I have decided to follow the River Pegnitz and cross the River each time I see a bridge.
The next bridge I came too, was a wooden, covered Bridge that was built in 1457. Named "Hangmans' Bridge," I was wondering if hangings took place here. I believe they didn't, it was named such, as the Nuremberg hangman lived in the tower and the roofed walk above the river Pegnitz.
The "Hangman" had to live in accommodation away from the people of the city, but also within the city. Being a Hang-man would have been rather lonely as his trade was considered "dishonest". The towns-folk avoided him like the plague, they feared contamination and exclusion from the Christian community.
Hangman’s Bridge, as the name implies, is where the executioners of Nürnberg lived between the 16-19th centuries. Because of the nature of the executioner’s job, they usually lived away from the rest of the community since people avoided contact with this person, either in their day-to-day activities or in their final moments. Before the Age of Enlightenment, people who associated with the executioner may be considered un-Christian and therefore would not be able to partake in the activities of the Church.
In Nürnberg, the executioner lived in the tower beside the River Pegnitz, next to what is now known as the Weinstadel (former Wine Depot). The tower is connected to a stone covered bridge which spans part of the river. On the other side of the small island is a second wooden bridge with a tiled roof. This bridge was originally built following a flood in 1595, although the bridge visitors can walk across today is a rebuilt one from the 1950s.
The area around the Henkersteg and Weinstadel is one of the most beautiful areas in Nürnberg, at least in my opinion. I was there on a beautiful sunny afternoon and had a enjoyable time taking photos of the area with the buildings reflecting in the water.
For the exact location of Hangman’s Bridge, check out my Nürnberg Googlemap.
The Hangman's Bridge (Henkersteg) was constructed in 1457 as a wooden bridge. Between the 16th and the 19th century, the Nuremberg hangman lived in the tower and the roofed walk above the river Pegnitz.
After the flood of 1595, three arches of the town wall bridging the southern arm of the river Pegnitz were demolished and replaced by the wooden Hangman's Bridge with its tiled roof (reconstructed in 1954).
You will also see Hallertor, Schlayerturm, Kettensteg and Kettenbrücke.
Bloody history but romantic present: The so-called Henkersteg (hangman’s bridge) provides the most picturesque view along the Pegnitz river. The location is a bit off the beaten path so many visitors miss it, which is a pity. The best view is from Maxbrücke.
The wooden bridges connect the western tip of the Pegnitz island (where the Trödelmarkt is) with both river banks. The little house at the end of the island was inhabited by the city’s hangman in former times. This profession was considered dishonourable, so the tenants were outcasts in the city. The house is a museum but with very limited opening hours.
On the river just up from Karlsbrücke is the magnificent old buildings of the Weinstadel and Henkersteg, the former wine depot and the Hangman's Bridge. The Weinstadl is easily one of the finest of the old buildings in the city, and its location is just perfect. It was originally built around the mid 15th century to house the lepers that were excluded from the main city. After 1571 it became a wine store, hence its present name.
Right next door to the leper house was the home of another outcast: Nuremberg's executioner. This man's job was considered so unwholesome and undignified that he was required to live within the city in isolation. The tower and bridge were his home. People avoided physical contact with him, and he was even excluded from membership of the church. The wooden footbridge has existed there since 1457, but the current triple-arched Henkersteg was built in 1595.
The Henkersteg in Nürnberg is a wood-covered historic bridge, connecting the "Henkersturm" (home of the city executioner) on the "Trödelmarkt" - island and the Unschlittplatz over the river Pegnitz.
This little bridge was formerly known as "Bei dem Hieserlein". Benannt nach dem anliegenden Henkerturm, ehemals Wohnung des Scharfrichters; aus dem 15. Jahrhundert