The History of Nuremberg
First mentioned in 1050,
Nuremberg received a charter in 1219 and was made a free imperial city by the
end of the 13th cent. It soon became, with Augsburg, one of the two great trade
centers on the route from Italy to NorthEurope.
cultural flowering of Nuremberg in the 15th and 16th century made it the center
of the German Renaissance. Among the artists who were born or lived there, the
painter and printmaker Albrecht Dürer was the greatest; others, such as the
sculptors Adam Kraft, Veit Stoss, and Peter Vischer, and the painter and woodcarver
Michael Wolgemut, adorned the city with their works, which brought together the
Italian Renaissance and the German Gothic traditions.
city was also an early center of humanism, science, printing, and mechanical invention.
The scholars W. Pirkheimer and C. Celtes lectured in the city, A. Koberger set
up a printing press and Regiomontanus an observatory, and the first pocket watches,
known as Nuremberg eggs, were made there about 1500. An interest in culture on
the part of the prosperous artisan class found expression in the contests of the
meistersingers (mastersingers), among whom the shoemaker-poet Hans Sachs (14941576)
was the most prominent.
In 1525, Nuremberg
accepted the Reformation, and the religious Peace of Nuremberg, by which the Lutherans
gained important concessions, was signed there (1532). In the Thirty Years War,
Gustavus II was besieged (1632) in Nuremberg by Wallenstein. The city declined
after the war and recovered its importance only in the 19th century, when it grew
as an industrial center. In 1806, Nuremberg passed to Bavaria. The first German
railroad, from Nuremberg to nearby Fürth, was opened in 1835.
Adolf Hitler came to power, Nuremberg was made a national shrine by the National
Socialists (Nazis), who held their annual party congresses nearby from 1933 through
1938. The city was the home of the Nazi leader Julius Streicher and became a center
of anti-Semitic propaganda. At the party congress of 1935 the so-called Nuremberg
Laws were promulgated; they deprived German Jews of civic rights, forbade intermarriage
between Jews and non-Jews, and deprived persons of partly Jewish descent of certain
rights. Until 1945, Nuremberg was the site of roughly half the total German production
of airplane, submarine, and tank engines; as a consequence, the city was heavily
bombed by the Allies during World War II and was largely destroyed. After the
war, Nuremberg was the seat of the international tribunal for war crimes.
to the travelogue
is part of the subside travelzine