top of page
Search
  • Writer's pictureNigel

Beautiful Germany 美しいドイツ (2)

Updated: Jun 12


2024 年 6 月 2 日



It's Sunday morning and I am determined to avoid the motorway roadworks whilst driving back from Nuremberg. Cutting across the wide open Franconian countryside, we stop off at the little town of Bad Windsheim. Nobody seems to have heard of this place. But it is a gem. And what's more, they don't shut the cafés on Sundays. Proof:


バイエルンの小さな町:バート・ヴィンツハイム



The staff at this Café Rosterei welcomed us warmly; not with the "Gruss Gott" which I associate with Bavaria, but with a simple"Guten Tag". This place was a sort of relief after Nuremberg. More of that anon. A well- kept aura pervaded the streets, and I was happy to see the European flag flying.......in preparation for the forthcoming elections....



The main street with the town hall.......



The market fountain.....



The local brewery.....




 

Yes. I have lived in Germany for over 30 years and have never been to Nuremberg. Nuremberg Bavaria. It feels so different from Frankfurt. And it's not just because the accent is different.

A small entrance through the medieval city walls brought us straight into the red light district, with many a black Audi surrounded by young men talking too loudly. A woman sat at a table in a doorway........hmm......But soon we were at the Weisser Turm......which actually has a metro station underneath it......


ニュルンベルク、バイエルン



Nearby is a large fountain which takes as its theme a poem by Hans Sachs about married life. Not all of it is pleasant.....



A short walk from here brought us to one of Nuremberg's many medieval churches, St. Jakobus....This is an evening shot taken on the way back to the hotel....



I wonder who this is....a bell foundry owner perhaps?



A section of the street was sealed off. Why? I asked a policeman. "A Green Party rally" he said. Annalena Baerbock was coming - the foreign affairs minister. I was actually quite shocked at the massive police presence.

But back to tourism. Weaving through the colourful Karolinen Str., we arrived at Nuremberg's biggest church - the Lorenzkirche. Spectacular. It is rather like a museum of medieval art inside........In fact the whole city seems to be bursting at the seams with medieval art....Here is the high altar.....



...a 14thc. triptych in a side aisle - wooden folding doors covered with paintings........



How come so much art survives? Well, the citizens of Nuremberg were a wealthy lot, and would have nothing to do with the iconoclastic side of Luther's Reformation....And more recently, although Nuremberg was heavily bombed in the war, many of the treasures were stashed away for safety in salt mines in northern Germany.



The choir stalls.....



...and a medieval window......



The last supper....



A sea monster on a choir stall......




Funnily enough, this reminded me of the monsters sometimes seen on the roofs of Japanese temples. These have a body of a carp and a head of a dragon.

A shachihoko  (鯱) in Matsumoto castle............




Back to Nuremberg.........a stonemason is immortalised in stone....holding up a pulpit, the poor guy....


せきざいてん 石材店



This gentleman has had a bonk on the nose. Maybe he was unpopular.....



There must be at least 3 organs in this church....here is one of them.....



....and that's the main one at the back.....



The Lorenzkirche is just the start. But if I start on a tourist description we shall be here all day. So I will try and be brief.

Walking over the river Pegnitz you see this old hospital......The Heilig-Geist- Spital.



......and when you get to the market place a prominent fountain exhibits all sorts of random medieval people....The Schöner Brunnen.



A market place full of goodies........




... interestingly enough, Frankfurt does not have a castle, a Burg. Here Nuremberg comes up trumps with the real thing........ The Kaiserburg


ニュルンベルクの城



A castle on a hill, full of weapons for killing people, a court for dispensing justice in the Holy Roman Empire................



and a chapel for praying in....




.....all topped off with fantastic views of the city......




Now all this is wonderful to visit and marvel at. And you could airbrush all the rest away and drive off into the sunset. Very Instagrammable..........




Except for the fact that you may have bypassed one of the more uncomfortable episodes in the city history.

Nuremberg has always been a site for political rallies, never more so than during the Weimar Republic in the 1920s. Indeed the police had trouble in keeping rival factions apart. At one point the city even banned rallies of the National Socialists because they led to so much violence.

But that all changed when Adolf came into power and tore up the democratic rule book. He saw Nuremberg as the ideal centre for his "3rd Reich" dream. Not only did it have the necessary background (a residence of Emperors in the Holy Roman Empire), but also had the right infrastrucure to deal with hordes of visitors. And in hordes they came. In staggering numbers. A special complex was built in a former Zeppelin airfield just outside the city. It was so big that nobody knew what to do with it after the war.........


ナチスの政治集会の場



We parked the car in a lonely road covered in puddles. Nearby some (more) loud macho men were testing out ridiculous supercharged cars. How tedious are these swaggering males with their posturing - phones glued to their ears.....

Then it was a steep climb up onto the Tribune, a gargantuan construction designed by the Nazis for their rallies.




And here I experienced that phenomena which I have written about before.

I have often heard of Nuremberg - the trials, the rallies etc. But to physically stand on this grandstand and feel the sheer scale of it is something quite different. It is chilling (in the original sense of the word). And I'm afraid that for me it cast a shadow on our visit to this beautiful city. The Reichsparteigelände........




I felt very small there, standing on the Tribune......




The city has always wrestled with its history. In the1960s nobody wanted to discuss it. But the most recent mayor has grasped the bull by the horns, and an ambitious educational centre is planned. At the moment it is called the Dokumentationszentrum https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Documentation_Center_Nazi_Party_Rally_Grounds




Gazing down onto the podium where Adolf and Co. screamed at the masses......(a mundane sports field now greets the eye...)


アドルフ・ヒトラーはこの演壇から演説した




We spent some time in the as-yet-unfinished museum nearby. You can see that a huge effort is being made here, not only to present the bald facts, but to pose a myriad of questions to get us thinking about this awful period of history and why it happened.....




I was interested to read about the last legitimate mayor of the city in the 1930s - Hermann Luppe. He was a staunch democrat, and argued ferociously with the NSDAP (Nazi party) in the city parliament. But - and this is the bit I find it so hard to understand - when Hitler came to power he was illegally forced from office and put in prison. Was democracy so weak that the police played the game and arrested him? Eventually his wife got Hindenburg - actually the elected President of the democratic Weimar Republic, to facilitate his release. But Hindenburg? He played a key role in the Nazi seizure of power in 1933. When he died the next year Hitler combined the post of President and Chancellor to create his authoritarian state.

 

Let's lighten the mood before we end this week's blog 🌞


If someone in Tokyo would ask you: What is the best season to visit Germany? What would you say? Thinking of the lovely late May last year I chose this season, rather than a July heatwave. So here's a lovely scene in Darmstadt...........in the rain 😄


ドイツを訪れるのに最適な季節はいつですか? 5月と言いましたが……ここはダルムシュタットです…。




The walk up to the Mathildenhöhe has a sort of Manga feel....




...and the Jugendstil (Art Nouveau) exibition has some surprises....The decoration on this box, for example, could easily be a design on a Japanese kimono.....👘



.........and this vase shows an unmistakeable Japanese influence.....🎌




However, that very German turn-of-the-century look is everywhere.......she could be a character from a Wagner opera.....





...and as for him, well......





I liked the bed though......





I was trying to lighten the mood wasn't I? Well, the flowers on the Rosenhöhe were spectacular, if a little wet......








not that the rain affects the water lilies.....





However, on returning to Langen the sun came out again, and the skies cleared........how about this? (they were growing on a building site)......








📌 Thank you for reading "..Beautiful Germany (2)."

  "....美しいドイツ (2) .... " を読んでくれてありがとう



  Feel free to share the blog with friends.

📌  よろしければ、リンクを友達と共有してください




  📌 And and I enjoy hearing from you...!

コメントすると楽しいです!



p.s. My cat Maggy .......




THE END



終わり

103 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

🫤 NNS

Comments


bottom of page