Behind the massive stone walls of the Imperial Stables of Nuremberg Castle, built in 1495, the 93 rooms of the youth hostel are spread over nine floors. Modern design sets the tone in the historic brick vaults. State-of-the-art technology is available for music groups and conferences
Nuremberg Youth Hostel: Modern Design Behind Historic Walls
SPONSORED STORY Gentlemen from earlier times, dressed in chainmail and coarse nettle cloth, would probably have thought they were seeing ghosts if they had witnessed how signs on the wall, namely QR codes, made pictures and stories from their fortress appear on visitors' smartphones.
Kids in leggings and skater trousers wander through the renovated stables of the good old castle, they sleep in modern rooms with showers and toilets instead of in gloomy bunkhouses. There is a bar with a friendly bistro and wi-fi... Confusing, very confusing for the castle lords and their servants.
Knights on the Outside, Zeitgeist on the Inside
Only one thing has not changed since the beginning of time: Children and young people like to get into mischief. With almost 90,000 overnight stays in the youth hostel, forty per cent of which are school trips, little nevertheless happens.
"When the door opens and the teacher comes in, you can see right away whether they have the class under control or vice versa," says Sigrid Natterer, head of the youth hostel since 2012. "I myself liked strict teachers, we explored everything. It's no fun if you don't feel any resistance."
Silly little heroes who climb out of the window onto the roof face resistance. They have to go home immediately. A lot of other things can be tolerated. Instead of the dormitories, the kids are allowed to party in the bar until 11 pm. After that, it's over. After all, the youth hostel at the castle is also popular with adult guests who appreciate accommodation that is as central as it is historically interesting.
City History, Conferences and Training
Many young people can't be fooled about life in the Middle Ages anyway, because in the popular series and video game "Game of Thrones" they have experienced power struggles and regicides, met witches and saints, accompanied men of honour and villains.
The story is based on the Middle Ages in Europe. At Nuremberg Castle, fans can now experience real medieval city history. In addition, topics from the more recent past can be explored in depth in the multimedia room.
Lavish feasts with meat and vegetables were rare in the Middle Ages; grain was usually on the menu. The former lords of the castle would have felt like they were in a land of milk and honey in the historic dining room of the youth hostel.
"Our guests choose between different salads, a vegetarian and a meat dish at the buffet. Lunch packages for excursionists also include fresh vegetable snacks and fruit," Sigrid Natterer describes the menu, which is prepared fresh daily in the open kitchen. Guests also put together their own breakfast.
Tolerance is practised here, the guests don't nitpick
Unique in Europe
The healthy food in the historic dining room is just one of many irresistible arguments for a conference or corporate event at Nuremberg Castle. The castle's great location and modern technical facilities complement each other perfectly.
Large companies organise conferences or send interns for training, youth organisations discuss programmes. When all the strategies have been worked out in the evening, they go for a stroll together in the old town.
Accompanying the coexistence of people of all ages for a few days is something Sigrid Natterer particularly likes, precisely because children, young people and families are the focus. "Tolerance is practised with us, the guests don't nitpick, city children play with country children.
Young people who would otherwise never find points of contact come together," she observes in her everyday work. For the chance to run the most modern castle youth hostel in Europe, she gives up her home in Allgäu, at least during the week.
Legendary Nuremberg Bratwurst
After long days as the boss of 45 employees and hostess of up to 355 people, Sigrid Natterer enjoys wandering around Nuremberg. In the twilight, the walls, towers and bastions of the city wall seem even more theatrical than during the day.
The grimaces at the Schöner Brunnen fountain on the Hauptmarkt or the Romanesque-Gothic Sebalduskirche are illuminated in warm tones.
It’s also irresistible when appetisingly fragrant smoke billows out of the famous "Bratwurst Röslein". This is where the real Nuremberg bratwursts are sizzled, accompanied by horseradish and a Weggla (bread roll).
The original recipe and the restaurant are almost as old as the beginnings of the castle. So, for many centuries, the inhabitants of the fortress have had a common interest, whether knights, servants or the kids of today: They like "Drei in am Weggla" – and Nuremberg Castle.
At a glance
- 93 rooms for one to six persons
- 9 conference rooms, 295 square metre hall
- Facilities for children and babies
- Cultural educator, wide range of programmes for school classes
- Equipped to meet the needs of wheelchair users
- Storage for bicycles