First Advent in Nuremberg

Nuremberg is the first destination of the WiB trip organized after 2 1/2 years of the corona pandemic. The WiB members took the early morning train on 27 November 2022 to visit the famous ginger bread (Lebkuchen) city. Everyone was eager to discover the beauty of the city and to learn the fascinating history and yet the dark one connected to World War II.

After a quick bite of the most beloved local snack: 3 Nuremberg bratwurst in a bun complemented with spicy mustard, the WiB group met the tour guide at the sandstone tower (Königstorturm). She opened the tour with a trip back in time to the 9th century when the Nuremberg Castle had been built with a brief mention of the legendary Nuremberg Trials. According to legend, Nuremberg means "just a mountain" (nur ein Berg), referring to the only “Ölberg”, the mountain on which the Nuremberg Imperial Castle stands and towers surrounding the area. The cold late afternoon wind did not deter the WiB members from crossing as old as Middle Ages bridges and strolling on the cobblestoned streets through the well preserved “Alstadt” (old town) for 2 hours long. Photos were taken to capture picturesque views while listening to our guide’s detailed explanations of many historic places such as the charming “Weißgerbergasse” (White Tonner’s Lane) where 20 colorful medieval half-timbered townhomes that survived World War II are located, and the house of the renowned multi-talented genius artist, Albrecht Dürer. The tour ended in the Main Market Square, the center of local commerce since ancient times and the home of the largest Christmas market in Europe: Nürnberg Christkindlesmarkt. The WiB members thanked the tour guide for the pleasant and enriching tour. 

It was sunset. The WiB members huddled together and headed to a “glühwein” stall to have a mug of the hot fruity mulled wine. Then the hunting for Christmas decorations, gifts and goodies began. After a couple of hours, the WiB group returned to the designated meeting point and walked together to a cosy, local restaurant nearby to sample the Franconian cuisine. Feeling the warmth and content, the group enjoyed the good meal in a relaxing atmosphere. It was a wonderful first Advent.

The next morning, the WiB group was ready for another exciting program: the visit to the town hall of Nuremberg that was built early in the 14th century. Mayor Prof. Dr. Julia Lehner, on behalf of Lord Mayor Marcus König, warmly welcomed and greeted the WiB members at  “Historisches Rathaussaal” (the Historic Town Hall hall). She explained the interesting history of the hall and shared amusing, gripping stories about the community and the incidents during that era. After a group photo, we sampled the delicious Christmas cookies baked by the apprentices of a cooking school in the area. The WiB members thanked Mayor Lehner heartily for the wonderful hospitality.

The rest of the afternoon was spent at leisure in the town centre. Several WiB members visited the World War II Art Bunker, the others continued their Christmas shopping, few members did the city tour with the traditional “Bimmelbahn” or simply strolled through the city. At 4.04 pm, the WiB group boarded the ICE train to Berlin bringing the happy Christmas spirit from Nuremberg home.

Text by Nita Isnaeni-Waeber