Thursday, July 17, 2014

Weekend Trips (Part One)

It's never fun to travel by yourself. Fortunately for me, I've been able to travel around Germany with friends and co-workers over the past two weekends.

On Sunday, July 6, I travelled to Nuremburg to visit my friend Anna, who is currently studying at West Point.  (Anna and I ruled the Paw Paw Middle School Student Council together with iron fists about seven years ago.... haha.)

Nuremberg is truly a city frozen in time--or rather, several time periods. The old part of the city is picturesque: narrow alleyways, arching cathedrals, medieval walkways. (It perfectly fits the fairytale-like, German village stereotype.) As you travel out of the Altstadt, however, the architecture begins to change. Rounded street corners become more angular, and every building assumes a crudeness typical of the Bauhaus movement--and the Third Reich.

Many of you are probably familiar with Nuremberg's Nazi past. In the 1934 Nuremberg became the official location for Nazi party rallies. To accommodate the number of Nazi party members and youths who came to the city for these annual meetings, the outskirts of the Nuremberg were transformed into fairgrounds, complete with a Colosseum, a grand boulevard, and sweeping fields for parading.

After the fall of the Third Reich, the Allies and the German government protected these sites from destruction (and for remembrance). The size and grandiosity of the Nazi party grounds are remarkable--and startling. In Nuremberg, the influence of Hitler's influence and power is palpable. If you ever visit Germany, you must travel to Nuremberg. It is a must-see.

If you would like to learn more about Nuremberg, the the Nazi Party Rally Grounds, or the Nuremberg Trials (were former Nazi leaders were tried and convicted for war crimes and crimes against humanity), visit any of these links.

In my next post, I will tell you about my trip to Frankfurt this past weekend. Stay tuned!

The Schoenner Brunnen ("beautiful fountain") in the Altstadt 

The view of greater Nuremberg from the Altstadt

The former party grounds of the Nazis (also, a car show)

Inside one of the cathedrals in the Altstadt

The Kongresshalle, which was modelled after the Colosseum in Rome
The Kongresshalle now houses the Nazi Party Rally Grounds Documentation Center.

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