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.References:
Het Steen is a medieval fortress in the old city centre of Antwerp. Built after the Viking incursions in the early Middle Ages as the first stone fortress of Antwerp, Het Steen is Antwerp's oldest building and used to be its oldest urban centre.
Previously known as Antwerpen Burcht (fortress), Het Steen gained its current name in around 1520, after significant rebuilding under Charles V. The fortress made it possible to control the access to the Scheldt, the river on whose bank it stands. It was used as a prison between 1303 and 1827. The largest part of the fortress, including dozens of historic houses and the oldest church of the city, was demolished in the 19th century when the quays were straightened to stop the silting up of the Scheldt. The remaining building, heavily changed, contains a shipping museum, with some old canal barges displayed on the quay outside.
In 1890 Het Steen became the museum of archeology and in 1952 an annex was added to house the museum of Antwerp maritime history, which in 2011 moved to the nearby Museum Aan de Stroom. Here you’ll also find a war memorial to the Canadian soldiers in WWII.
There are some beautiful plaques on the back side of the Steen Castle at Antwerp. Canadian visitors will especially want to see the plaques thanking the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry for their part in the liberation of Antwerp, in 1944.
At the entrance to Het Steen is a bas-relief of Semini, above the archway, around 2nd century. Semini is the Scandinavian God of youth and fertility (with symbolic phallus). A historical plaque near Het Steen explains that women of the town appealed to Semini when they desired children; the god was reviled by later religious clergy. Inhabitants of Antwerp previously referred to themselves as 'children of Semini'.
At the entrance bridge to the castle is a statue of a giant and two humans. It depicts the giant Lange Wapper who used to terrorise the inhabitants of the city in medieval times.