Higher up the Kaiserburg (Imperial Castle), built in the 11th century and much altered in later centuries, you will see the Sinwellturm or Sinwell Tower.
In the Second World War, the castle was damaged in 1944-45, with only the Roman double chapel and the Sinwell Tower remaining entirely intact. After the war, the castle was restored under the direction of Rudolf Esterer and Julius Lincke to its historical form, including the Luginsland tower which had been completely destroyed. The Additions of the Nineteenth century has been partly removed in 1934/35.
You can watch my 4 min 52 sec Video Nurnberg Altstadt in 2004 part 3 out of my Youtube channel.
The four towers at the main gates of the city are impressive landmarks in the cityscape. Originally they were square like the other towers. Around 1560 they received a round “coat” to make them more resistant against canon balls.
There are four of them, one at each corner of the trapezoid that forms the ground plan of the old town: Laufer Torturm in the Northeast, Frauentorturm in the Southeast next to the railway station and the Craftsmen’s Market, Spittlertorturm in the Southwest and Neutorturm in the Northwest near Dürer House and Castle.
They look more or less alike, so if you use them as landmarks to find your way, check if you are approaching the right one...
The castel's outer patio is dominated by the 12th century Sinwellturm. The name 'sinwell' comes from the middelgerman adjective 'sinwel', which, based on the tower's form, means 'round'. The tower once saved the entry to the emperor's castle. After continuing conflicts with the castle's earls, the roman wall beneath the Hasenburg was broken, and via the Himmelstor a direct entry to the city was constructed. In 1561, the watch towers next to the Sinwellturm were destroyed. In the meanwhile the Sinwellturm was modernized. Coming from the west, one still can notice the former entry to the tower. Today the tower can be climbed through the so-called Finanzstadel and you can enjoy a fantastic view over the city.
The Round Tower is perhaps the most obvious of the castle's buildings. It is the oldest construction, dating back to the 11th century, and it has the best views out over the city. At least that is what they say. I was unable to find a (legal) way past the unmanned turnstyle. The sign on the door instructed me vaguely (in German) to visit the office to buy a ticket. At the "kasse", some distance back from the tower and only roughly marked, I was shooed away as the tower keeper was busy with a large tour group. He didn't get the €3.00 it would have cost me to climb to the top, which is a shame.
I think this translates as round tower, well it's round and a tower! anyway if you visit the Kaiserburg it is worth the extra price to climb up the tower for great views over the city.
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