If you walk into Nuremberg from the train station and decide to walk up to the Imperial Castle overlooking the city be forewarned… Getting to the Imperial Castle in Nuremberg isn’t as easy as you might think.
There are many sights, sounds, foods, smells, street performances and a myriad of other distractions along the way, and that’s before you get to the main market square called the Hauptmarkt.
If by some miracle you happen to fair better than Christian in Pilgrim’s Progress or Ulysses in his Odyssey to Ithica, warding off and bypassing a great number of distractions and resisting the allure of all the many wonderful things offered in the capital city of Franconia, then maybe! Just maybe you will see your goal of visiting the imperial Castle come to fruition.
Many, have tired. Set out with every intention of making it into that ancient courtyard only to leave the 1000-year-old metropolis with the realization they had squandered their time under its shadow, taken up with the wonder and enchantment so ripe for the taking within the ancient city walls.
The shops’ and merchants’ Siren song and dance of empty promises guaranteeing fulfillment, and satisfaction has been the downfall of most well planned out sightseeing trips in the heart of Frankenland.
The illusions are marketed and sold with an expertise comparable only to the singing merchant of Agrabah.
So, as you pass through the great stone walls and find yourself separated from that still small voice once embodied by a cricket keep the words of P.T. Barnum in mind and remember ” There’s a sucker born every minute.”
Or heed the sage advice freely offered by the denizens of North Bavaria’s Pleasure Island, home of the Franken who deal with being pressured to buy or do something they don’t feel like buying or doing by responding with phrases like these.
Der guckt dich ins auge und steckt dich ins rucken!
Mehr Schein als sein…
Sowas braugg ich doch nicht!
Das gibds doch nicht!
Das kann doch nicht sein!
Ich glaub dir überhaubd ned, gell!
bis du bescheuerd oder was!?
So ein scheiß hab ich noch nie in meim Lebben gehort.
Das kannst vergessen!
Ne! Ne! Ne!
Was denggsd du!?
Lass uns gehen! …hier ist a komische Lad’n!
Wilst du mich verarschen oder was!?
Oh wei! bist du aber süß, …Depperla!
Braugg igg nicht.
Will ich nicht.
Ach du meine gude! Ist das teuer!
Leck mich am Arsch, ey!
Gibbs Freundschaftspreis, oder.
Komm. machs aufs Haus.
Komm wir kenn uns gell?
Fass es nicht an
These are just a few in the arsenal of phrases one needs when engaging in the age old tit for tat game of haggling in the Närmbercher Aldschdad… Weißd du!
It’s tempting I know. Trust me, I know!
If your goal is the castle and you don’t have a thorough understanding of how to haggle in Mittel Franken simply smile, and say “leider nichts” never look back. Do not engage in conversation. You have precious time and money that you’re just gagging to give away. You just don’t know it yet.
Just think of Captain Jack Sparrow’s mantra “Take what you can. Give nothing back!” Savvy?
The castle is your goal, your one, and only Ziel. Do not look left, do not look right. Everything will have been sold and replaced several times over by the time you return from the castle and you’ll be none the wiser.
In Nuremberg, everything is always “the last item on the shelf in the entire store or market” …until two seconds after you bought the rarest item in Frankenland and you watch an exact replica conjured up from beyond the mists of the ether and set in the empty spot on the shelf.
Any decent Verkäufer of anything in the Altstadt will be a highly skilled Obermeister in the dark arts of Fränggische Zauberei.
Which is what gives the list of aforementioned words their power. The list of umgangsprache phrases works as powerful counterspells or talismans in warding off the dark magic and array of verbal illusions so adeptly cast by the merchants of Mittelfranken.
If you don’t play by those rules of the game, or consider yourself “special” or somehow intellectually exceptional because you’ve got some fancy-pants highfalutin life experience under the belt, are efficient at filling out the right answers on all of the tests life might throw at you and happened to save a little on the side affording what many would consider luxurious…
I release you to the Schwindlers to do with you as they please. You won’t see the castle, even if you’re in its courtyard. You will be like those in the crowd who genuinely convince themselves they can see the emperor’s new clothes and appreciate the fine texture of its make up.
I love Nuremberg, it is an incredible city, with a perfect balance of Game of Thrones Crazy and The Jetsons Convenience.
Some live like Tyrion Lannister frequenting the brothels, no limits cafe & casinos, and the variety of invite-only parties and societies only those who know they know you know who they know will invite you to join them deep within the maze of tunnels and cavernous spaces that lay hidden below the streets of the old city.
Others live like Elroy Jetson, privy to and playing with some of the greatest technological advancements mankind has as of yet been able to imagine.
Most, however, remain ignorant of either of these worlds within the city, willfully enslaved to their own vices, unknowingly puppeteered by a coalition of Meisterschwindler steeped in years of practice at giving fools exactly what they want, engineering the precise form of chaos for which they have the solution… For the right price of course.
As with most incredible places in the world where people are drawn, vices are provided and like Pleasure Island, people who indulge in too much of a good thing just might find they turned themselves into a jackass. …Often only once it’s too late to go back.
The beauty of Närmberch is that these vices are out in the open, on display, readily available for all and most people don’t even see what is right in front of, and all around them.
Südstadt Alter! The Südstadt was my home where I lived on the “wrong side of the tracks” in the south side of Närmberch for nine-tenths of a decade and loved it there.
I had a lot of fun in my neighborhood and messing with people at work downtown. But I know myself, and have seen a lot of people who can’t handle everything the capital city of the Franken has to offer- be the cause of their own downfall.
Fools! Blöde Deppen that they are. You’ve gotta know thyself and stay true to that regardless. Sonst! Was war deins ist jetzt meins, und alles davon hast du freiwillig abgegeben. Selberschuld, gell?
Those who over-indulge in a fantasy that typically turns out to be nothing more than a dream get what’s coming to them, so I guess… Technically, I’ve seen a lot of Jackasses go through the transformation process turning Full-Donkey as they live out their fantasy in North Bavaria’s Pleasure Island.
Zum Beispiel! Here are two dreams and ways of life being sold to you about life in the Suedstadt neither of which are actually real, but in the minds of many that want what they see to be the way it is that is precisely how the Südstadt is for them. …in their head.
Perception is reality and most realities are nothing more than a false perception.
Remember these videos are of the exact same district, and were filmed where my kids and I lived and walked around every day for nearly a decade. Neither video shows reality, but both are awesome because… Südstadt Alter!
The lyrics are hilarious because the only time my car was ever broken into was the time I caught the Polizei red handed. They’d broken into my car and one was playing with my iPod while the other one was going through my glove compartment.
I just laughed, took my iPod back and realized we aren’t in Kansas anymore when they offered to let me file charges against them.
I’m not picking on the Polizei at all. They’re literally the nicest, most fair, kind, delightfully patient force I have ever met.
They do, do a lot of Kontrolle, but are always polite, and it’s just part of the job and I have always felt incredibly safe in Germany. Besides, Kontrolle by the cops pales in comparison to the amount of Kontrolle the little old ladies in the window and sorters of my pre-sorted trash achieve. Oma Kontrolle. Now, that’s Kontrolle!
A word of advice if you’re one of those people who say Hey, it’s Germany! as you do something “Out of Character“ you are essentially sealing your fate and your destiny has been long since predetermined. It is open season and fair play in the game of Get The Depperla To Happily Hand Over Everything. Weil, du hast Einfach zu viel, gell? So viel brauggd man ned. Einverstanden?
But this is not you! You are one of those rare few, a diamond in the rough. One of those of more than a sound mind, you possess character, integrity and apply the maxim know thyself to all aspects of life.
Like Leonardo da Vinci, you believe that “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication,” and you could sincerely admonish Joshua Milburn & Ryan Nicodemus, creators of theminimalists.com on their excessive and lavish message.
You find satisfaction in all circumstances, and you do not agree that sometimes too much is not enough.
Elvis Presley tells us to just Nix temptation when he sang about how Bugsy turned to Shifty and said Nix Nix, and this is also your response to temptations. Should the occasion present itself.
You. Will. See. The. Verdammte. Imperial Castle in Nuremberg!
By the time you have walked through the shadow of the valley of sales, and braved the fire swamp of the Hauptmarkt nearly burning through your life savings in one quick spurt, realizing you were in fiscal quicksand and you managed to ward off an R.O.U.S. or two the castle will be a well-deserved reward for your troubles. (Like how I tried to slip a Princess Bride reference in there?) Soon… Soon you will have fun storming the castle!
Once you have emerged triumphantly on the other side of the Hauptmarkt, continue up the street, to the left, between the aptly named Rathaus (City Hall) and St. Sebaldus church.
You’re not far from your destination now, and there are two locations I suggest visiting before actually going to the castle, if for no other reason than you can know what it is you will be looking at.
There is a table just beyond the Sankt Sebalduskirche, behind the Kugelapotheke (pharmacy) commissioned and placed there by the Lions Club Nuremberg.
This table is not only a free piece of artwork to enjoy, it is very informative with labels of all the major buildings and districts within the city walls. Something definitely worth keeping in mind as you enjoy the view of the city from the castle.
As far as I can tell the Lions Club commissioned artist Egbert Broerken from Welver / Westfalen to make the model of the city.
Founded in —- the Lion Club is an international organization of business men and women dedicated to doing good in their communities and bettering the quality of life for those around them. The good people of Lions Club Nuremberg seem to have dedicated extra focus on helping the blind and visually impaired who live in or visit the capital of Franconia.
It was years before I realized Nuremberg, the actual physical city, has a way of communicating with the visually impaired.
The cobblestones and patterns on the streets do more than providing an aesthetically pleasing experience to exploring the city street.
Because of the level of attention to detail and subtle integration to the architecture and pathways the blind can move through crowded areas with nimble ease, often with a greater awareness and understanding of their surroundings than those of us who think the ability to use all 5 senses simultaneously means we are aware of everything around us.
I saw a fascinating “Reportage” a few years ago about all the ways a city tries to make getting around easier in Germany. I don’t think it will ever be enough, but I have always been amazed how many parts of the city are made with the blind in mind. Every year it seems there is always a little more added in an attempt to improve the quality of experience the blind and visually impaired have.
I’ve met a few people with “intelligent canes” and accessories that help with getting around. To be honest, it’s just one of those things I rarely consider in my day to day, but am fascinated when I notice or am reminded of.
Unfortunately, I can’t find the in-depth report I had watched about the technology and enhancements to cities for the blind. Absolutely fascinating.
A little further up the street on the way to the castle is a spot worth dedicating a portion of your time and parting with some of your money.
I know, I know… Geldausgeben, who would’ve thought I’d ever recommend such a thing?
A tour of the Fembo Haus Museum is worth forking over a few of your Euros, though.
Nuremberg has an incredibly large number of museums and historic buildings open to the public. Even the National German Museum sits within the city walls, but I’ve found the litter house up the hill, under the castle to be the most informative place about the city that has been around for more than a millennium.
They offer guided tours or a headset that explain what you are looking at in your native tongue and each floor of the building is fascinating in its own right.
It is what is in the attic that makes the tour worth your while.
In the top of the Fembo Hause there is a wood cutout, very intricately and precisely carved to scale with an even higher level of detail than the Lion Club’s model on the street.
There is a very interesting presentation that you can listen to with lights highlighting specific buildings the narrator talks about.
The presentation covers a lot of history with stories about the people who lived and worked in those areas.
These stories can give you a greater appreciation of what you are looking at and where to look from your vantage point in the castle.
And “Knowing is half the battle!”
You can see the Fembohaus Stadtmodell starting at the 3:35 mark of this video, unfortunately, there is no simultaneous audio with coordinated light show on the video, but all the more reason to go and visit the museum for yourself.
It’s hands-down the best museum piece in the city explaining the history and stories of downtown Nuremberg.