Nuremberg – Sobering History
Our day in Nuremberg was more educational than scenic. Once the unofficial capital of the Holy Roman Empire, Nuremberg played a significant role in the rise and fall of Hitler and the Nazis. We stopped at the Nazi Party Rally Grounds where Hitler frequently appeared on a high podium overlooking thousands of troops. We also visited Room 600 at the Nuremberg Palace of Justice, site of the Nuremberg Trials. We listened to a talk by a local guide about the trials of Nazi officials and their significance.
After lunch we went to the Documentation Center, housed in the Colosseum-like but uncompleted Nazi Congress Hall. The Documentation Center chronicles in great detail the rise and fall, causes and consequences of Hitler, the Nazi party and their atrocities. Of note is that no-one thought it would ever become so evil when Hitler first started rallying his supporters by demonizing all who were different.
We were able to do a little sightseeing before lunch, around the market square in front of the Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady). In addition to a produce and baked goods market, the square is home to the 60-foot tall Schöner Brunnen (Beautiful Fountain) built from 1385 to 1396 to resemble a church spire. Two gold rings in the fence around fountain are said to bring good luck to those who turn them.
The Church of Our Lady was built from 1352 to 1362 and has an animated mechanical clock added in 1509, which features trumpeters and a parade of electors around the Holy Roman Emperor every day at noon. Dinner was on board ship as we continued along the RMD Canal. We had a Lock Party while moving through the highest locks (at 82 foot) this evening as we sailed toward Regensburg.
At the end of the RMD Canal we entered the Danube River, and after only about 20 miles on the Danube we arrived in Regensburg. Because of the low water problem this would now become our last stop on the ship. The Romans first built a fort in Regensburg in 90 AD, and we saw remnants of the Roman fort Porta Praetoria, built in 179 AD. The Stone Bridge over the Danube is the oldest in Germany, built between 1135 and 1146 and used by knights crossing the Danube on the way to the crusades.
On our guided walking tour we passed the Old Sausage Factory, which originally fed workers building the Stone Bridge and is claimed to be the oldest continually serving restaurant in the world. We also visited the 14th century Town Hall building, and St Peter’s Cathedral, built from 1275 to 1634.
After the tour we had coffee and pastries at a sidewalk café and watched the parade of people heading to a demonstration near the Evangelical Church. We then crossed the Stone Bridge and walked along the other side of the three arms of the Danube, enjoying beautiful parkland on our way back to the ship. For dinner we all went back to the Ratskeller in the Town Hall basement before checking out the floodlit St Peter’s Cathedral.
Next: Munich & Oktoberfest