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Nuremberg

NUREMBERG

NUREMBERG. The southern central German city of Nuremberg (German, Nürnberg; Latin, Norimberga) entered the early modern period as one of the two or three preeminent cities of the Holy Roman Empire, famed for its commercial products, art and architecture, and enlightened government. By the time it was absorbed by Bavaria in 1806, it had become a commercial and cultural backwater, a shadow of its former glorious self. The keys to both the city's rise and its decline lay in its economic and political successes.

ORIGINS TO ZENITH

Around 1050 the Holy Roman emperor Henry III (ruled 10391056) built a castle on a hill north of the Pegnitz River, known as Nuremberg. During the next century a new settlement south of the river, called Lorenzstadt (Laurence city), was added and in 1219 the expanded city received its great charter as a free imperial city, subject to no jurisdiction except that of the emperor. Since it possessed neither particularly rich farmland nor a navigable river, Nuremberg relied on its political influence and geographic advantage to develop into one of the most powerful imperial cities in Germany. By the end of the thirteenth century, the town council, composed largely of merchants, had assumed most authority over the city, and embarked on a mostly pro-Luxembourg campaign during the empire's dynastic struggles. As part of the city's reward, a victorious Emperor Charles IV (ruled 13551378) decreed in the Golden Bull of 1356 that each new emperor thereafter was to hold his first diet in Nuremberg, an honor the city enjoyed until 1543. Nuremberg's maintenance of the castle as a royal residence (which the council actually purchased in 1427) as well as the fact that it served as the depository of the crown jewels (until 1796), similarly reflected the prestige the city enjoyed among subsequent emperors. Several imperial privileges in turn aided in the economic growth of Nuremberg. As a crossroads for northern routes to the Rhineland and southern roads to Danubian territories, the city quickly became a trading center for a variety of manufactured goods, including the local specialties of metal products (such as cannons and armor), precision instruments (compasses, clocks, musical instruments), and toys. By 1500, Nuremberg had also become a center in the new printing industry. Its rural hinterland had expanded to about twenty-five square miles, and the city had a population of 25,000 to 30,000, making it one of the largest urban centers in the empire.

Nuremberg's economic golden age closely corresponded with an artistic explosion. By far the most famous local son was Albrecht Dürer (14711528), a drawer and painter of skill unrivaled in Germany. The city was also home to the sculptor Veit Stoss (1438/391533), the poet Konrad Celtis (14591508), the humanist father and son Johann Pirckheimer (14401501) and Willibald Pirckheimer (14701530), as well as Hans Sachs (14941576), immortalized in Richard Wagner's opera Die Meistersinger (The master singer). In 1525, partly due to the influence of evangelical preachers Lazarus Spengler (14791534) and Andreas Osiander (c. 14961552), the town council embraced Protestantism, banning the Catholic mass and all other "papist" ceremonies and welcoming ministers of the new faith to the city. Five years later, the city's representatives signed the Augsburg Confession, the statement of Lutheran faith, but refrained from joining the new Protestant military alliance, the Schmalkaldic League. Instead, the city's leaders attempted, as they would almost a century later during the Thirty Years' War, to play a conciliatory role between the two religious factions. In both instances their efforts failed, but with the Augsburg Religious Peace of 1555, Nuremberg and the rest of Germany were at least able to enjoy almost seventy-five years of relative religious peace.

DECLINE

The growth of royal states and the expansion of global trade both took a toll on Nuremberg's economy. As the city continued to grow in population (40,000 by 1600), its public debt also continued to mount, already reaching five million gulden (twice the annual municipal budget) by the outbreak of the Thirty Years' War in 1618. Its leaders' alternating attempts at neutrality and Protestant support ended badly for Nuremberg, which instead suffered under several successive occupations by both Catholic and Protestant armies, each bringing new diseases and demands for large "contributions" to the war effort. By the end of the fighting in 1648, Nuremberg's population had declined to 25,000, where it would remain until the end of its sovereignty in 1806, when the Napoleonic Confederation of the Rhine ceded it to the kingdom of Bavaria. Though no longer politically significant, the city did regain some of its economic strength as an industrial center during the nineteenth century.

Despite the dramatic decline in political and economic significance, Nuremberg still played some role in the culture of early modern Germany. In 1616, a university was founded at nearby Altdorf, and in 1662 an academy of arts, the oldest of its kind in Germany, was also founded. Perhaps the most famous writers and poets were the members of the so-called Order of Pegnitz Flowers, particularly Sigmund von Birken (16261681). Also of note were the organist and composer Johann Pachelbel (16531706) and the author Johannes Konrad Grübel (17361809), who wrote several popular poems in the Nuremberg dialect.

See also Augsburg, Religious Peace of (1555) ; Bavaria ; Dürer, Albrecht ; Free and Imperial Cities ; Holy Roman Empire ; Thirty Years' War (16181648) .

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Reicke, Emil. Geschichte der Reichsstadt Nürnberg: Von dem ersten urkundlichen Nachweis ihres Bestehens bis zu ihrem Übergang an das Königreich Bayern 1806. Nuremberg, 1896. Reprint, Neustadt an der Aisch, 1983.

Smith, Jeffrey Chipps. Nuremberg: A Renaissance City 15001618. Austin, Tex., 1983.

Strauss, Gerald. Nuremberg in the Sixteenth Century. New York, 1966.

Joel F. Harrington

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Nuremberg

Nuremberg (nŏŏr´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.

History

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 Franconia and which came (1192) under the control of the Hohenzollern family. Nuremberg soon became, with Augsburg, 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 Dürer was the greatest; others, such as the sculptors Adam Kraft, Veit Stoss, and Peter Vischer, and the painter and woodcarver Michael Wolgemut, 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. Celtes lectured in the city, A. Koberger set up a printing press and Regiomontanus 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 Sachs was the most prominent.

In 1525, Nuremberg accepted the Reformation, and the religious Peace of Nuremberg, by which the Lutherans gained important concessions, was signed there (1532). In the Thirty Years War, Gustavus II was besieged (1632) in Nuremberg by Wallenstein. 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 Bavaria. The first German railroad, from Nuremberg to nearby Fürth, was opened in 1835.

After Adolf Hitler 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 Streicher 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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Nuremberg

Nuremberg a city in southern Germany, in Bavaria, which in the 15th and 16th centuries was a leading cultural centre and was the home of Albrecht Dürer and Hans Sachs. After the Second World War the city centre was carefully reconstructed, as its cobbled streets and timbered houses had been reduced to rubble by Allied bombing.
Nuremberg laws in Nazi Germany, laws promulgated in 1935 barring Jews from German citizenship and forbidding intermarriage between Aryans and Jews.
Nuremberg rally a mass meeting of the German Nazi party, held annually in Nuremberg from 1933 to 1938, notable for carefully stage-managed effects.
Nuremberg trial any of a series of trials of former Nazi leaders for alleged war crimes, crimes against peace, and crimes against humanity, presided over by an International Military Tribunal representing the victorious Allied Powers and held in Nuremberg in 1945–6.

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Nuremberg

Nuremberg (Nürnburg) City in Bavaria, s Germany. It began as a settlement around an 11th-century castle, later becoming a free imperial city. It was a centre of learning and artistic achievement in Germany during the 15th and 16th centuries. During the 1930s it was the location of the annual congress of the Nazi Party, and after World War II was the scene of the Nuremberg Trials (1945–46). Today, Nuremberg is an important commercial and industrial centre. Industries: textiles, pharmaceuticals, electrical equipment, machinery, publishing and printing, motor vehicles, brewing. Pop. (1999) 486,400.

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Nuremberg

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