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Nuremberg > Sebald
One-time visitor to Nuremberg were most likely to
spend their time in the Sebald district, which ran from the north bank of the
Pegnitz River up to the Kaiserburg. This was where most of the downtown
festivals ware held, and where the Frauenkirche and the main market square
resided. But, there was a lot
in this part that is hidden -- islands, old bridges, interesting museums, etc.
-- that begged one to go off the beaten track. This chapter in Nuremberg
goes all around Sebald starting from where the Lorenz chapter left off,
crossing the Pegnitz on Koenigstrasse. It will then follow up to the
Kaiserburg (where that chapter takes over) and then resume down the western wall
of the city back to the Weisser Turm just south of the Pegnitz.
our first stopping point, and this photograph shows how the Saturday markets
sprawled over this part of the Koenigstrasse.
Looking westward from the bridge, we saw the gorgeous red sandstone Fleischbruecke
arching high over the river. On the north side in between was a
modern restaurant and hotel with an outdoor café. To the east was the Heilig-Geist-Spital, an old hospital that
encroaches over half the river as the Pegnitz splits. In the middle ages,
it served as the home of a Catholic welfare foundation.
Once across the Koenigbruecke, we came upon one of
those abstract sculptures that modern Germans seemed to like placing in
cities. This was was macabre, seemingly to represent the
inhumanity from the days before and during World War II. The
Koenigstrasse led straight ahead to the main market square -- while to
the right was a second market square that held the Childrens' Christmas
Market during Advent season.
on Koenigstrasse brought us to the Hauptmarkt, Nuremberg's
main town market square. The Hauptmarkt contained two of the city's best
known landmarks -- the
Frauenkirche, shown below at left, and the Schoener Brunnen, shown below at
right. These two structures provided just the
perfect setting for Nuremberg's many festivals. Her annual Christmas
Market was the largest and most popular in the world, but she also celebrated the
wine season, the spargel (German white asparagus) season, and harvest
time. The scene here showed a traditional Frankish horn
band playing happy tunes during the Franconian wine festival. Unfortunately
for history buffs,
the remainder of the Hauptmarkt was not original, having to be replaced after the
war. But it was a good place to go to eat and buy souvenirs.
The Frauenkirche was very different from most churches seen around Germany. That was
because it's purpose was specific, it was the home of the Imperial crown jewels
for a period of time (the church in the Heilig-Geist-Spital also stored the
crown jewels). It's interior is very short, holding only about three
hundred people. Much of the interior had to be reconstructed after the
war, but there's plenty of old artwork to be seen -- restored
murals on the pillars and sculptures over the doors. Outside, there is a
very colorful clock that is visible in the photo. Below it is a diorama
that moves at noon each day -- the tourist information bulletin describes it as
a sequence of seven Electors honoring the King).
The term "Schoener
Brunnen" literally meant "beautiful well". It was an
artesian well that was decorated with some forty figurines of Nuremberger
royalty. As this picture shows, it was incredibly elaborate and loud,
painted primarily in bright old gold with dark reds and greens.
Maintenance of this well must have been a terrible burden, thus a
wrought-iron fence kept visitors a safe distance away nowadays. But that didn't
prevent one from tossing coins into it per American tradition... :-)
We followed the Burgstrasse from the Schoener
Brunnen up the hill toward the Kaiserburg. There were several landmarks
along the way. The third photograph shows the Saint Sebaldus Church (from
whence the Sebald district is named). Beneath this impressive church lay
a small brown hut with umbrellas. This is a rather unique restaurant known
as the Bratwurst House. It lay claim as the site where the famous Nuremberger bratwurst was invented (Nuremberger
bratwursts are white pork sausages roughly the size of small breakfast
sausages in the US).
St. Sebaldus faced the current Nuremberger Rathaus that also contains a town dungeon
museum. Behind the Rathaus was a nice secondary market square that
ordinarily hosts outdoor cafés, but also hosted an part of the Christmas Market
dedicated to Nuremberg's numerous partner cities around the world.
After visiting the Kaiserburg, we returned along Karlstrasse past the Toy Museum (Spielzeugmuseum)
which is a family attraction that we've heard about but didn't have time
The Troedelmarkt was another island on the Pegnitz. It
was a small oval-shaped island lined with houses along both sides, leaving a
place in the middle. This photograph shows the island from the Fleischbruecke. In 2002, Tom encountered an Italian Festival taking place
at night. The inner market square had a few Italian food booths and
Italian music playing under a starlit night with about a hundred people in
attendance. Although the Troedelmarkt was near the downtown, it was just off
the beaten track enough that intimate affairs were possible.
We concluded our Sebald district tour by following the Pegnitz west to the
Westtormauer. We followed Unterkreuzgasse on the south bank past a couple
of outdoor cafés overlooking the river, then came upon this scene. This shot included the so-called Hangman Bridge with an old
wine depot. Beyond this is the Westtor, a very large combination city gate
and bridge with a modern footbridge across it. In between are a series of
old brick and half-timber structures from the past century that have survived
photographs show additional scenes from the western Pegnitz. The
photo at left shows some of the old-style residences sitting high over
the river, while the right photograph is a better view of Hangman's
Other attractions in the Sebald district could be found in the less-traveled
northeast, such as the University grounds and the Aegidienkirche.
Plus, the Weinmarkt near the Toy Museum was a great place for high-class eateries
without a lot of tourists. But whatever you do, if you go to Nuremberg
looking for a festival, go north of the Pegnitz. Chances are you'll find
Trips taken 26 August 2000, 22-23 June 2002, and 15-16 May
2004 -- Page last updated
01 September 2006