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Sunday, December 2, 2007

The city of Nurnberg...

Yesterday I posted on the Christmas market in Nurnberg, but today I want to address the city itself. Nurnberg has about 500,000 inhabitants and has two distinct parts - the old historic center of the city, and the modern metropolis outside the walls of the center.

The city outside of the center seems practical and efficient - very Germanic - but with unremarkable architecture. It could be any one of scores of medium sized European cities. Where Nurnberg shines is in the historic center. It is perhaps the most pedestrian friendly city in Europe. The entire center, perhaps 1/2 square mile, is pedestrian. Cobblestone streets with shops on both sides but no cars (or buses) allowed. A river runs through the center but it is not very wide - maybe 60 feet - and there are numerous bridges (pedestrian, of course) that span the river.

After Dresden, which was firebombed, Nurnberg was the next most damaged German city during WWII with approximately 90% of its building damaged or destroyed. They have done a good job in the rebuilding, mixing reconstructed buildings with newer. They even have a subway system (that we didn't have a need to use) which runs to the center. Bicycles are also extremely popular even though the temperature was in the low 40s.

By the way, here is a picture of the restaurant where we had dinner on Friday evening and where Kathy got food poisoning. It really was a nice place, apart from the food poisoning.

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