Albrecht Dűrer Statue

Albrecht Dűrer Statue

I awoke early enough to observe the River Princess take its turn through one of the highest locks on the Main-Danube, the 81 foot Eckersmuehlen Lock. Later, we passed a spot where our ship on the Main-Danube Canal was above a highway.

Nuremberg is often referred to as having been the unofficial capital of the Holy Roman Empire because the Imperial Diet and courts met at Nuremberg Castle. Today it is the second largest city after Munich of the Franconia region of Germany. Our tour bus went inside the Nazi Party’s Coliseum and we had a short stop at the rally grounds. We learned that Nuremberg was chosen as the site for Nazi conventions and rallies because of its position in the center of Germany and its relevance to the Holy Roman Empire. Rallies were held in 1927, 1929 and annually 1933-1938. The 1934 rally was filmed by Leni Riefenstahl and made into the propaganda film Triumph of the Will. After World War II, German officials involved in the holocaust were brought before an international tribunal in this city. The city was chosen for its symbolic value in making it the place of the Nazi demise because it had been the location of the Nazi Party’s Nuremberg rallies and the laws stripping Jews of their citizenship were passed there. Nuremberg was also in the American sector.

Imperial Castle

Imperial Castle

The Jews suffered several times in Nuremberg history. There were many massacres during plague years. Fewer Jews died from the plague because they bathed weekly while most other citizens only bathed a couple of times per year which made them much more attractive to fleas. Jews became scapegoats also because of usury. Christians were not allowed to loan money whereas Jews had no such religious restrictions. Thus, princes used Jews to finance projects but might later encourage a pogrom when it was to their advantage.

We walked to Kaiserburg, the Imperial Castle, for good views of the city. In 1525, Nuremberg was the first place to accept the Protestant Reformation. The city was a center for the German Renaissance in the 15th and 16th centuries. Albrecht Dűrer, the greatest German artist of the Renaissance, was born and lived in Nuremberg. The main market, near the Old Town Hall, has a beautiful fountain, Schőner Brunnen, in the shape of a Gothic spire. The fountain has a golden ring which it is said if turned three times will grant a wish. We visited St. Sebaldus Church, Our Ladies Church, and St. Lawrence Church. On board we enjoyed the oom-pah Bavarian music of Premium Bavaricum. The four-piece band included a trumpet, double trumpet, accordion, and tuba. Another interesting day.

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