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Max's culture trip through Nuremberg

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The castle, Albrecht DĂĽrer, gingerbread and sausages are the things everyone in Germany associates with Nuremberg. But the city offers so much more: scores of medieval buildings, amazing old churches like the Gothic masterpiece of St Lorenz, and the main square's pretty fountain with its delicate pinnacle. But it's not all sweetness and light: the Nazi party's rally grounds serve as a memorial to the darkest hour of Nuremberg's past. History is visible everywhere in the Franconia region's largest city. Max has planned a special trip for his two friends Anna and Tim. Full of cultural and historical highlights, it includes dark catacombs, spectacular patrician homes, medieval crafts and modern glass architecture.

A wave of nostalgia comes over the trio as they make their way to their very first stop, the underground prison cells. They reminisce about their childhood games together, when they would make fearful pirate masks and scale the highest fortresses fashioned out of sofas and cushions. The cells have exactly the dark and dangerous atmosphere they used to imagine twenty years ago, and even though all three of them know that a modern concept of law holds sway in the world above, they still find the prison's passageways quite unsettling. Afterwards, a cosier setting is called for. Luckily, it's right next door: Hausbrauerei Altstadthof. The three friends sit down and order one of the tavern's specialties: a cool red beer, or Rotbier. Underground brewing has a long tradition in Nuremberg. In the Middle Ages, everyone had a right to make their own beer – provided they had their own cellar for fermenting and storing alcohol. Over time, the cellars grew into an extensive and sophisticated labyrinth, with some passages forming a multi-storey underground system. During WWII, these passages offered thousands of people a safe haven from bombing raids.

Back on the surface and back to the present day: the next stop is Neues Museum Nuremberg with its collection of art and design objects from the early 1950s onwards. With 3,000 m2 of floorspace, the museum exhibits modern paintings, sculpture, photography and video installations. Architecture student Anna is especially interested in the striking design of the museum building itself: the staircase, with its expanse of glass wall, makes a real impression on her. Looking for a small memento of their Nuremberg trip, the trio goes to the "art-o-matic" in Sterngasse, just a few hundred metres away, when they leave the museum. This vending machine doesn't sell chewing gum or plastic tat, however: pop EUR 5 into the slot, and you get a small work of art instead. NB: The machine is only refilled every 4 months.

The friends need a bit of a break to process all of the things they've seen so far. Max knows a great place just around the corner, and it's bound to appeal to cat-loving Anna: Café Katzentempel. Six of its employees are cuddly kitties who serve the guests by being available for unlimited stroking and playing, while the menu consists of tasty vegan specialties.

The three friends can't stay in the present for long, however: history is calling again, so the next destination is the world's oldest rail museum. The DB Museum takes its visitors on a real journey through time – 150 years of rail history to be precise, starting with the first railway in the UK, then on to Germany's first steam engine and ultimately to the ICE trains of today.

History of another kind is on display at the Tucher townhouse. Built in the middle of the 16th century, this castle-like building in the heart of the town vividly illustrates how Nuremberg's powerful merchant families lived at the time. Elaborately decorated art objects, valuable paintings and wonderful furniture take the friends back to the "high society" of yesteryear.

Even dinner has a side order of history when the three friends sit down that evening. Now located in the Handwerkerhof artisans' complex, the Bratwurstglöcklein restaurant started serving sausages in 1313. Today, these local delicacies are made by the restaurant's own butcher freshly every day. It's the perfect way for the three old friends to finish their busy day.

Nuremberg's underground prison cells and tunnels

Below the town hall, 15 gaol cells show what a 14th-century prison was like. In the Middle Ages, long underground passages hewn into the bedrock served as places to brew Nuremberg's beer.
Nächstgelegener Bahnhof:
NĂĽrnberg Hbf (Nuremberg main station)

Neues Museum Nürnberg – contemporary art and international design in a fantastic setting

If you want an extraordinary experience, Nuremberg's Neues Museum is a unique architectural setting for modern art from 1950 to today.
Nächstgelegener Bahnhof:
NĂĽrnberg Hbf (Nuremberg main station)

Deutsche Bahn Museum in Nuremberg: Over 150 years of railway history

Old vehicles, modern technology and exciting facts – the Deutsche Bahn Museum in Nuremberg is ready and waiting to reveal over 150 years of railway history.
Nächstgelegener Bahnhof:
NĂĽrnberg Hbf (Nuremberg main station)

The Tucher townhouse in Nuremberg

This miniature castle is almost 500 years old and gives visitors an authentic impression of how the town's patrician class lived.
Nächstgelegener Bahnhof:
NĂĽrnberg Hbf (Nuremberg main station)

The artisans' yard in Nuremberg

The artisans' yard is a collection of small workshops that lets visitors see a living tradition of old handicrafts in Nuremberg. Afterwards, delicious food is available from the city's oldest sausage maker.
Nächstgelegener Bahnhof:
NĂĽrnberg Hbf (Nuremberg main station)
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Handwerkerhof (artisan yard) in Nuremberg
Nearest station: Nuremberg main station Königstorgraben 9
90402 Nuremberg
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