Explore within the sturdy walls of this ancient fortified palace and learn about the hilltop castle that has defined the Nuremberg cityscape for nearly 1,000 years.
Nuremberg Castle (Kaiserburg Nürnberg) looks out over the city from a rocky hilltop, its high sandstone walls symbolizing the city’s imperial power over the centuries. Dating back at least to 1050, the castle hosted kings and rulers from around the Holy Roman Empire and the Kingdom of Bavaria throughout the ages. Make your way through the legendary fortifications and discover the imperial complex within. Wander around the medieval courtyard and check out sites imbued with ancient history, as well as a fascinating museum.
The Nuremberg Castle’s central courtyard has an intriguing panorama of historic structures. See the Heidenturm (Heathens’ Tower) and the Kaiserkapelle (Emperor’s Chapel) on one side and the Tiefer Brunnen (Deep Well) and the Sinwellturm (Sinwell Tower) on the other.
Investigate the ancient well shaft in the Deep Well building. This small half-timbered building has a pretty gabled roof and contains an eerie well shaft about 160 feet (50 meters) deep. Begin your climb up the stairway of the Sinwell Tower, which is a tall circular structure that was built as a keep in the 13th century. The tower has an upper floor with timbered interiors added in the 16th century. Discover the tower’s high observation platform and look out over the city of Nuremberg. Scan the medieval city walls, church steeples and historic landmarks, as medieval watchmen would have done centuries ago.
Walk to the Kemenate, a former women’s residential building that now contains the Imperial Castle Museum. Run by the German National Museum, this display presents a fascinating insight into the castle’s history. See archaeological artifacts, architectural fragments, ornaments and scale models, as well as sketches that were used for the castle’s reconstruction.
Nuremberg Castle is located in the northern part of Mitte on a hilltop within the medieval city border. Purchase combination tickets for access to the museum, the chapel, the tower and the well house. Visit the castle gardens and the Maria Sibylla Merian Garden for free. The castle complex is open daily, except for December holidays and Shrove Tuesday. The gardens are closed throughout winter.