The city of Nürnberg

Nürnberg castle after it was restored

The city of Nürnberg, in the German state of Bavaria, is famous for its medieval walls and ancient castle, gingerbread cookies, toy manufacturing, Gothic churches, Nürnberger bratwurst and the Christmas market. The city dates back to the year 1050 and for around 500 years, it was the unofficial capital of the Holy Roman Empire, sometimes referred to by historians as the First Reich or first German empire. The National Socialists made Nürnberg the unofficial capital of their empire, which became known as the Third Reich. The Second Reich was the unification of the German states in 1871.

In January 1945, 90% of the old city of Nürnberg was destroyed when it was bombed by the Allies because of its historic importance to Hitler and the Nazis. The famous Nürnberg Castle and the city wall were damaged in the bombing raid, but have been restored. Much of Nürnberg was rebuilt to look like the original, but there are also modern buildings, as shown in the photo below.

Church in the heart of Nürnberg

On April 20, 1945 (Hitler's 56th birthday), the city was captured by three divisions of the American Seventh Army, after a fierce battle that had lasted for several days.

It was at the Zeppelin Field, just outside the city of Nürnberg, that the National Socialists staged huge annual party rallies in the 1930ies. The rally would be preceded by a performance of the Wagnerian opera, "Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg," the story of Hans Sachs, which was Hitler's favorite.

Because of its close association with the Nazi party, the city of Nürnberg was chosen as the site of the International Military Tribunal, the war crimes trial, which started in November 1945 at the Justizgebäude (Palace of Justice). After the war, Nuremberg was in the American zone of occupation and American troops were stationed in the city until 1992.

Nürnberg is also famous for the 1935 Nuremberg Laws, which defined who was a Jew, based on heredity, and allowed German citizenship only to ethnic Germans. The Nuremberg Laws denied the Jews the right to fly the Nazi flag, but at the same time, protected the right of the Zionists to fly their own flag, which is now the flag of Israel. The Nuremberg Laws formed the basis for the plans that were made on January 20, 1942 for the "Final Solution of the Jewish Question," since this law was used to determine who would be transported, from Germany and the Nazi occupied countries, to the concentration camps in the East.

Street scene in the city of Nürnberg

Tower at one of the old gates into the city

Hotel Deutscher Kaiser with tower in the background


Photos of a house in the former village of Altenfurt, which has been incorporated into the city of Nürnberg are shown on this page.

Bomb Damage

Bombed Churches


Hans Sachs

Zeppelin Field

Palace of Justice


E-Mail Us