A Visit to Nuremberg, Germany
Nuremberg was our first day trip from Munich, as we wanted to see some fascinating historical sites, as well as the Nazi Documentation Center. 170 kilometers from Munich via the A9 Autobahn with a pleasant view of the Bavarian countryside along the way.
The city's well-preserved medieval old town is a sight to behold, with a beautifully reconstructed imperial castle and an awe-inspiring city wall. The Hauptmarkt (Main Market Square) is the heart of the old town, where the famous Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt (Christmas Market) takes place, filling the air with festive cheer during the holiday season.
Nuremberg is also significant in terms of its historical importance. The Palace of Justice was the site of the Nuremberg Trials, where Nazi war criminals were prosecuted after World War II. The Documentation Center Nazi Party Rally Grounds offers an in-depth look at the city's role in the Nazi regime.
As our Munich rental condo was in the southeast area of Munich, we had to drive north through the city to reach Germany route A9 that would take us to Nuremberg - a drive of approximately 170 kilometers. Yes, the speed limit is "unlimited" if you are not near a city, in which case the speed limit would be lower. Our goal was to get to the Nazi Documentation Center, so we exited the A9 onto the A73 and then took the B8 to the Center parking area. Approximately a two hour drive through some beautiful areas of Bavaria.
Where is Nuremberg, Germany Located? Map
As you can see in the above image, the Nazi Documentation Center was across the Dutzendteich pond from the original Nazi Party Rally center ("Zeppelinfeld") where Hitler's podium was located. Click here to read the full Wikipedia article about this site.
Note in the above image that route 4R parallels the Center site, this road connects to the B8, which is how we drove to the Center from Munich.
Nazi Party Rally Grounds Map
These are the grounds where the Nazi Troops would march by Hitler's podium. In fact, in the picture to the left, that is me standing in the very spot that Hitler once stood at, as his troops would march by.
The grandstand had a speaker's platform and three tall swastika banners, designed by Albert Speer. The large eagles on either end were by the sculptor Kurt Schmid-Ehmen.
Talk about a strange feeling !! If you ever Google (or YouTube) anything about Hitler and Nuremburg, you will find a number of videos, showing Hitler standing in this exact podium spot as the Nazi Army troops marched past. For me to stand there, and know that the infamous Adolph Hitler stood there during the Nazi years, was about as strange a feeling as I've ever had!
Nazi Congress Party Hall Map
This is the Nazi Congress Party Hall interior court yard - A self-supporting roof construction was to have spanned this area at a height of approximately 70 metres. The monumental building would have provided space for over 50,000 people and would thus have been almost twice as big as the Coliseum in Rome. The unfinished shell (1937–1939) was put up to a height of 39 metres. Construction work was abandoned late in World War II.
Grosser Dutzendteich Lake
This lake sits between the Nazi Party Rally Center and the Nazi Documentation Center.
Prior to walking over to the area where Hitler used to review his troops, we had explored the Documentation Center Nazi Party Rallying Grounds museum. This is an incredible museum, and it utilizes video, still photography, artifacts, and documents, to display to visitors what took place during the Nazi era. This picture to the left, was taken of the area immediately behind the museum, which was originally intended to be the Nazi Congress Party Hall. Since World War Two got in the way of the construction budget, that area was never finished.
This picture was taken from across the Lake that separates the Documentation Center from the Nazi Rallying grounds area. It is a beautiful site, and it is a pity that it is associated with such a horrifying past.
Hitler's plans were to construct a much larger complex, but once WW2 started, those plans were placed into a holding pattern and never completed because the German war effort consumed all of the building materials.
NOTE: Click here to view a website with details regarding the Nazi Congress Hall building construction & plans.
Documentation Center Nazi Party Rally Grounds Map
Image # 1 was taken through a window in the Nazi Documentation Center Museum of the unfinished "Congress Hall" interior. The Congress Hall is the largest preserved national socialist (Nazi) building. Contruction started in 1935 but was never finished. It was planned as a congress centre for the Nazi Party with a self-supporting roof and should have provided 50,000 seats. The building reached a height of 39 meters (a maximum height of 70 metres was planned) and a diameter of 250 meters.
The Documentation Center Museum provides a comprehensive view of Nazi tyranny and the history of the Nazi Party rallies via all types of media including imagery & video. In some cases where video was available of young Germans during the Nazi rallies, they also show those same Germans years later who attempt to explain why they were enthusiastic about the Nazi party.
Image # 2 is a picture of the entrance to the Documentation Center, an impressive entrance!
Click here to go to the Museum Website.
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