I'm back from my week-long excursion to Nuremberg, Germany and Prague, Czech Republic with my study abroad program! Both cities were absolutely gorgeous and charming in their own ways, and I'm extremely grateful for the chance to travel the world. In an effort to keep the blabbing about my trip to a minimum, I'll split the information into two posts: this one will focus on Nuremberg, and my next one will be about Prague. Let's get started!
Nuremberg is a small city in Bavaria (southern Germany) with lots of history and traditional German culture. The city itself was founded in the year 1050 and has ties to the Holy Roman Empire, the Renaissance, and European trading in medieval times. All of the beautiful medieval buildings were well-preserved until World War II, when Allied bombing destroyed 90% of the city, according to my lovely city tour guide. However, the city was rebuilt to look like it did before the bombings. Hitler and the Nazis also started to build their massive rally grounds in Nuremberg, and the Nuremberg Trials (where the U.S., Britain, France and the Soviet Union punished the Nazis for their war crimes) were also held in the city in 1945-46.
After the five-hour train ride from Berlin to Nuremberg, my friends and I spent the day exploring the city. Remember when I went to Oktoberfest in Munich and gushed about the stereotypically German pretzels, beer, Liederhosen, cobblestone paths, and bratwurst? Nuremberg has the same type of feel, but in a smaller city setting. Pubs and breweries serving traditional German food can be found on practically every street, and food vendors sell traditional Nürnberger Bratwurst (basically American breakfast sausages) and pretzels. I splurged on a Nutella pretzel, and I've been craving the unbelievably delicious sweet-and-salty combo ever since. Small shops with gingerbread, beer mugs, and homemade trinkets are also sprinkled around the town.
We happened to be in Nuremberg during the Altstadtfest (old city festival) so the square was filled with tents that sold German food, gifts, trinkets, and clothes. My friends and I spent a nice chunk of time walking through the markets during our four days in Nuremberg. I bought some delicious dried fruit, a birthday present for my sister, and way too much German street food. I tried Flammkuchen (like flatbread pizza, but crispier), Nürnberger sandwiches, cheese-stuffed olives, gingerbread, and toasted nuts. Let me just say that German food is amazing!
While my friends are I were exploring during our first day, we visited the Nuremberg Castle. Although the castle isn't as grand as the one I saw in Potsdam, the gardens and scenery were just as amazing. We didn't go inside, but the view of the city from the yard was worth the uphill trek to the castle.
(This very spot is where Hitler addressed the German people during the Nazi Party rallies)
Nuremberg might have taken Munich's place as my favorite German city. I'm a sucker for traditional German culture! Since the city is so small, I felt like four days was more than enough time to see the major sites. I can definitely see myself living in a city like Nuremberg in the future. In the meantime, I'm sure I'll be back to visit again!