Pegnitz River, Nürnberg
The names of the rivers are somewhat confusing in this part of the country.
This river that flows through the center of Nürnberg is called the Pegnitz, but a few kilometers downstream it joins up with another river called the Rednitz, and from that point onwards the combined river is called the Regnitz. (OK?)
The Regnitz flows in a northerly direction for 58 kilometers through Erlangen, Baiersdorf, Forchheim and Bamberg, and then shortly after Bamberg it empties into the Main.
The building in the photo is the Holy Ghost Hospital, which now serves mainly as an old people’s home.
Thanks to VT member flyingscot4 (Don of Madison, Wisconsin, USA) for pointing out quite correctly that the Holy Ghost Hospital "is now, and has been for at least 40 years, one of the best Franken restaurants and wine steubens in the city."
VT's local expert AnnaLupilla has this to say about it: "Highly frequented by (American) tourists, they know why: the food is great!"
The Fronveste is the left hand side of the large, double arched building that spans the southern outflow of the River Pegnitz. The Kettensteg [chain bridge] is located beside it.
This building has quite an interesting history. It has been used as a weapons arsenal and was called the Spear house, then in the 19th century, it was used as a prison and received its present name. In 1938 it was converted into a nursing home, and in 1944/45 destroyed. It was rebuilt in 1957, and used as a retirement home - Now, it houses students and emigrants.
Looking from where they live, they have a nice view of the River, weir and bridges.
Weinstadel = Wine Store, is a medieval building situated next to Hangman's Bridge. This area is very pretty! The weeping willow in the River was a rich golden colour, the brick work on the bridge was nice, and the Wine store was a fachwerk building painted in rust brown and white. Add the reflections in the River Pegnitz and I'm sure you will agree!
The building happens to be one of the most important monuments of the historical center of Nuremberg. As you most probably guessed, it was once a Wine Warehouse. It has the distinction of being the largest timber-framed building in Germany.....it even has gargoyles
History has it built between 1446 to 1448 and being used to house and feed Leper's in the Holy week for 3 days. During the war years, nuns from Pillenreuth took refuge here.
In 1571, the ground floor of the building was used for wine storage, then in 1575, it became an infirmary and where poor people were housed.
During a bombing raid in WWII, the building was damaged by bombs.
The walk along this river is truely stunning We started from the bridge near the Holy Ghost Hospital and explored both directions to the limits of the old city. If you are on the bridge near the Holy Ghost Hospital looking towards the castle the loveliest stretch of river is off to the left. You will find many bridges, little waterfalls, the hangman's house (apparently the hangman lived away from everyone else as he was so unpopular due to his profession) towers, statues and fantastic views. This was my favourite part of Nuremberg. The walk to the right from the hospital is also lovely, but if you can only do one side, go left.
This river flooded really badly in 1909. We found the high water mark and saw pictures of the Haupt Mark under water.
One view of the Pegnitz river, one of the finest, is enjoyed and photographed by everyone: from Museumsbrücke to Heiliggeistspital, the former hospital that is built into the river on two arches (photo 1).
However, leaving the main visitor highway and following the river is herewith recommended, especially further west resp. downstream. Only a few stretches have a promenade walk along the river, in most parts the houses are built straight on the river bank. So you have to zigzag a bit through the streets parallel to the river and across bridges. The views you'll discover are worth the effort.
Some of the most interesting spots will receive separate tips here.
Crossing Karlsbrücke, built in the first half of the 18th century and named after Emperor Karl VI, you reach a small island with the Trödelmarkt, a square which formerly served as junk market and now has a row of little shops.
The most romantic view follows further west. Henkersteg, a covered wooden bridge, the big half-timbered Weinstadel and the stone Unschlitthaus make a beautiful ensemble. Add a weeping willow on the tip of the island and the romantic is perfect. The view is best enjoyed from Maxbrücke and the southern river bank.
Further west you reach the city fortifications. The walls cross the river on two low arches, so the entry towards the city is well protected.
Nuremberg is bisected by a minor river named Pegnitz into the Lorenz section nearer the train station which contains the major shopping, restaurant and hotel areas, as well as the largest crowds, and the Sebald section containing most of the touristic attractions. The river contains 4 islands, is crossed by 9 bridges of varying import, and is lined by old and famous buildings, new apartment structures, cafes, restaurants, and at the Maxbrucke on Konigstrasse a very crowded Starbucks. It is crossed by one weir near the Museum Bridge.
The Hangman's Bridge ( images 1 and 2 ) is at the site of a wooden bridge constructed as early as 1457. In the 16-18 Centuries the bridge was rebuilt with a building above and an adjacent tower as a residence for the town executioner. The local citizenry regarded this as an unclean and lower-class position and the hangman was generally shunned and isolated to these quarters. The condemned were led to him over the namesake bridge.
At one end of the Troedelmarkt island, an upscale shopping area, lies an very photogenic although otherwise apparently unremarkable covered wooded bridge (image 3) over one fork of the Pegnitz. The walkway to the bridge is lined by cute cafes.
In the opposite direction from the Holy Ghost Hospice, the Fleischbrucke (image 4) or Meat Bridge crosses the Pegnitz. It was built at the narrowest point of the river which was given to flooding and modelled after the famed Rialto Bridge in Venice.
Nuremberg is at its most exquisite down by the river Pegnitz, which cuts straight down the middle of the Altstadt winding its way under a jumble of bridges. I particularly love the way the buildings hang over into the water, and some are even built over it on stone stilts. There are also some magnificent old buildings by the water's edge, like the Hospital of the Holy Spirit, the Weinstadl and Hangman's Bridge. If you just look at the pictures I took along the river's bridges it doesn't even look like it came from a city, more like a big town, which is exactly how many people describe Nuremberg.
Good to walk by the river, even in the centre, several old bridges to admire, and bars to pay a visit too.