tips for excursions

The Tucher townhouse in Nuremberg

Cross the threshold and marvel at the what was once the home of one of old Nuremberg's richest families.

You may well have seen the name Tucher someplace. Was it on the side of a beer bottle? Tucher Bräu is one of the largest breweries in Nuremberg, and its origins go back to the 17th century. However, the story of the Tucher surname is even older: between the 14th and 18th centuries, the Tuchers were one of the richest and most powerful merchant families in the city. Their wealth was based on several activities, such as the export of ironware and spices, and later a successful brewing business. They were members of Nuremberg's ruling council and played a significant role in the city's economic expansion in the 19th century.

It is still possible to marvel at their wealth at the imposing townhouse that was once their prestige-enhancing home in Nuremberg's old town. It is still owned by the family, but it has been turned into a museum. The sandstone building was completely destroyed by fire during WWII, and reconstruction took almost 20 years. Today, it houses an impressive collection of outstanding art and other items from the 15th to 19th centuries, including painting, furniture and tapestries, many of them part of townhouse's original furnishings. 

On the ground floor, visitors can see what are called the "treasuries", with works by Albrecht Dürer's contemporaries, his teacher Michael Wolgemut and his student Hans Schäufelein, in addition to impressive religious paintings and memorial plaques. Go up a floor to see the rooms that the Tucher family used as their living quarters. They still contain personal possessions, splendid furniture and impressive paintings of various family members, such as the portrait of Hans VI Tucher by Michael Wolgemut. The second floor was used for representational purposes: here, the Tuchers received important guests, business partners and envoys from near and far. They also used this floor for private celebrations. Today, visitors can admire the table used to mark engagements, with its famous eight-piece set of tableware and the precious double goblet, consisting of two halves in the form of traditional worked-metal cups. The splendour continues: gentle Renaissance music and the background sounds of bygone eras take visitors on a veritable journey through time.

The museum makes things even more lifelike on Sundays, when an actress assumes the clothes and role of Katharina Tucher, who ran the house in the 16th century. She leads tourists through the building's rooms and tell them stories from the past. Children aged 4 and over also get a chance to dress up and go on a tour that teaches them how children lived in the castle long ago. Adults can also look forward to entertainment mixed with information, in the form of interactive features such as a digital audiogame about fantastic transformations. We recommend downloading the app beforehand – you can do this using either your home wifi or a hotspot located just 50 m from the museum, at Hirschelgasse 32, the registration office ("Einwohnermeldeamt") for people living in Nuremberg.

The magnificent garden at the Tucher townhouse contains the Hirsvogelsaal building, originally a ceremonial hall standing on the property of another important Nuremberg family. Measuring 16 x 6.6 m, the hall was built in the style of the Italian Renaissance and is most famous for the large painting on its ceiling. It is made up of 20 linen canvasses. Art historian Fritz Traugott Schulz once called the Hirsvogelsaal the "loveliest creation of the early Renaissance in Germany."

News, prices and opening hours are all available here.

To help you find your way around, the Tucher townhouse is located on what is called Nuremberg's "historical mile", a tourist route that leads past all of the city's main cultural and historical sights. Simply check the signposts for directions.

Before going any further, it's a good idea to build up your strength. The restaurant Albrecht-Dürer-Stube is just 850 m from the townhouse and offers diners Franconian specialties at good prices. It occupies an old half-timbered house that was built in 1559, making it one of the oldest taverns in the city. While you're waiting for your order to arrive, cast your eye over the many images of the famous artist that line the walls.

Getting here:

The Tucher townhouse is a 17-minute walk from Nuremberg's main station. Leave the station building via an exit on the northern side and walk northwards across Bahnhofsplatz in the direction of Königsgraben. After 240 m, the street changes its name to Marientorgraben. Go left at Gewerbemuseumsplatz after 180 m. Stay on the same side of the square as you cross it, then go right and cross the Pegnitz via a small bridge. Walk past the children's playground and cross another branch of the Pegnitz at the bridge called Hoher Steg. Go straight on until you reach Innerer Laufer Platz after about 200 m. Landauergasse is on the opposite side of this square. Walk along it for 100 m. Then go right at Hirschlergasse. Your destination just a few metres away on your left.

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