The Nassauer Haus is located across from the St. Lorenzkirche (St. Lawrence Church) on the corner of the row of shops on Königstrasse and Karolinenstrasse. It is a medieval tower house that belonged to a wealthy aristocratic family, the Schlüsselfelders. While it has the look of a defensive structure with the tower, it is only for display as the house was not used in defense of the city.
The house was built in the 12-13th centuries, starting with the lower two stories with the upper stories added in the early-1400s. Shortly after that in 1431, the king Sigismund pawned his crown with the owner of the house and the owner built the top parapet and corner towers, adding the coat of arms of the Emperor, the Pope, the electors, and the city of Nürnberg as decoration to the tower.
The Schlüsselfelder family died out in the early 1700s and the house was left in the care of a foundation, which still owns the building today. After the house was damaged during the bombing of World War II, this foundation had the building repaired.
Nassauer Haus is the last preserved example of upper class lifestyle in the middle ages. This is what the houses of the patricians looked like: stone towers with several storeys that rose above the mass of roofs and could easily be defended in case of unrest. The massive walls made them much less prone to fire than the wooden houses of the lower classes.
Also note the Fountain of the Virtues in the square, a renaissance fountain. Justitia is standing on top of the central column. Five allegories of other virtues populate the lower storey.
Location: Corner Königstraße/Karolinenstraße, opposite Lorenzkirche
Nuernberg has a lot of well-preserved medieval and renaissance buildings. But somehow, this is one of my favourites. The Nassauer Haus is a tower-shaped building used in medieval times for administrative purposes. The lower part of the building is frorm the 13th century, the top storeys were added in 1423. It is owned now by a family who financed the rebuilding of the damaged building after WWII.
“Nassauer” is an expression for pennypincher, mostly used in the southern part of Germany. However, I don’t know if it has anything to do with this house. Or what the relation to the house of Nassau, now part of the royal dutch family (Oranje-Nassau), is. And what about the prejudice that the dutch are pennypinchers ???
Nassauer Haus is one of the best-preserved medieval tower houses. It is supposed to have housed ministerial officials.
The two lower storeys date of the early 13th century. The upper storeys and the chapel bay window, as well as the top storey with four octagonal corner towers were added in 1422-23.
After being considerably damaged during WWII, Nassauer Haus was reconstructed by Rudo Göschel, commissioned by the Schlüsselfelder family foundation who is the owner of the building.
Just in front of St.Lorenz cathedral you can find the Nassauer Haus, probably the best example of tower-house from the middle ages in Nürnberg.
It had no defensive roles, but it probably was the house where the government of the town was held.
The oldest parts of this house belong to the 13th century, while other storeys were added in the 16th century to make it look like we see it now.
It now holds a restaurant in its cellars.