Nuremberg: Old Town, Art Treasures and a Flea Market - Poking Around Europe 2.0 - CycleBlaze

September 11, 2015

Nuremberg: Old Town, Art Treasures and a Flea Market

We must live under a lucky star. When asked at check in last night about staying another night we were given the very, very faint hope clause of a cancellation. Germany's biggest flea market is here today and tomorrow and the receptionist felt it was extremely unlikely. Imagine our surprise and delight when we asked at breakfast this morning and we hit the jackpot. Someone didn't show up and we have our comfortable room for another night. We really like this hotel, the Hotel Garden. It is in the old town, very attractive and I can now report, has a great breakfast. Another spot with cappuccinos.

We had done some research last night about what we most wanted to see, and as with many of these ancient towns, walking is the best way to see things. Having knocked off the Imperial Castle yesterday, we began the day with the controversial 'Marriage Carousel' fountain. Evidently people either love it or hate it, and we loved it. It really made me laugh! It is a depiction of marriage based on a poem written hundreds of years ago.

The young lovers at the beginning of the marriage. I actually tried to imagine this getting built in Victoria and think it is highly unlikely!
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First comes love, then comes marriage, then come the children on the back of a stork.
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Hmmmm. This one made me think about all the kuchen I have been consuming.
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Things are definitely deteriorating here!! He is dragging his wife around by a chain while ogling the nymph emerging from a shell.
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And the creepy ending. Well, that is what you get when you drag your wife around by a chain. So I get the controversy, but I thought it was hilarious. So, it is our Public Art of the Day.
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Keith, having read 'The Monuments Men' was interested in doing a tour of the vaults where Nuremberg's art treasures were stored during WW2. We headed up towards the castle to buy tickets, but somehow found ourselves in a giant sports store called Sports Check, unrelated to the one at home. Here we found the best selection of biking gear we have seen, and Keith found a new biking jersey. No vest yet, but we continue to look.

Not the jersey he bought, but we were surprised to see this.
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And also available, dirndl style mountain bike shorts. I could have been the only kid on the block with these. They actually had some really cute blue ones, but a very cute price went with them.
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We then bought our tickets for the tour, went and had some lunch, and just generally enjoyed being in Nuremberg. The tour itself exceeded my expectations. There aren't that many pictures because it wasn't a photogenic tour, but boy, was it interesting. I had no idea how sophisticated the whole set up was. These were old beer caverns, and they insulated them, had back up generators, sophisticated systems to prevent concussive shocks from reaching the art work, ventilation shafts with baffles to prevent grenades from being thrown down, and on and on. It was fascinating.

Another church. St. Lorenz. I was looking at the impressive stained glass in this one and thinking that it had to be reproductions. Turns out the windows spent the war in the art bunker and they are the originals.
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Here they are, in all their glory.
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Another picture of the interior. The figures hanging in the halo were also stored in the bunker. It doesn't show in the picture, but they were pretty special.
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What the church looked like after the war. We learned today that Nuremberg was the second most heavily bombed city in Germany during WW2, after Dresden.
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That is why so much of the old town is 'new', dating from the fifties, as you see here.
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And here. During our tour we also learned about the reconstruction of the city, and the planning decisions that were made. What a huge task. It took over two years (if I remember correctly) just to remove the rubble, and every able bodied man was conscripted to do at least 50 hours of work.
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See what I mean about the Kunstbunker not being photogenic?
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After emerging into the sunlight, we were reminded that Nuremberg is photogenic.
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Always look up when you are travelling.
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We really noticed the difference between old and new.
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Another example.
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We gave the Albrecht Durer Haus a miss because of the time, but did see a few of his etchings, a statue in his honour, and a giant dead rabbit sculpture honouring him...I must look that one up! We also ran out of time to do the Documentation Center and Nazi Party Rally Grounds justice, but we will ride right by there tomorrow, so if we can find a way to secure the bikes and panniers we may take that in. At the very least we will see the Rally Grounds.

And I almost forgot. The famous flea market was, well, a flea market. I was expecting something special, but it was more like world's largest garage sale. Everything from soup to nuts. The number of people was staggering. It goes on all day tomorrow too. I can't imagine what Nuremberg's Christmas market is like.

We also managed to find some plastic wine glasses, so our beloved paper cups are being retired. What a great day this has been. A little bit of everything - sightseeing, education, shopping, and even apfel strudel.

The wedding theme continues. Keith found another bride and photographer to photograph.
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A small part of the flea market. I don't think I am exaggerating if I say it covered acres. It went on and on.
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Same stuff as at home, with a few more beer steins here. Same cliche...one man's junk is another man's treasure. Keith liked these model trains.
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Bike parking.
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A bike for sale at the flea market. Note the gas lamp for a head light. The red square on the pavement is numbered and is this seller's assigned spot. There were numbers into the hundreds. I have no idea what the total would be.
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Last, the dead rabbit sculpture. I have looked it up. Travel and Leisure magazine calls it one of the world's twelve ugliest pieces of public art. I got a chuckle out of that. It is evidently a satirical take on one of Albrecht Durer's cuddly bunnies. Other websites call it 'nightmarish'. I just thought it was weird.
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