Nuremberg, Danube

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Nuremberg, Germany

Once upon a time, Nuremberg was the undeclared capital of the Holy Roman Empire and the preferred residence of most German kings. It held the crown jewels. It attracted famous artists. It was praised by thousands for its architectural wonders and wonderful atmosphere. We can't put it better than Martin Luther King, who famously gushed: "Nuremberg shines throughout Germany like a sun among the moon and stars."

But there's a darker side to Nuremberg's history that shadows its illustrious past. The Nazi movement saw it as a perfect stage for their attempts to win over working-class Germany. Fanatical party rallies were held, as well as other events. The infamous Nuremberg Laws were enacted here, effectively removing German citizenship from all Jews. And on January 2nd 1945, Allied Bombers reduced the entire city to rubble and ruin, killing 6,000 people in the process.

Not that you would guess any of this so many years on. The city was painstakingly reconstructed using the original bricks and mortar, including its beautiful old churches and fantastic castle. This makes it all the more fascinating to explore. Germany has been praised internationally for recognising the terrible rise of Hitler and it shows off these incredibly dark times sensitively and emphatically. It is alive with tourists every year, doing exactly that.

Worthwhile experiences include a wander through the Old Town, locating the old city walls and the Castle Quarter. St Sebald Church and St Lawrence Church are worth seeking out, as is the relatively new Nuremberg Exhibition Centre, which has some fascinating showcases. Those keen to explore Nazi history should check out the Nazi rally ground Reichsparteitagsgelände, in the suburb of Bayernstraße, and Courtroom 600 where the Nuremberg Trials took place after the war.

Nuremberg, Germany

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