"Nuremberg - A Treasure Chest Again"



    The Lutheran Journal, Vol. 50, #1, 1983 - Erwin Weber


The fame of the 900-year-old city reached its height in the Late Middle Ages, It rested primarily in its creative artisans and craftsmen such as the metal sculptors Veit Stoss and Peter Fischer, the stone carver Adam Krafft, the shoemaker and Meistersinger Hans Sachs, who was honored by Richard Wagner in his opera "Die Meistersinger von Nuremberg", and Nuremberg's greatest son, Albrecht Dürer. The first pocket watch, and the first globe of the earth were made in Nuremberg, and its toys, including the extensive medieval doll house collection, are famous throughout the world.

But all its medieval honor and acclaim were later overshadowed, as it became the showplace of Nazism in 1933 when Adolf Hitler came to power. Impressive rallies for peace were held in Nuremberg. Massive columns hung with flags and banners, troops accompanied by drums and banners bearing bugles marched through the narrow cobblestone streets on their way to the Zepplinwiese parade ground where over 300,000 people gathered for the rallies. War was declared in 1939 and six years later, Nuremberg lay in ruins. Only nine percent of the buildings in the city were left undamaged.

This article focuses on the rebuilding of Nuremberg with generous support from the Samuel-Kress-Foundation in New York in particular its churches erected during the 13th and 15th centuries and their valuable treasure. Also included is the restoration of the Kaiserburg, Nuremberg's castle dating back to the 11th century.