September 29.I can hardly believe that we are in this quaint old city among its ancient houses, towers and walls. We are at Hotel Bother Hahn (Red Cock), arriving here at 6:30 last night. On our journey we were badly shaken in the cars. At Zeil we saw a nice looking church upon a high, steep hill. A small village was at the foot. We wondered how the people could climb up there to church. We saw such queer, ancient looking villages and old, old looking churches with peculiar mosque-like spires. We passed crucifixes, one on the top of a high hill. Houses in the villages were crowded closely together, even in very small villages, with open space all about them. These ancient houses have high, sloping roofs on both sides. We passed ‘ a town with a piece of the old wall left and rode through pine woods. Near sunset the sun disappeared and then appeared again as we rode along, on account of the hills. We saw a very pointed peak which L. noticed first. The scenery did not compare with that of Bad-Kissingen. We did so much enjoy the hills there. There is a hotel here called Red Horsemore expensive than Red Cock. Roosters are embroidered on the lace curtains in our room.
This morning we visited the castle. Guides were there to show us about. We were shown the very large room which the present German Emperor occupies, the staircase always used by royalty, and the rooms belonging to the queen. In the courtyard before the entrance to the castle is an interesting well, very large in circumference and three hundred feet deep, cut in natural rock. The guide told us it took thirty years to complete it. Candles were lowered into it to show its great depth and a mirror was used to show by its reflection the water at the bottom. There is also in the courtyard an old lime tree (800 years old) planted “by Empress Kunigunda,” where in olden times justice was administered. We looked into the Imperial Garden. On the right, at the entrance to the castle, is the five-cornered tower, the oldest building in Nuremburg, containing a large collection of instruments of torture, some of which were used by the Inquisition. The following is an incomplete list : the iron virgin, a terrible instrument; stocks with places for the feet and hands of those who were suspended all night; the rack; the wheel, on which the bodies of victims were broken; thumbscrews ; chair of torture ! cradle of torture a man and his wife were rocked in it all night, the wife died; a hogshead enclosing one who quarreled with his wife and kissed another man’s wife; a sword that had beheaded eight hundred; instrument for tearing out the breasts; weight, splitting one sitting on a sharp edge; pillory and whipping post, and choker for the throat. Some of these tortures were practised down to 1803 by the city of Nuremburg. Be-sides the instruments of torture in this old building there was a piano several hundred years old, a very old iron violin, an executioner’s clothes, a shirt of chain armor, a noble’s suit of clothes and other things. We were shown the robber’s prison room with chains. The robber himself was sitting there in effigyquite life-like and startling. In the castle (among other things) were beautiful stoves in the Rennaissance style, fine stained glass and an old imperial eagle on the ceiling, probably from the 15th century. We walked home along the side of the wall.
Having visited the Imperial Castle, we thought the next most important building to visit was St. Lawrence’s Church, which is said to be the finest and largest in Nuremburga Gothic building of the 13th century. The front is remarkable, with two high towers, and the central gable with its wonderful glass window and its richly carved entrance. On the north side is the celebrated “Bridal Door.” Sculptured in stone is the Agony of Gethsemane, an ancient and curious piece of stone work representing Christ kneeling and His disciples sleeping while He prayed. “The Holy Trinity” and the dial of Stabius, an astronomical work of art (1502)all these add to the beauty of the exterior. The interior of the church has immense pillars, the three naves and high arches, a high altar with a gilded crucifix, the four Evangelists standing in niches around the pulpit, “old painted windows hardly to be found anywhere else in such splendor,” and plastic groups, representing scenes in the life of our Savior. Among the latter is the Angel’s Salutation in the form of a wreath of roses which encloses like a frame Mary and the Angel of Annunciation. The Rix, which Longfellow wrote about in his poem on Nuremburg, is the most important piece of art. It is supported by three kneeling figures. “This beautiful formation of stone ascends twenty meters into the air, ending in the upper part in a winding flower stalk resembling the finest filigree work.” Above, behind the organ, is the rose window of glass mosaic, beautiful in the early twilight. We notice in the very, very small windows of the very small buildings on the top of the wall green plants and lace curtains. These structures are occupied by the watch.
September 30We rode around the city this morning on three street car lines, electric cars and horse ears, and walked in the City Park, where there is a great collection of roses, palms and fuchsias, three beautiful aster beds, one pink bordered with white, one purple bordered with white, and one all red asters. There were festoons of ivya different kind from ours, deep green leaves with a small white blossom; clematis; a beautiful pink rose, Captain Christy, and a dark red one, Eugene Furst. We also walked in the Max-field Restauration Stadtpark where there are seats, tables and a music stand. We had our best view of the city moat between the two walls. Originally it ran around the city and was filled with water, but is now cultivated ground. The towers, seventy in all, seem to be on the inner wall and are of different heights and shapes. Here and there is a third inner wall.
October 1.L. has given me the Nuremburg photographs for my birthday present. Yesterday afternoon we went to St. Sebald’s Church an old church begun in the 13th century. We wished to see the magnificent tomb of St. Sebald, spoken of as the “Sepulchre of the Holy Sebald,” but found much besides that was worth a visit. The exterior is note-worthy for its carved buttresses, its tomb representing the burial of Christ, and the Bridal Door with the statuettes of the five wise and five foolish virgins, five with their lamps hanging down And five holding their lamps up. In the interior we admired the shrine, the stained glass, the massive pillars, the elaborate pulpit with its sounding board stretching up nearly to the ceiling, the two little organs up very high and one of them very, very high and very small, the Pix, an original painting by Albert Durer representing the interment of Christ, and the ever-burning lamp, lighted in 1326. After leaving the church we saw the Melancthon and the Hans Sachs monuments, and, after a long chase, the Goose Man Fountain in the fruit market, the Beautiful Fountain and the front of St Mary’s church, which has figures and sculptures of Mary. The last thing we did was to select more photographs of Nuremburg. It is a quaint old city. The old immense stone walls, the great towers, the old churches, the curious, high-pointed gables, the stone balconies, the steep, sloping roofs full of little dormer windows are all interesting. The old Gothic style of architecture greatly increases the impression of quaintness and antiquity. Up to the present time nearly every modern structure is built in medieval style. The river Pegnitz, on which Nuremburg is situated, adds much to the attractiveness of the city with its bridges and many houses built close to the water’s edge. Into this river bodies were thrown after execution. We have a photograph of the Hangman’s Tower, showing where he lived, and the bridge from which the bodies were thrown.
Watches were first manufactured here, and were long known as Nuremburg eggs.