Wednesday, June  26, 2019
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Friday, September 18
With last night's smorgasbord mostly digested away, we awoke to a mostly sunny Bavarian morning. Today would be spent taking a closer look at Nuremberg.

The Hotel Avenue had an excellent and extensive breakfast on offer, of which we took full advantage. While eating, we discussed our plan of attack. Mostly we resolved not to visit anything specific other than the city's iconic historic site, the Imperial Castle (the Kaiserberg). Other specific locations of interest would be decided on whim.
Karlsbrücke bridge
We set out on our morning foray into the old city, trying to strike a different route than the ones we had covered the previous evening. Crossing the Pegnitz river once again (but on a different bridge), we made our way up the sloping streets on the other side, angling toward the distinctive tower that marked the location of the Imperial Castle.
Placid Pegnitz
Medieval Bridges
While making our way to the castle, we walked past one of Nuremberg's municipal museums. This one was a bit off-beat, and therefore quite interesting: it was the spielzeugmuseum - the toy museum. We filed this away as a potential thing to visit later on.
Exploring old Nuremberg
Newer Builds
The weird gnome store
While walking through old Nuremberg in daylight, we noticed that many buildings, although roughly historic in their manner of styling, didn't actually seem all that old. They looked too perfect to be six hundred year old medieval buildings, and it turns out, many weren't. Nuremberg was damaged heavily by fighting during World War II, and many historic structures were destroyed. Nuremberg undertook an extensive reconstruction and reparation activity, some of which even continues to this day. It also explains why some "old" buildings looked kinda new.
Approaching Castle
As we reached the north wall of the medieval part of town, we passed by some especially nice examples of classic Bavarian Fachwerkhäuser (half-timbered buildings).

The north wall of the town is also where the Kaiserberg (Imperial Castle) was located. Standing on high ground looking down towards the city center, the Imperial Castle was - in comparison to our recent visit to Hohensalzburg - somewhat small. Its walls and ramparts - to my eye anyway - were more attractive, with rich earthy complementing tones and more expressive brickwork and inserts of wood. Hohensalzburg, by comparison, was of a generally more monotone construction and color.
courtesy RHanel
Knight on dragon
Streets below castle
Castle Walls
We walked underneath the castle's base and around to the ramp leading up to the main entrance. The main courtyard of the castle was free to visit without purchasing a ticket, and this we did, exploring the ramparts and sub-courtyards. High above us stood the distinctive Sinwellturm (Sinwell tower), one of the distinctive symbols often seen on literature about Nuremberg, and one of the few parts of the castle that entirely escaped damage in World War II.

We did not visit any of the pay-to-visit parts of the castle, including the Deep Well, Sinwell Tower or the Kaiserberg Museum.
Tidy Houses
Castle View
courtesy JInnes
Interior Courtyard
To the inner courtyard
Inner Gate
courtesy RHanel
Inner Courtyard
Inner Courtyard
Sinwell tower
Sinwell tower
From the Imperial Castle, we wandered back south, downhill, towards the center of the old town. The city's main market square, known as the hauptmarkt, is a major focal point, and in addition to being the location of several beautiful landmarks, is often the place where fairs and markets are set up. Today there was indeed a market in place in the hauptmarkt, and we took some time to explore what was on offer. Unfortunately, one of the main attractions in the market square - the 14th-century Schöner Brunnen fountain - was completely covered up and undergoing renovations.
courtesy JInnes
Fembohaus City Museum
Frescoed Building
Goodies at the market
There was a combination of vendors at today's market: clothing, tools, cleaning products, holiday decorations, and, of course, food vendors. We didn't end up purchasing anything at this point, although we did end up coming back later in the day.
Frauenkirche interior
Christmas Baubles
Happy marketeer
Continuing south from the market, we crossed the Pegnitz River once again and walked up the hill to another of Nuremberg's big religious landmarks - the towering medieval church of Saint Lawrence. Built in the 1400s, the church is a masterpiece of German gothic architecture. The soaring, intricate ceilings, vaulted arches and large windows create a light and airy space inside, despite the dark nature of the stone used.
St. Lawrence Church
Main Nave
Chancel, St Lorenze
Fabulous Roof Detail
Vaulted Aisle
After visiting St. Lorenz (Saint Lawrence) church, we continued south down the main drag of the Konigstraße, all the way to one of the southern gates of the old city, known as the Königstor. Adjacent to this gate and sandwiched between a wide section of old city wall is a little enclave known as the handwerkerhof. Designed as a recreation of an old-word crafts quarter, it is popular with tourists and consists of a rectangular arrangement of quaint little shops.
Handwerkerhof entrance
From the handwerkerhof, we charted a course back towards our hotel, walking along several wide pedestrian or mostly-pedestrian boulevards. We stopped for a good long while at a three-story gaming store and at a large lego store. Both had an impressive breadth and depth of stock. If you want a good German-style board game or just about any Lego kit in existence, these two stores are must-visits.
Modern and Old
The Lego Store
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