On a Scenic Main River cruise, guests are luxuriously transported to Nuremberg, Bavaria’s second largest city, which dates to at least the middle of the 11th century. The city is famous for being the unofficial capital of the Holy Roman Empire and has a rich history in astronomical discovery. Johannes Mueller constructed an observatory in the city in 1471 and later published astronomical charts documenting what he saw; in 1515 Albrecht Dürer expertly crafted the first star charts of the northern and southern hemispheres; and in 1543 a printing press in Nuremberg published the majority of Nicolaus Copernicus’s model of the universe, which controversially declared the sun, not the earth, to be the center of the universe.
Historical sites in Nuremberg include the National Germanic Museum, which houses more than 1 million artifacts that tell the story of the region’s cultural and artistic evolution; Nuremberg Castle, a medieval fortress that was home to all German kings and emperors from 1050 to 1571; and Albrecht Dürer’s house, which is now a museum of the artist’s work. The city is also full of quaint squares and neighborhoods, such as the Frauentorturm and Handwerkerhof Alt Nürnberg districts, which are adorned with half-timbered houses and cobblestoned streets. Scenic river cruise guests who prefer to see and explore Nuremberg at their leisure will want to tour the city’s circuit of old walls. Some of these fortified structures include gates and towers that were built as far back as the 14th century, and many are open for curious travelers to explore.