Traditional crafts have experienced a renaissance at the Handwerkerhof artisans' yard in Nuremberg, a group of pretty half-timbered houses and picturesque passages by the city wall's Frauentor gate. The yard opened in 1971 and gives people the opportunity to watch craftsmen and -woman at work, such as a goldsmith forming artworks or woodworkers and tinsmiths making the toys that Nuremberg has long been famous for. Handmade figurines, model railways and miniature prams for dolls – the complex takes you back to the good old days and captivates young and old alike. Working deftly, tinsmiths display their skills as they cast plates and figures, while over at the pottery, the master potter's use of the wheel turns visitors' heads. If you're looking for a gift for family or friends, the Handwerkerhof is the perfect place to find it. The yard even has its own forum: it hosts regular exhibitions telling the story of Germany's education system and showcasing the region's artisanal traditions from gingerbread making to bookbinding. Come and visit the Handwerkerhof – there's so much to learn.
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Working with your hands makes you hungry, so it's a good thing the artisans have fantastic food practically on their doorsteps. It's also extremely convenient for visitors who are interested in trying out the town's best-known dish after seeing Nuremberg's traditional handicrafts. The item in question is, of course, the Nuremberg sausage. The place to go for it is the Bratwurstglöcklein restaurant, nestled under the Frauentor tower to the north of the yard. It upholds the tradition of the first incarnation of the Bratwurstglöcklein, the city's oldest sausage maker. From 1313 onwards, it served hearty local fare to hungry travellers, but the building was destroyed during WWII. The Bratwurstglöcklein has seen countless illustrious guest over time, such as artist Albrecht Dürer and comedian Heinz Erhardt. What did they order? Six sausages and sauerkraut, or "Sechs auf Kraut" as people say locally. After the war, the new Bratwurstglöcklein was built 1 km south of the original site, but it still grills its sausages over a traditional beechwood fire and serves them up on a tin plate in the shape of a bell. Diners can choose sauerkraut, potato salad or pretzels to go with their order.
Getting there: The Handwerkerhof complex is just a 2-minute walk from Nuremberg's main station. Leave the station via the exit on its northern side. The artisans' yard is just ahead of you, located on the other side of the street. Cross Bahnhofsplatz at the lights and go straight on across the footbridge that leads you to a gate in the city wall. This gives you access to the complex.