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Related to Nuremberg: Nuremberg Laws, Nuremberg Trials


(no͝or`əmbərg), Ger. Nürnberg (nürn`bĕrk'), city (1994 pop. 498,945), Bavaria, S Germany, on the Pegnitz River and the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal. One of the great historic cities of Germany, Nuremberg is now an important commercial, industrial, and transportation center. Its manufactures include electrical equipment, mechanical and optical products, motor vehicles, chemicals, textiles, and printed materials. Homemade toys and fine gingerbread (Ger. Lebkuchen) are traditional export items.

Points of Interest

Since 1945 much of the city's architectural beauty has been restored. Among the historic buildings are the churches of St. Sebald (1225–73), St. Lorenz (13th–14th cent.), St. Jacob (14th cent.), and Our Lady (1352–61); the Hohenzollern castle (11th–16th cent.); the old city hall (1616–22); and the house (now a museum) where Albrecht Dürer lived from 1509 to 1528. A large portion of the city walls (14th–17th cent.) still stands. Nuremberg is the site of the German National Museum (founded 1852), a part of the Univ. of Erlangen-Nuremberg, and a museum of transportation.


First mentioned in 1050, Nuremberg received a charter in 1219 and was made a free imperial city by the end of the 13th cent. The city was independent of the burgraviate of Nuremberg, which included a large part of FranconiaFranconia
, Ger. Franken, historic region and one of the five basic or stem duchies of medieval Germany, S Germany. The region was included in the Frankish kingdom of Austrasia, becoming in the 9th cent. a duchy and the center of the East Frankish (or East German) kingdom.
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 and which came (1192) under the control of the HohenzollernHohenzollern
, German princely family that ruled Brandenburg (1415–1918), Prussia (1525–1918), and Germany (1871–1918).

Originating in S Germany and traceable to the 11th cent.
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 family. Nuremberg soon became, with AugsburgAugsburg
, city (1994 pop. 264,764), capital of Swabia, Bavaria, S central Germany, a major industrial center on the Lech River. The major industries include the manufacture of textiles, clothing, machinery, computers, electronic equipment, motor vehicles, and airplanes.
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, one of the two great trade centers on the route from Italy to N Europe.

The cultural flowering of Nuremberg in the 15th and 16th cent. made it the center of the German Renaissance. Among the artists who were born or lived there, the painter and printmaker Albrecht DürerDürer, Albrecht
, 1471–1528, German painter, engraver, and theoretician, most influential artist of the German school, b. Nuremberg. Early Life and Work
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 was the greatest; others, such as the sculptors Adam KraftKraft or Krafft, Adam
, c.1455–1509, German sculptor of Nuremberg. He moved from an ornamental late Gothic style toward clarity, symmetry, and a powerful use of rounded, organically constructed figures.
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, Veit StossStoss, Veit
, c.1445–1533, German sculptor. He worked in Kraków (1477–86, 1488–96) and Nuremberg, his birthplace. The great carved wooden high altar in St. Mary's, Kraków, is a significant early work.
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, and Peter VischerVischer, Peter
, the elder, c.1455–1529, German sculptor, foremost of the bronze founders in Germany. Beginning as the assistant of his father, Hermann Vischer, Peter set up his own establishment at Nuremberg and in time had his five sons working with him.
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, and the painter and woodcarver Michael WolgemutWolgemut or Wohlgemuth, Michael
, 1434–1519, German painter, wood carver, and engraver who worked mainly in Nuremberg.
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, adorned the city with their works, which brought together the Italian Renaissance and the German Gothic traditions. The city was also an early center of humanism, science, printing, and mechanical invention. The scholars W. Pirkheimer and C. CeltesCeltes, Conradus Protucius
, pseud. of Konrad Pickel
, 1459–1508, German scholar and humanist. He traveled widely, lectured at several universities, became librarian to Maximilian I, and founded various societies dedicated to classical learning.
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 lectured in the city, A. KobergerKoberger, Anton
, c.1445–1513, German printer. He established in 1470 the first printery in Nuremberg. In 1483 he produced a German Bible and in 1484 the first book printed in the Hungarian language. Koberger was primarily a publisher.
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 set up a printing press and RegiomontanusRegiomontanus
[Lat.,=belonging to the royal mountain, i.e., to Königsberg], 1436–76, German astronomer and mathematician, b. Königsberg. His original name was Johannes Müller.
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 an observatory, and the first pocket watches, known as Nuremberg eggs, were made there c.1500. An interest in culture on the part of the prosperous artisan class found expression in the contests of the meistersingers (mastersingers), among whom the shoemaker-poet Hans SachsSachs, Hans
, 1494–1576, German poet, leading meistersinger of the Nuremberg school. A shoemaker and guild master, he wrote more than 4,000 master songs in addition to some 2,000 fables, tales in verse (Schwanke), morality plays, and farces.
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 was the most prominent.

In 1525, Nuremberg accepted the ReformationReformation,
religious revolution that took place in Western Europe in the 16th cent. It arose from objections to doctrines and practices in the medieval church (see Roman Catholic Church) and ultimately led to the freedom of dissent (see Protestantism).
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, and the religious Peace of Nuremberg, by which the Lutherans gained important concessions, was signed there (1532). In the Thirty Years War, Gustavus IIGustavus II
(Gustavus Adolphus), 1594–1632, king of Sweden (1611–32), son and successor of Charles IX. Military Achievements

Gustavus's excellent education, personal endowments, and early experience in affairs of state prepared him for his crucial role
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 was besieged (1632) in Nuremberg by WallensteinWallenstein or Waldstein, Albrecht Wenzel Eusebius von
, 1583–1634, imperial general in the Thirty Years War, b. Bohemia.
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. The city declined after the war and recovered its importance only in the 19th cent., when it grew as an industrial center. In 1806, Nuremberg passed to BavariaBavaria
, Ger. Bayern, state (1994 pop. 11,600,000), 27,239 sq mi (70,549 sq km), S Germany. Munich is the capital. The largest state of Germany, Bavaria is bordered by the Czech Republic on the east, by Austria on the southeast and south, by Baden-Württemberg on the
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. The first German railroad, from Nuremberg to nearby Fürth, was opened in 1835.

After Adolf HitlerHitler, Adolf
, 1889–1945, founder and leader of National Socialism (Nazism), and German dictator, b. Braunau in Upper Austria. Early Life

The son of Alois Hitler (1837–1903), an Austrian customs official, Adolf Hitler dropped out of high school, and
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 came to power, Nuremberg was made a national shrine by the National Socialists (Nazis), who held their annual party congresses nearby from 1933 through 1938. The city was the home of the Nazi leader Julius StreicherStreicher, Julius
, 1885–1946, German National Socialist (Nazi) leader. An early party member, originally a schoolteacher, he aired his sadistic and anti-Semitic mania in his periodical, Der Stürmer.
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 and became a center of anti-Semitic propaganda. At the party congress of 1935 the so-called Nuremberg Laws were promulgated; they deprived German Jews of civic rights, forbade intermarriage between Jews and non-Jews, and deprived persons of partly Jewish descent of certain rights. Until 1945, Nuremberg was the site of roughly half the total German production of airplane, submarine, and tank engines; as a consequence, the city was heavily bombed by the Allies during World War II and was largely destroyed. After the war, Nuremberg was the seat of the international tribunal for war crimes.

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a city in Bavaria, the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG). Population, 478,200 (1971). Nuremberg is situated on the unnavigable Pegnitz River, along the obsolete Ludwigs Canal and the Rhine-Main-Danube shipping canal, which is now under construction. An important railroad and highway junction, the city also has an airport. Nuremberg is one of the major industrial centers of the FRG. It has industries producing electrotechnic equipment (33 percent of all industrial workers are in this sector), machine tools, precision instruments, metal products, motorcycles, bicycles, pencils, and toys. There also are chemical, textile, garment, shoe, food and condiment, wood-products, and printing industries. Handicraft industries and small and medium-size industrial enterprises play a significant role. Educational institutions in Nuremberg include the Academy of Applied Technology, the Academy of Fine Arts, the Pedagogical Hochschule, and the departments of economics and social sciences of the University of Erlangen. The city has an opera house and a dramatic theater and is the site of the German National Museum and museums of transport, crafts, and toys.

The earliest record of Nuremberg dates to 1050. In 1219 the city was made a free imperial city. In the 14th and 15th centuries it was a major artisan and trade center and played an important role in the trade between southern Germany and Italy. In the 16th century, Nuremberg was one of the centers of German humanism. It was the birthplace of A. Dürer and H. Sachs; the humanists W. Pirkheimer and P. Melanchthon worked in the city. Nuremberg was the first imperial city to be affected by the Reformation (in 1524). In the 16th century, economic decline set in with the changing of trade routes. In 1806, Nuremberg became part of the Kingdom of Bavaria. In the 19th century, especially after the building of the Nuremberg-Furth railroad line, Germany’s first railroad, the city became one of the principal economic centers of Bavaria. During the fascist period, the congresses of the Nazi Party were held in Nuremberg. In 1945 and 1946, after the defeat of fascism, the city was the site of the trial of a group of leading Nazi war criminals.

The center of the city has narrow, winding streets and many noteworthy centuries-old architectural monuments, including the castle (begun in the 11th century), the late Gothic Church of St. Sebaldus (c. 1240–73; hall choir, 1361–72), the Church of St. Lorenz (finished after 1350; choir, 1439–77), the Church of Our Lady (1352–61), City Hall (14th to 17th centuries), residential buildings from the 15th to 17th centuries with high pointed facades and abundant decoration (including A. Dürer’s house), and the Gothic “Beautiful Fountain” (14th century). All the churches mentioned above are adorned with sculptures by A. Kraft, P. Vischer, and V. Stoss. Around the center there are new residential districts with a regular layout (Sankt-Johannis, Galgenhof, Sankt-Jobst). In the 1950’s and 1960’s the satellite town of Langwasser was constructed.


Fehring, G. P., and A. Ress. Die Stadt Nürnberg. [Nuremberg] 1961.
Nürnberg—Geschichte einer europäischen Stadt, vols. 1–2. Edited by G. Pfeiffer. [Munich] 1970–71.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


a city in S Germany, in N Bavaria: scene of annual Nazi rallies (1933--38), the anti-Semitic Nuremberg decrees (1935), and the trials of Nazi leaders for their war crimes (1945--46); important metalworking and electrical industries. Pop.: 493 553 (2003 est.)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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