Kaiserburg – Imperial Castle of Nuremberg

The Rising of Nuremberg and Kaiserberg as its main Castle

More about palaces and castles

The Beginnings of Nuremberg as a town was preceded with The Law Makers. As a town of great value to those who could profit from it got large from the first day of its mentioning. The first books about the city were written in 1050. AC and the first mentions were about assemblies and first-class trading going around the city.

The Imperial Castle of Nuremberg was mentioned about the same time because it held assemblies od the Roman Imperial Diets. Imperial Diet was, in fact, the assembly of the Imperial Estates, which was the gathering of the most respectable figures of that particular area but with the ranks of The Holy Roman Empire.
Imperial Diets were in absolute power since 1663. when they felt that they are losing the battle from strong feudalists. They wanted all of the power and none of the responsibilities so in 1663. they formed Perpetual Diet at the Regensburg city hall. Formally, Diet lasted only to 1806. but the truth was that they left their mark everywhere where there lived Catholics, long after the 19th century.

The Imperial Diets were important and had a narrow history with this Castle in which all the assembly were held at the Kaiserburg as a part of The Holy Roman Empire at the time.
The Caste itself stands on the top hill of the city, and below it is a great sandstone rock from which anyone can see the whole city. The building of the Kaiserburg Castle was done in several stages. At first, there was a Stauffer Kings, which made a courtyard and the larger area of the top of the hill in which place will Castle raise the view for the best defence for the city.
The inner and outer courtyard was the real difference for keeping those in power safe and secure.
Here is why the Imperial Diets get importance because, from the beginning of the building, the castle’s purpose was to hold the important events in the Imperial Castle of Nuremberg. As they grew bigger, The Imperial Castle got bigger. 

Hohenstaufens were the ones that keep on building the castle and the Roman Emperors, on top of the old buildings that were there once. Some of them are still visible to this day. Hohenstaufens was known today as a Royal Prince that was linked to the Roman Empire in some way ( usually through the blood ). Their job was to secure law and order, like today’s military, so they had to see above if someone wanted to attack the fortress. Also, the next in line to get the same job had to have the same qualifications as his predecessor, one of the Royal blood from Italian finest royals.
The Burgrave’s Castle was built for those who were bravest to keep the upper-class untouchable. In 1191. since the city of Nuremberg was the most important city besides being one of the largest, The Imperial Castle was being kept by Counts of Zollern.
It must be said that the city was growing fast all because the main roads throughout the whole of Europe went through Nuremberg.

Kaiserburg  Nuremberg
The Imperial Castle of Nuremberg

It was the beginning of the real trading of everything anyone can find on the market places during the realm. This great town made itself on the crossroads of every road in Europe. Therefore on the market place were: amber, fur from al kinds of animals, usually came from Baltic, and the metals, rare or not, mostly came into Nuremberg from Hungary and countries around it. Among the metals were gold in the first place, then silver and copper was also a rare metal in those days. With other metal materials, they made swords, shields, and other weapons that were available for selling on the free marketplace. Merchants from all over lived like that, becoming richer, travelling from town to town to sell their goods. It mostly depended on the year but usually from the sweet words of the salesmen who could sell you anything with promises that their product is the best on the market, just like today.   

who built the kaiserburg castle

Castle was built in stages, and by the 13th century, not two, but three Towers were thee all by the end of the century. The entrance is called The Heavenly Gate (Himmelstor), and almost a few steps away are the first, The Hasenburg tower named by the family that originated there. The second one is the Sinwell Tower that got its name from its looks, like a big cylinder looking to the sky. In the 16th century, they added to it hights and made a large shelter on top of the tower. Among the buildings that go back to the beginnings of making The Imperial Castle stands a small wooden house in which the well had water for the whole city. The well has its name, and it is The Deep Well (Tiefer Brunnen), and besides the 12th century in the 16th, some stones were added, but that was all as the well goes.
It goes 50 meters below the ground and held healthy water for all its users. At the end of the 16th century, the little house is made right beside the well, which was used for toilets, changing rooms, and cleaning purposes. The well still has water and its three meters above the sea level. The shortage of water was only when the assemblies were held in the castle. In those cases, the water was brought in barrels to have enough for all the members of the assembly.
In 1219. one of the most important letters was sent to burgraves directly from Emperor Friedrich The Second, called the Letter Of Freedom, meaning that from then on, the city of Nuremberg was officially becoming Independent Imperial City that took several years, but in 1254. the city finally got its independence.


As was written in the beginning, the first archeological foundings were about 1000. and many of the noblemen through the ages, but also trough the castle were living good lives there some of them stayed for a while, but most important people lived there whole lives. One of many of its residents was the Hohenstaufen Conrad, who was elected King Conrad the Third, which was there since 1137. Before him, the famous Henty The Fith ruled until his death. Henry The Third before held all the area to himself, so the city was his property and the Kaiserburg was one of his homes. As elected successor Lothair was the last one who ruled this town before Hohenstaufen rulings.
When they came to rule, The Imperial Castle had his first blocks of stone, and from then on, something was always building and being done to keep the Castle in its best shape. All that will last until The Second World War, in which many buildings that were there for half a century were crash with bombs, and in less than 10 minutes, all the great works of art were lost, never to be found. I took many years to repair all the damage that was done with this work of art, and after the war was over, everything got restored, except the Ascension of Mary altarpiece (The Heller altar ), made by the famous artist Dürer which was destroyed in fire, and artworks like that cannot be replaced or copied to be exactly like the original was.

Dürer was one of the best artists in Nuremberg and was called for many works of art, from paintings, glass art, sculptures, and larger painted places like Churches, Chapels, and for those with deeper pockets, a private painter, and a great one, too. His realistic lines made his pictures like living people or the, for example, his most famous work Young Hare which is like a real bunny, scared, alerted, and ready to act.
Unfortunately, this painting now resides in Vienna, but Dürer made his impact on Nuremberg’s past, and everyone there knows about him.

Imperial Castle in the Middle Ages

The Holy Roman Empire decided in 1273. that with the election of the new king, Rudolf The First, he repeated the Burgrave’s wishes, trying to keep them in the high positions. Therefore, burgraves got a bit of power and were using those powers to add to Tower Sinwell, and that was the yeat that the Tower got its floor up and the place around it for summits.

After adding up to the Castle, burgraves got their fame back, and along with the city council, they improved the whole city, not only the Castle, which they were most interested in.
After their intervention, the city of Nuremberg got its fame all around, so much so that it became the city of the most important in the whole country, some say even in Europe.
Rudolf The First, held several Diets there, under the ruling of the Habsburg Monarchy and after the Nassau, Albert The First, and Adolf, as his successor many new buildings were added to the Castle, from which was mentioned The Sinwell Tower but ad to it Palas and the top floors of the Chapel Tower ( now known as The Heathens Tower ).
Later on, they decided that the Diets and Burgraves Tower needed more surrounding buildings, to keep safe the soldiers who were on the first line of defence, in front of the Burgraves’ Tower, they erected another Tower as an extra measure for safekeeping the leaders of the realm. For that purpose, they made The Luginsland ( literally meaning to look into the land ) all that in 1377. and since, they were safer with the Tower that reaches the furthest parts of the city.

One of the more important figures of those times was Charles The Fourth ( known better as The Golden Bull ), which proclaimed in 1356. that every new ruler that comes to the throne must get his or her new election in the city of Nuremberg. Frankfurt is the only other town where new kings and queens could be elected as a new ruler.
Later on, The Imperial Castle gets less and less used, because of the convenience of the households, but for the larger gatherings, The Imperial Castle was still number one, for more than several hundreds of people.
Frederick The Second appreciated The Castle and had a habit of staying there for several months, just like the Maximillian The First, who was the last king that ruled over The ImperialCastle, but his son fled from the Imperial Castle, running from the plague, and he returned there only once until his death in 1546.
After the plague and a pretty grim future in Europe, Nuremberg lost his importance. However, there was so much done in the early ages, that it didn’t need a lot of adding up for The Imperial Castle to finally look like we see it today. In about 1545. The Imperial Castle got its bastille, exactly two of them, on the Northern side of The Imperial Castle, so now The Castle could be defended from all sides. In time, wars got uglier, and there was practically no more need for defending only The Imperial Castle.
The war that lasted over 30 years had an impact on the whole of Europe, but since Nuremberg is in the middle, the army of Gustavus Adolphus and Albrecht Wenzel Eusebius von Wallenstein charged on the Imperial Castle many times. The ending was devastating for the larger number of soldiers, who died in front of the Imperial Gates from hunger and illnesses that should be prevented, like scurvy and typhus.
Not long after, Napoleon set his mind to the Imperial Castle, during his conquests around Europe the Treaty was signed named Rheinbundakte, which made it possible to get back the city and establish a Kingdome now known as Bavaria.

During the Second World War, Nuremberg was one of the cities that got most of the damage. Even if we can say that there were less ruined buildings of The Imperial Castle, it certainly lost some of the artworks lost forever. The first reconstruction was by Rudolf Esterer, who did his best to get things the way they were. But, as history says, all that was lost during the bombing of Nuremberg was reconstructed, but Nuremberg Museum working with the Bavarian Palace Administration made everything that was lost, visible again. In 2013. everything that was restored from the Imperial Castle made its way back into the museum, now just as a reminder of the past times. Back then, small decisions made a lot of difference, but the part of this great structure was lost forever.
Museum keeps values restored from The Castle as a reminder that those things should never happen to anyone on the planet.

Imperial Castle of Nuremberg Today

Imperial Castle of Nuremberg

Before the guidelines, one of the things that matter is that The Imperial Castle, Kaiserberg, is now owned by the State of Bavaria, and for all questions, and answers, as well as the repairs, and other things are now in hands of local Bavarian administration, which is also responsible for the lakes and gardens around the Kaiserberg. Even though it is beautiful, someone needs to keep it presentable to the public. Their name for this administration is now still ( Bayerische Verwaltung der staatlichen Schlösser, Gärten und Seen ).
The important thing about this place is that you can not, as they say, just drop by, at any time, because the Kaiserburg, as one of the most important things to see when visiting this great city, is only opened on weekends.
So, if visiting Nuremberg, and get a weekend or just one day, try to get to see The Imperial Castle of Nuremberg.
It opens from 10:00h A.M. to 4:00h P.M., ONLY ON Saturday and Sunday.
It is located on Burg Street 17, and it is easy to come to it bu foot, and by bus, while the car renting is an option, you will see why it’s better to walk to see this monumental Imperial Castle. Friedrich-Ebert-Platz and Kaulbachplatz are both about 8 minutes walk to The Imperial Castle, and walking those minutes will be a fresh look for your eyes.
If the saying “Better to be safe than sorry”, is also good to know that in order to have your place at the time you are visiting, it’s better to book the tickets before, and the cancelling can be done 24 hours previous to the tour.
The ticket to visit it all is 8,00 Euros per hour so if you are guided, the price can be a bit more, but try to get as much time as you can, because it will be sad to wanting to stay there, where the whole town can be seen, like on the palm of one’s hand.
Also, for all those who want to stop and rest, because it is all on the hill, there are bars and restaurants very near, even some in the upper parts of The Castle, so enjoy your stay, and feel free to talk about this experience.
One important thing is that for now, there is limited access to the Castle Gardens, so there is no direct link from the Imperial Castle to the Gardens. If you want to see them, there is a way, “Ölberg” garden gate or the “Bürgermeistergarten” from Neutor will lead you right on The Most Beautiful Castle Gardens you could ever see.
With great Welcome, everyone is more than welcome there, to feel the millennium that passed and one great Imperial Castle still stands there, to remind us how to be better in the future.

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