The Imperial Castle, first mentioned in a document as a royal property in 1050, is the symbol of Nuremberg. From 1050 to 1571 all the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire stayed in it at various times during their reign.
Museums and cultural institutions, shopping districts and exclusive boutiques, the harmonious interplay of ancient buildings and modern architecture make the historical Old Town of Nuremberg a lively center with a unique atmosphere and flair. Above it all reigns the symbol of the city Nuremberg – the Imperial Castle.
Nuremberg Castle is one of the most important imperial palaces dating from the Middle Ages: from 1050 to 1571 all the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire stayed in it at various times during their reign. Friedrich Barbarossa and his successors developed the existing Salian Royal Castle originating from the mid-11th century into an impressive imperial seat, as reflected in particular by the double chapel, which has been preserved in its entirety. The imperial residential and state rooms in the Palas, mostly with their original panelling, are furnished with paintings, tapestries and furniture from the 16th and 17th centuries.
The Imperial Castle is recorded as having had a number of different gardens during its many centuries of history, none of which have been preserved. The oldest representation of the Imperial Castle, dating from 1425, thus already shows a tree garden with a woven fence. On the south side of the great hall, Emperor Friedrich III (1440-1493) had "hanging gardens" laid out in imitation of the gardens of the Oriental king Semiramis, which were supported on pillars and were planted with vines, flowers and small fruit trees. At the beginning of the 18th century, Johann Christoph Volkamer immortalized these gardens in his copper engraving "Nuremberg Hesperides".
Journey into the heart of Nuremberg’s Imperial Castle
You can visit the historical rooms of the castle on your own with the help of an audio guide. The tour begins in the double chapel and continues through the Imperial Hall, reception and living rooms and the hall which contains prints of the Imperial Insignia. A journey by camera into the Deep Well will offer a fascinating glimpse into the heart of the castle hill. On the expanded viewing platform of the Sinwell Tower, visitors can compare the current panorama with historical pictures of the Old Town before World War II, after damage in the war and during reconstruction. One of the four distinctive towers, the “Heathen’s” Tower, will be newly opened to the public. And if you would like to feel like an emperor or king, you can stay overnight in the completely renovated Youth Hostel at the Imperial Castle.