After a late start to the day and a hearty breakfast, the group took a leisurely bus ride driven by our great bus driver Louis to the Nazi Party rally grounds. On arrival, the boys were split into two groups for a guided tour of the rally grounds. The tour started by looking at the incomplete Congress Hall. The construction of the Hall was halted at the outbreak of the war and was intended to be resumed when the Nazis won the war. Though this never happened, what was constructed by the Nazis has since been repurposed into a museum. After visiting the partially constructed Congress Hall, we walked to the Zeppelin Field where we saw where Nazi Party Rallies were held. The boys had the somewhat surreal experience of standing in the same spot as Adolf Hitler and truly got to realise the scale of his rallies. Once returning to the Congress Hall, the boys utilised the small cafe to rehydrate and eat a small snack. After this, we enjoyed a tour of the museum with audio guides and learnt much about the rallies and the Nazi party in general. The group reconvened in an hour and a half after with praise for the museum.
After the rally grounds and museum, we all got on the bus again for a short drive to the Nuremberg Palace of Justice. This is where the famous Courtroom 600 is located; still in use today but most prominently known as the site of the Nuremberg Trials of Nazi war criminals in the aftermath of WWII. Audio guides enabled everyone to really get the most out of the multiple floor facility available to the public, with a particularly detailed description of the layout and features of the courtroom itself. The museum had displays which covered everything from the judges to the defendants. Diagrams showed where involved parties had been located, entrances, exits and windows. The boys really engaged with this, and were interacting and learning from the museum's features for the best part of two hours. As well as interactive screens with information (thankfully mostly in English) on each of the war criminals, the original switchboard for the courtroom could be observed and heard about via audio guide, and next to this windows allowed a higher viewpoint into the courtroom. These windows were placed where the observation area had been during the Trials. Everyone was engaged and interested for the duration, and afterwards (though tired) generally agreed on the value of the experience.
Another short bus ride later, we arrived at Nuremberg Castle and split into two groups for an afternoon guided tour. Noted by some of the boys and confirmed by the guides was the seemingly original state of the castle. Some of the architecture and fittings were original from the time of construction, which allowed everyone to see a time period and style that contrasted with the Nazi architecture from earlier in the day at the rally grounds. The castle had had many fittings and pieces of furniture removed during the Nazi era, and was bombed during WWII and thus some of the architecture had been restored in the years following the conflict. Soon after entering, we were able to take in the beautiful panoramic views of Nuremberg, before moving inside. Among the rooms we experienced were the multi-floored chapel, some museum rooms containing various original artefacts, and the personal chambers of Holy Roman Emperors when residing in the castle. Sceptres, weapons and suits of armour were admired by the group, before we made our way to the castle's deep well. This approximately 50m deep well was placed in a small room crowded with tourists, where a sweaty man demonstrated the depth by pouring water down the well as we counted the seconds. A visit to the castle's tower was next, where at the top of a dizzying wooden spiral staircase more beautiful views of the old walled city awaited us. The guided tour ended at the bottom of the stairs, and then the group walked through the town and prepared for dinner after about an hour. A local beer hall served as the venue for our meal, broth followed by a large schnitzel with salad, with ice cream for dessert. Tired but educated after a long day in hot (for Europe) weather, everyone hit the hotel for some well-deserved sleep, looking forward to Munich.
By Sam Boland and Ned Stevens