Nuremberg, and a Medieval Festival in the Moat

For Daniel’s birthday this year, I planned a surprise weekend trip to Nuremberg. He’s wanted to visit since we arrived in Germany, and his new interest in Medieval architecture only made the trip more urgent. We were lucky since on this particular weekend, there was a big artist market and also a Medieval festival.

Everyone we’ve mentioned Nuremberg to has insisted that we must try the Nuremberg-style sausages. I mostly nodded out of politeness, since I’m not particularly fond of any sausage, but in a moment of hurried ordering at Nuremberg’s oldest sausage restaurant, I just decided to do the easy thing and get the sausages (if the server walks away from the table, she may never come back). Luckily, these sausages surpassed any hope I could have had for them. I might even like sausage now. And to make it even better, they were served on a tin plate, like we are Medieval peasants or something.

Nürnbergerwurst mit Kartoffelsalat

Nürnbergerwurst mit Kartoffelsalat

Although Nuremberg was heavily bombed during the war, the reconstruction project was designed to recreate the Medieval city. Kaiserburg, a favorite residence for Holy Roman Emperors, sits at the top of a hill overlooking the old city. The castle was restored to the original state, though perhaps with a few modernizations. For example, while planning the trip, I booked a room in the youth hostel now located in “the castle.” We learned upon arrival that we were actually staying in, what was historically, the stables. It was still very cool staying within the castle complex, walking over the moat to check in for the night.

We were surprised to look down over the bridge and see a lot of activity in the moat: an entire Medieval festival. Since we went to Nürnberg without any real plans, we decided to spend a few hours at the festival on Sunday. It was really just like the Georgia Renaissance Festival, except that the name makes sense, the temperature wasn’t a million degrees, everyone spoke German, there was mead, and it took place in the moat of a Medieval castle. Otherwise, completely the same.

One of my favorite things was watching Weltenkrieger, a self-proclaimed “Medieval-Neo-Folk-Band.” They were all dressed in interesting steampunk-inspired outfits, and even the instruments looked like they’d been modified to match. I was going to embed a video of them playing, but I found that bagpipes are really annoying out of context.

We were taking it easy and didn’t make it to the Nazi Party Rally Grounds, which has been converted into a diesel truck parking lot. But we’ll be back to visit the Christmas market — Nuremberg’s is said to be the best in Germany.

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