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Ship of Fools Fountain
On our way to the Hauptmarkt for the Christmas market we passed an odd sculpture at the corner of Plbenhofstrasse and Bischoff Meiserstrasse. Like other more modern sculptures in Nürnberg, this one experienced its share of controversy.
The Ship of Fools was created by sculptor Jürgen Weber in 1987. It is based on woodcuts by favorite Nürnberg artist Albrecht Dürer representing a satire by the same name by Sebastian Brant (1497).
The sculpture shows a boat filled with figures that represent Adam and Eve being expelled from the Garden of Eden, Adam’s son Cain who murders Abel, and other scenes of violence. The ship represents the world and the banners above point to destruction of the world and the violence within it.
The statue is nearly four meters (13 feet) high. It is actually the second casting of the sculpture, with the original being located in Hamlin. The plaque on the sculpture explains that this second casting was donated to the city of Nürnberg by Kurt Klutentreter. A translation of the plaque basically reads “Donated by Kurt Klutentreter. Great-grandson of Eva Maria Weber, daughter of the pencil factory Munker, former owner of the property Plobenhofstrasse 1-3.”
- Arts and Culture
House of Pilate
There are many depictions of St. George slaying the dragon in Europe, whether in paintings or sculpture. I came across this corner statue in metal after looking at the rabbit sculpture near the Dürer House. I thought it was colorful and unique. And the house that it was situated on the corner of was a magnificent three story half-timbered house.
The house is called the “House of Pilate” because it was believed to the first stop in sculptor Adam Kraft’s Stations of the Cross that lead to St. John’s cemetery. Actually, the house isn’t part of that sequence, but is good example of late Gothic architecture.
Owned by an armorer who would have specialized in working with metals, it makes sense that the St. George statue is metal. The armorer, Hans Grünwald, built the house in 1489. His statue is an interesting example of the types of metalworks that he was most likely commissioned to create.
The coat of arms over the door is not Hans Grünwald’s, but rather belongs to a later resident in the mid-1800s, Hans von Aufsess, who founded the Germanisches Nationalmuseum. Obviously, the house was one that belonged to the wealthier merchants of Nürnberg.
- Historical Travel
Altstadt in 2011
I was lucky to visit Nurnberg Altstadt once again in 2011. I didn’t see something extraordinary new for me but enjoyed the main sightseeing and refreshed my sweet memory about my previous visits…
You can watch my 3 min 25 sec Video Nurnberg Altstadt HD out of my Youtube channel.
- Historical Travel
It's very easy to find Nürnberg's old town, or Altstadt in German, since it's all rounded by the old stone city walls. There are 4 main gate towers (Tor) approximately at the four corners of the old town, from which you can enter the city, also by car.
In the middle of the Old Town, flowing east to west, is the river Pegnitz, which divides the old town in 2 equal halves. There are many bridges over it and also 2 small islands
The original city walls were guarded by 46 fortified towers, and were 5 km long. The gates were 5. It took more than 50 years to restore and partially rebuild all the stadtmauer, including 4 of the 5 gates, of which the Königstor (Kings's Gate) is probably the fist one everyone sees, just going out of the Hauptbahnhof.
Most of Nuremberg's attractions are conveniently enclosed in the compact Altstadt, inside the medieval walls, with its 80 towers and 4 gates. The town center is split in two by the marvelous river Pegnitz, and has the main train station in the south east, and the Kaiserburg sitting on top of the hill to the north west. With such a small area, and some very obvious landmarks, like the twin spires of St Sebulus and St Lorenz on either side of the river, it is very difficult to get lost, but you probably won't mind if you do. It is a beautiful "old" city center, almost completely rebuilt after allied bombs destroyed it in the Second World War.
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