikipedia ]


Nuremberg Cemetery

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