Nuremberg’s Nazi Party Rally Grounds, Germany

In En-Route, Europe, Germany, Our Journeys, Trip-Types, World Travel by Janis2 Comments

An incredible insight into an unimaginable era

Leaving Regensburg, we continue on our Bavarian road trip. However, before we head east, we’re going to make a 66-mile (106km) detour north, to visit the Nazi Party Rally Grounds in Nuremberg.
Ducks on the Dutzendteich Lake in front of the Nazi Party Congress Hall.

Nazi Party Congress Hall, Nuremberg

Perhaps you may think, why bother?

Adolf Hitler’s past isn’t worth giving any airspace to, or even blog space, come to that.

Well, to be perfectly honest, I find it mind-blowing (and incredibly interesting) how this dictator showered his country with such propaganda.

Quick Links

The centre section of the Nazi Party Zeppelinfeld Grandstand.
Nazi Party Zeppelinfeld Grandstand
Once Hitler had become Chancellor of Germany in January 1933, he declared Nuremberg the "City of Nazi Party Rallies". Construction then soon began on building the imposing structures for the party's mass meetings to take place.
The stone buttresses that surround the perimeter of the Nazi Party Zeppelin Field.

Perimeter of the Nazi Party Zeppelin Field

A reference guide

I love nothing more than planning a trip and so often I use the DK Eyewitness books.  I find them  extremely informative, easy to follow and the pictures and maps tempt you into discovering more.

We used a previous version of this book to plan our Germany road trips, now you can grab the revised copy.

Nuremberg Rally Grounds

Today, only a few of the arenas, halls, stadiums and grandstands remain, as parts have since been demolished. However, during their peak, the grounds that once housed these assemblies spread across 4.25 square miles (11 sq. km).
A collection of images, photos and a bust of Adolf Hitler.
Pictures and memorabilia of Adolf Hitler
Between 1933 and 1938 six Nazi Party Rallies were held at Nuremberg, each lasting around six days. Unsurprisingly the rally of 1939 was cancelled due to the outbreak of World War II on 1st September when Hitler invaded Poland.

Years of planning

I know this sounds fairly ignorant, but, my thoughts of Adolf Hitler’s power in the build-up to the Second World War was that it happened over a couple of years. That he became the Führer of Germany, rallied around his friends and comrades, went hell for leather into his dictatorship and brainwashed the country.
A museum exhibit of Mein Kampf open to the title page with a portrait of Adolf Hitler.
A copy of Mein Kampf

But Hitler had been building up to this for years.

I just can’t imagine that anyone in their wildest nightmares, could have conceived the atrocities that were to be perpetrated onto innocent people.

The sign for the Documentation Center in front of the NAZI Congress building.
The sign to the museum
Two signs outside the congress building, indicating the layout of the centre now & how it was in the Nazi-Era of 19933-1945.
The layout of the area
A few days before visiting the Nazi Party Rally Grounds we spent a few hours at Dachau Concentration Camp. So, the images and thoughts in our minds were still quite raw.

Why not?

Start creating your own Bavarian adventure and discover the historic city of Nuremberg and the Nazi Rally Grounds for yourself.

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Nazi Party Rally Ground Museum

Prior to wandering around to the Zeppelinfeld and what remains of the infamous grandstand, we headed into the Documentation Centre Nazi Party Rally Grounds exhibition. The permanent exhibition “Faszination und Gewalt” (Fascination and Terror), is located in the north section of the Congress Hall.
The modern addition to the Congress centre that acts at the entrance to the Documentation Centre.
Entrance to Documentation Centre
An aerial photo of the congress building from 2001 mounted on a wall inside the documentation centre.
An aerial photo of the congress building from 2001
The extremely iconic Congress Hall is one of the largest buildings still standing from the Nazi era. The imposing semi-circular Congress Hall was never fully completed. They planned to build a roof over it and also include seating for 50,000 National Socialists.
The red brick interior of the unfinished congress hall without a roof.
Inside the unfinished Nazi Party Congress Hall
Arriving at this building was astonishing as I’d seen it in books and on TV but, you just cannot believe how commanding a structure could be.
A view from the path around Dutzendteich Lake in front of the Nazi Party Congress Hall.
External view of the Nazi Party Congress Hall

“Fascination and Terror”

The exhibition inside is incredibly interesting, and the audio guide is a must as it gives you such an insight into how the whole Nazi Party era unfolded. How propaganda was spread across the nation, and the horrific impact it had on innocent lives.

Allow plenty of time for this exhibition, as there is so much information to absorb and so many touching stories to listen to.

Janis standing in front of an exhibition board while listening to the audio guide.
Janis with the audio guide

There are some incredibly moving pictures within the exhibition and images you’ll never want to see again in your life. One exhibit along a railway track displayed name tags for all those who lost their lives in Nazi concentration camps.

An installation depicting the railway lines to a concentration camp littler with name tags of the victims of the Nazi-era atrocities.
Name tags for those who lost their lives in Nazi concentration camps
It was pleasing to see school parties visiting the museum and showing a genuine interest in this unbelievable period of history. The exhibition name of Faszination und Gewalt (Fascination and Terror) really does sum up the experience.

Guided Walking Tour

If you’re staying in the ancient Nuremberg city, enjoy an organised historical walking tour of the old town and then jump on a bus to visit the Nazi Party Rally Grounds.

Peace reigns

After visiting the Documentation Centre, we strolled around the Dutzendteich Lake towards the Zepplinfield. During the 19th century Dutzendteich Lake had become a popular location for its locals, when the Congress Hall was built in 1935 part of the lake was filled in.
Brightly coloured pedalos on the Dutzendteich Lake with Nazi Party Congress Hall in the background.

Image Caption

Today you can jump on a pedalo as the Dutzendteich Lake is now a place of enjoyment, a stark contrast to what lies beyond.

Zeppelin Field

Wandering around the lake further you then arrive at the Zeppelinfeld Grandstand (Zeppelintribüne) and the Zeppelin Field. The Zeppelin Field is the parade ground where thousands of Nazi devotees gathered to show their resounding support for their leader.
A view across the Nazi Party Zeppelin Field from the main grandstand
The Nazi Party Zeppelin Field
The parade ground was the size of twelve football pitches. It is now occasionally used for concerts, and sporting events. The road in front of the grandstand is also used as part of a motor racing track.

Zeppelinfeld Grandstand

The once-imposing grandstand where Adolf Hitler would have emerged from to greet his supporters is now a shadow of its former self. The columned galleries that ran along the top were destroyed by Nuremberg City in 1967. 

A view of the tiered steps at the top end of the stadium with the remains of the centre section remaining.
A wide view of the Nazi Party Zeppelinfeld Grandstand
At the top of the Nazi Party Zeppelinfeld Grandstand looking toward the back with the final set of steps before the neoclassical facade.
The Nazi Party Zeppelinfeld Grandstand
A victory parade was held here on 22nd April 1945 by American Troops, and the iconic Swastika which stood above the main grandstand was blown up.
A flight of stone steps up to the Zeppelinfeld Grandstand centre section.
Steps up to the Zeppelinfeld Grandstand
Picture of the Zeppelinfeld Grandstand in its Nazi-era heyday before it was destroyed at the end of the second world war.
Pictures of the Zeppelinfeld Grandstand

Hit the road

Discover more of Germany on a road trip like us, if your unable to bring your own car or are flying into this lovely country give Rental Cars a go, as they search multiple well-known car hire brands for the best deals.

The coming years

In 2019 an €85 million restoration plan was granted. This will include the redevelopment of the permanent exhibition and renovation to the surrounding Nazi Party Rally Ground buildings.

Visiting Information for the Documentation Centre Nazi Party Rally Grounds

Adult admission is €6, which includes an audio guide.

Concessions €1.50

Free to park

Visiting hours:

Monday to Friday; 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Weekends and holidays: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

I personally would allow 2 to 3 hours for your visit.

The exhibition at the Documentation Centre Nazi Party Rally Grounds is not suitable for children under the age of 14.

 Updates and further visiting information can be found here.

* This post may contain links to affiliated sites where we earn a small commission at no additional charge to you.

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  1. Great piece of work. Pictures tell it all of what was done in this place. We should remember the past so it wouldn’t happen again. However, this article is awesome. Maybe it doesn’t tell the whole story but the pictures do.

    1. Author

      Thank you, yes you are right the pictures can say so much more. It was an incredible museum and so touching, I wish we could have stayed for longer.

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