Hitler's Nuremberg Tour (Self Guided), Nuremberg

Adolf Hitler referred to Nuremberg as the City of the Party Rallies, considering it the standard for German cities. The monumental Party Rally Grounds is located on a 24.5 hectare territory in southern Nuremberg. The huge buildings resemble ancient Roman architecture. Nowadays, this enormous complex represents the fall of the Third Reich.
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Hitler's Nuremberg Tour Map

Guide Name: Hitler's Nuremberg Tour
Guide Location: Germany » Nuremberg (See other walking tours in Nuremberg)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 10
Tour Duration: 4 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 9.1 Km or 5.7 Miles
Author: Ella
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • KdF Town
  • Zeppelinfeld & Grandstand
  • Dokumentationszentrum (Documentation Center)
  • Congress Hall
  • Luitpold Arena
  • Barraks (Headquarters)
  • Great Road
  • German Stadium
  • March Field
  • Camp Zone
KdF Town

1) KdF Town

KdF Town consisted of wooden houses in the northern part of the Party Rally Grounds. It was used to entertain guests attending the rallies. Destroyed by the air raid during World War II, this territory now belongs to the Nuremberg Football Club.
Zeppelinfeld & Grandstand

2) Zeppelinfeld & Grandstand (must see)

The so-called Zeppelinfeld is the location for the infamous Nazi rallies of the late 1920s and 1930s. One of the few remaining parts of a vast complex intended as the spiritual home of the Nazi party, the rather battered remains nevertheless still give the feel for the scale of the events that are now etched into history.

Consisting of a large grandstand with a width of 360 meters (400 yards) and a smaller stand, Zeppelinfeld was one of Albert Speer's first works for the Nazi party and was based upon the Pergamon Altar. The grandstand is famous as the building that had the swastika blown from atop it in 1945, after Germany's fall in World War II.

Standing on the rostrum at which Hitler expounded his fascist political philosophy is frankly a rather ambivalent experience: on the one hand, it feels a place of tangible evil; on the other, the dilapidated ruins provide reassurance that such a regime was, and can be, overcome.

If you go by yourself and not with a tour guide, please no Nazi salutes or Heil Hitlers or you could get arrested.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Dokumentationszentrum (Documentation Center)

3) Dokumentationszentrum (Documentation Center) (must see)

The Dokumentationszentrum Reichsparteitagsgelände ("Documentation Center Nazi Party Rallying Grounds) is in the north wing of the unfinished remains of the Congress Hall of the former Nazi party rallies. Its permanent exhibition "Fascination and Terror" is concerned with the causes, connections, and consequences of Nazi Germany. Topics that have a direct reference to Nuremberg are especially taken into account. Attached to the museum is an education forum.

Austrian architect Günther Domenig designed the museum, winning the 1998 international competition with his proposal to spear through the northern head of the building with a diagonal glass and steel passageway. The exhibition of the center endeavors to explain what led to the National Socialists' criminal exercise of power and to reveal how the various causal factors were interrelated. A further goal is a frank presentation of the violent consequences that ensued for the population.

The exhibition is structured in chronological order and presented in narrative form, using classical exhibition methods as well as of modern forms of presentation. Five films newly created for the Documentation Center are essential elements on the route through the exhibition. Easy-to-use electronic display stations on various topics offer a wealth of informative pictorial material. Eyewitness interviews which were specially filmed are aimed at making history much more amenable, particularly for the younger generation. A wearable audio guide leads visitors through the exhibition in English, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, and Polish. The exhibition area offers a total of 1,300 sqm of floor space.

Why You Should Visit:
If you wondered about the history of Nuremberg vis-à-vis WWII, this museum will really open your eyes.
The highlight of the tour is walking out the ramp doors onto the grate that looks out into the Rally Grounds/Congress Hall – you can feel the imposing nature of the Nazi architecture.

Plan to spend at least 2 hrs in the museum and then take an hour or so to walk around the rally grounds and visit the (very sad and tragic) Zeppelin Field outdoor stadium area.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 9am-6pm; Sat, Sun: 10am-6pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
Congress Hall

4) Congress Hall

Congress Hall is the biggest preserved national socialist monumental building and is landmarked. It was planned by the Nuremberg architects Ludwig and Franz Ruff, as a congress center 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 building reached a height of 39 m (129 ft) (a height of 70 m was planned) and a diameter of 250 m (843 ft).

The Congress Hall is mostly built out of clinker with a facade of granite panels. The design (especially the outer facade, among other features) 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.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Luitpold Arena

5) Luitpold Arena

Since 1906 a park named Luitpoldhain, after Luitpold, Prince Regent of Bavaria had been located here. In 1933 Hitler replaced it with a deployment area, the so called Luitpoldarena, with an area of 84,000 square meters. During the Weimar Republic (1919–1933), Ehrenhalle (Hall of Honor) was built on the park. During Nazi party rallies, deployments of the SA and the SS, with up to 150,000 people, took place here. After 1945, Nuremberg redesigned the area into a park again. Today, a memorial honors the fallen German soldiers of the 1st and 2nd World Wars.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Barraks (Headquarters)

6) Barraks (Headquarters)

The current Headquarters of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees once served as SS barracks. They were built on the west side of the Party Rally Grounds in 1936, according to the design of Franz Ruff. During the war, Nazi radio operators were trained here.
Great Road

7) Great Road

The Great Road is almost 2 km (1.2 miles) long and 40 m (132 ft) wide. It was intended to be the central axis of the site and a parade road for the Wehrmacht. In its northwestern prolongation the road points towards Nuremberg Castle. This was to create a relation between the role of Nuremberg during the Third Reich and its role during medieval times. The road reached from the Congress Hall to the Märzfeld, the construction work started in 1935 and was finished in 1939 (it has never been used as a parade road, as due to the beginning of World War II, the last rally was held in 1938). The pavement was made of granite pavers in black and gray with edges of exactly 1.2 m (4 ft). A representative entrance portal and two pylons were planned at the northwestern end of the Great Road.

Near the entrance area of the German Stadium a grandstand with a hall of pillars was planned for the government leaders and generals which were to take the salute on Wehrmacht formations which were to march in direction of the parade ground Märzfeld. After the war, the road has been used as a temporary airfield for the US Army. Nowadays it is used by the nearby Nuremberg fair and exhibition company as an occasional parking area for highly frequented fairs.
Sight description based on wikipedia
German Stadium

8) German Stadium

The Deutsches Stadion, or German Stadium, was a monumental stadium designed by Albert Speer for the Nazi party rally grounds. Its construction began in September 1937, and was slated for completion in 1943. Like most other Nazi monumental structures however, its construction was interrupted by the outbreak of World War II and never finished.

According to Speer himself, it was inspired not by the Circus Maximus in Rome but by the Panathenaic Stadium of Athens, which had impressed him greatly when he had visited it in 1935. Speer's stadium was a gigantic inflation of its Greco-Roman model, from which he borrowed the horseshoe configuration and the propylaeum, now transformed into a raised, pillared, temple-like structure (Säulenvorhof) attached to the open end of the stadium by an internally pillared courtyard.

Since the stadium was not set like the Panathenaic Stadium structure at the bottom of a gully, but on a flat area of land (24 hectares), its five tiers of seats for 400,000 spectators had to be supported in the usual Roman manner by massive barrel vaults. Speer apparently adopted a horseshoe shape for his building only after rejecting the oval shape of an amphitheater. The latter plan, he claimed, would have intensified the heat and produced psychological discomfort, a comment he does not elucidate.
Sight description based on wikipedia
March Field

9) March Field

The Märzfeld, or March Field, was to be a representation and parade ground for the Wehrmacht. It was located at the southern end of the "Große Straße" (Great road). Its dimensions were 955 x 610 meters (1,061 x 677 yards) (bigger than 80 football fields). The name of the huge deployment area intended to remember the recovery of the military sovereignty of the German Reich in March 1935. ("März" is the German name for the month "March" and has nothing to do with the verb "to march", the German name of the month "März" derives from the Roman Warrior God Mars.)

The construction, never completed, began in 1938 with plans calling for 24 granite towers each at 125 feet in height. Only eleven were ever completed and demolished in 1966. Tribunes for about 160,000 people were planned around the field. On the central grandstand a group of colossal statures was planned: a goddess of victory and warriors. Today the site is occupied by an apartment complex.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Camp Zone

10) Camp Zone

Camp Zone is located next to March Field. From 1939 to 1945 the Nazis imprisoned more than 30,000 people here. The prisoners were used for construction work and several thousand died. After the victory of the Allied Forces, it was used as a camp for foreigners.

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