Seventy years ago this month, the only Americans around Nuremberg were 10,000 feet over it, dropping bombs to break the industrial backbone of the Third Reich; 90% of the city was destroyed and 100,000 people killed.
You can’t tell.
The city has been rebuilt to look exactly as it did before the bombing. From photographs, paintings, and architectural plans, Nuremberg, like many cities in Europe, wanted to preserve its heritage.
The inner walled city is curiously reminiscent of the Old City of Jerusalem, with the wall running the perimeter of the central business district, guarded by a moat now used only as a pedestrian walkway.
Three large churches border the town square, which is daily the scene of a local vegetable, fruit, bread, and cheese market. Scattered through the marketplace are sausage stands and pretzel vendors.
To commemorate the awful events of seven decades ago, billboard sized posters of the destruction have been erected outside the restored buildings. The devastation, memorialized in black and white seems horrible.
This is probably a good time to be here; the city is quaint and surely throngs of tourists must crowd the streets in the summer. The natives are friendly and accommodating. At a restaurant last night, we were invited to sit with a local family (there were no empty tables), and they were anxious to hear about the US. They have a daughter who lives in Fresno, and wanted to know if I had ever been there, and what it was like.
The train travel reminded me of what I like about Europe, but also what I miss about the US.
Since 1419 (that’s right) Zum Gulden Stern has been serving Nuremburg’s special “Rostbratwurst.” They are available starting from a fresh or smoked version, and prepared on a grill. It’s the oldest sausage restaurant in the world. (Duh).
I seldom journey someplace without trying a local specialty or two, and here would be no exception. I wondered in the restaurant, which was “casually busy,” and found a table. I figured I’d try one or two of the sausages and be on my way, satisfied with my outing.
Frau Henrietta, a woman the size of a picnic table, rolled up to the table to inquire about my order. I noted on the menu that the little tubular delights were sold in denominations of six, and I knew they were small, so I uttered that I would take six, thinking that’s more than enough of a sample, and I’d be on my way.
She looked at me crossly I thought she was going to spit on me, but she only spit out her words: “Six is a child’s order!”
I reconsidered my order and said an even dozen it was then, but Henrietta would have none of it: “Twelve is a woman’s order!”
Can you guess what happened next? Yes, I ordered EIGHTEEN, and she beamed and said “That is a man’s order!”
Next up was the drink selection, and I hardly wanted to go through the inquisition again, so I told her to bring me an appropriate beverage, and she was back in a second with an over-sized pitcher of a local beer that is mixed with lemon. A seasonal thing. Back before there was a craft brewer on every block trying to make beer taste like chocolate or emeralds or whatever.
I managed to get thru a dozen sausages and two glasses of beer. Everything at the restaurant is very locally sourced, with ingredients coming together from nearby fields to make fresh horseradish, sauerkraut, and potato salad on a daily basis.
Incredible. Wanna try the sausages? I have seen them at Aldi’s, else you can order online.
Take a virtual tour of the restaurant.
Worlds Oldest Sausage Restaurant