Photo: fotolia/DeVIceView of St. Sebald (left) and the Emperor's Castle.Nuremberg is almost 1000 years old. In the Middle Ages, every newly elected German king had to hold his first Imperial Diet on the Emperor's Castle.
The city soon follows the Reformation
Through Willibald Pirckheimer, Nuremberg's name is closely connected with German Humanism. In 1525, the openness for new spiritual ideas led to the introduction of the Reformation. The two large churches of St. Lorenz and St. Sebald are amongst the first Protestant churches in Germany. There was no iconoclasm, because the people wanted to honour the memory of their ancestors and therefore preserved the artefacts they had donated. In both churches, the medieval city of Nuremberg displays its wealth.
Soon, a large number of Nuremberg's citizens professed the Lutheran teachings. Martin Luther said about Nuremberg that the city is "Germany's eye and ear". With 21 printing houses, Nuremberg was the media capital of its time. Through printed pamphlets and broadsheets, the ideas of the Reformation became wide-spread. Until 1806, no Catholic was allowed to gain citizenship in Nuremberg.After the town became part of Bavaria at the beginning of the 19th century, the relationship between the denominations changed. Today, more than a third of the citizens are Protestants, and one third are Catholics.
It is known that it was Martin Luther who began to give presents to his children at Christmas. The custom caught on in the Protestant areas of Germany. One of its effects is the world-famous Nuremberg Christmas Market.