The Essential Elements of a German Castle

Nürnberg, Bavaria’s second city, is known for its glorious medieval architecture, its important Germanic history museum, its haunting Nazi past, its famous Christmas market (Germany’s biggest), and its little bratwurst (Germany’s tiniest…and perhaps most beloved).

Just an hour from Munich by train, Nürnberg may be Germany’s most underrated city. For a historian, the city is fascinating for its ties to both the First Reich (the Holy Roman Emperor’s castle) and the Third Reich (Hitler’s choice for grand spectacles and rallies). While here researching, I kept thinking, “I need to come back here on vacation and just enjoy its powerful museums” — both the Germanic National Museum and the Nazi Documentation Center.

Nürnberg was one of Europe’s leading cities in about 1500, and its large Imperial Castle marked it as a stronghold of the Holy Roman Empire. In this little video clip, my local guide uses the castle to explain his take on the essential elements of a castle.