Nazi Party Rally Grounds

Nuremberg, Germany

The Nazi party rally grounds (Reichsparteitagsgelände) covered about 11 square kilometres in the southeast of Nuremberg. Six Nazi party rallies were held there between 1933 and 1938.

Only Zeppelinfeld, Luitpoldarena and Große Straße were finished. The Kongresshalle, Zeppelinfeld and the Große Straße have been under monument protection since 1973 as significant examples for NS architecture. The grounds were planned by Hitler's architect Albert Speer, apart from the Congress hall, which was planned by Ludwig and Franz Ruff. Today the whole site is a memorial, and parts are used as the Norisring motor racing track.

On 30 August 1933 Hitler declared Nuremberg the 'City of the Reich Party Congresses'. The Party Congresses were a self-portrayal of the NS-state and had no programmatic task. The unity of the nation was to be demonstrated. In a propagandistic way a relation was to be drawn between the NS movement and the glory of the medieval emperors and the meetings of the Imperial States which were held in Nuremberg.

The 'Ehrenhalle' was built by the city of Nuremberg according to a plan of German architect Fritz Mayer. It was inaugurated in 1930, before the Hitler era during the Weimar Republic. It is an arcaded hall with an adjacent cobbled stone terrace with two rows of pedestals for fire bowls. All fourteen pylons remain virtually intact and have not been ignited since the final Nazi party rally in September 1938. Originally the hall was to be a memorial site for the 9,855 soldiers from Nuremberg who were fallen in World War I.

The Congress Hall is the biggest preserved national socialist monumental building and is landmarked. It was planned by the Nuremberg architects Ludwig and Franz Ruff. It was intended to serve as a congress centre for the NSDAP with a self-supporting roof and should have provided 50,000 seats. It was located on the shore of and in the pond Dutzendteich and marked the entrance of the rally grounds. The design is inspired by the Colosseum in Rome. The foundation stone was laid in 1935, but the building remained unfinished and without a roof. The building with an outline of an 'U' ends with two head-buildings.

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Details

Founded: 1933
Category:
Historical period: Nazi Germany (Germany)

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Heather Amarante (11 months ago)
Excellent and in depth review of the rise and fall of the national socialist party. Powerful exhibitions and aided by guided audio tours offered in a variety of languages including English, German and Spanish.
Sigrid Vidar (Siggie) (12 months ago)
It is very moving to visit such place. You need time to spend there. Due to Corona, there can be a line because only 10 persons allowed. Audio guide is for free. They have seven languages. If you have a child, please avoid such place. I find that things like that should be avoided when you are a tourist and with children. That is a place where silence is needed. Also very large sensitive pictures might not good for small children to see. Early teens and students of course would be educational for them.
Tino Ashaw (12 months ago)
Tragic history but well worth the experience. Multiple languages supported for tours with hand radios.
Pavlína Chadimová (13 months ago)
Wonderful complex but the exposition wasn't that great. It consists mostly of dry facts, it has great potential that was not fulfilled. I expected more.
Rahul Singh (14 months ago)
It takes at least two hours to visit the whole exhibition. It's divided into 19 sections. Save the energy for the last 5 sections as they are the best. The place was one of the best places in the world for people interested in WWII history and original documents/pictures
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Veste Coburg

The Veste Coburg is one of Germany's largest castles. The hill on which the fortress stands was inhabited from the Neolithic to the early Middle Ages according to the results of excavations. The first documentary mention of Coburg occurs in 1056, in a gift by Richeza of Lotharingia. Richeza gave her properties to Anno II, Archbishop of Cologne, to allow the creation of Saalfeld Abbey in 1071. In 1075, a chapel dedicated to Saint Peter and Saint Paul is mentioned on the fortified Coberg. This document also refers to a Vogt named Gerhart, implying that the local possessions of the Saalfeld Benedictines were administered from the hill.

A document signed by Pope Honorius II in 1206 refers to a mons coburg, a hill settlement. In the 13th century, the hill overlooked the town of Trufalistat (Coburg's predecessor) and the important trade route from Nuremberg via Erfurt to Leipzig. A document dated from 1225 uses the term schloss (palace) for the first time. At the time, the town was controlled by the Dukes of Merania. They were followed in 1248 by the Counts of Henneberg who ruled Coburg until 1353, save for a period from 1292-1312, when the House of Ascania was in charge.

In 1353, Coburg fell to Friedrich, Markgraf von Meißen of the House of Wettin. His successor, Friedrich der Streitbare was awarded the status of Elector of Saxony in 1423. As a result of the Hussite Wars the fortifications of the Veste were expanded in 1430.

Early modern times through Thirty Years' War

In 1485, in the Partition of Leipzig, Veste Coburg fell to the Ernestine branch of the family. A year later, Elector Friedrich der Weise and Johann der Beständige took over the rule of Coburg. Johann used the Veste as a residence from 1499. In 1506/07, Lucas Cranach the Elder lived and worked in the Veste. From April to October 1530, during the Diet of Augsburg, Martin Luther sought protection at the Veste, as he was under an Imperial ban at the time. Whilst he stayed at the fortress, Luther continued with his work translating the Bible into German. In 1547, Johann Ernst moved the residence of the ducal family to a more convenient and fashionable location, Ehrenburg Palace in the town centre of Coburg. The Veste now only served as a fortification.

In the further splitting of the Ernestine line, Coburg became the seat of the Herzogtum von Sachsen-Coburg, the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg. The first duke was Johann Casimir (1564-1633), who modernized the fortifications. In 1632, the fortress was unsuccessfully besieged by Imperial and Bavarian forces commanded by Albrecht von Wallenstein for seven days during the Thirty Years' War. Its defence was commanded by Georg Christoph von Taupadel. On 17 March 1635, after a renewed siege of five months' duration, the Veste was handed over to the Imperials under Guillaume de Lamboy.

17th through 19th centuries

From 1638-72, Coburg and the Veste were part of the Duchy of Saxe-Altenburg. In 1672, they passed to the Dukes of Saxe-Gotha and in 1735 it was joined to the Duchy of Saxe-Saalfeld. Following the introduction of Primogeniture by Duke Franz Josias (1697-1764), Coburg went by way of Ernst Friedrich (1724-1800) to Franz (1750-1806), noted art collector, and to Duke Ernst III (1784-1844), who remodeled the castle.

In 1826, the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha was created and Ernst now styled himself 'Ernst I'. Military use of the Veste had ceased by 1700 and outer fortifications had been demolished in 1803-38. From 1838-60, Ernst had the run-down fortress converted into a Gothic revival residence. In 1860, use of the Zeughaus as a prison (since 1782) was discontinued. Through a successful policy of political marriages, the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha established links with several of the major European dynasties, including that of the United Kingdom.

20th century

The dynasty ended with the reign of Herzog Carl Eduard (1884-1954), also known as Charles Edward, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a grandson of Queen Victoria, who until 1919 also was the 2nd Duke of Albany in the United Kingdom. Under his rule, many changes made to the Veste in the 19th century were reversed under architect Bodo Ebhardt, with the aim of restoring a more authentic medieval look. Along with the other ruling princes of Germany, Carl Eduard was deposed in the revolution of 1918-1919. After Carl Eduard abdicated in late 1918, the Veste came into possession of the state of Bavaria, but the former duke was allowed to live there until his death. The works of art collected by the family were gifted to the Coburger Landesstiftung, a foundation, which today runs the museum.

In 1945, the Veste was seriously damaged by artillery fire in the final days of World War II. After 1946, renovation works were undertaken by the new owner, the Bayerische Verwaltung der staatlichen Schlösser, Gärten und Seen.

Today

The Veste is open to the public and today houses museums, including a collection art objects and paintings that belonged to the ducal family of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a large collection of arms and armor, significant examples of early modern coaches and sleighs, and important collections of prints, drawings and coins.