NUREMBERG AND INGOLSTADT - BUNDESLIGA AND AUDI MUSEUM

Trip dates: May 4-5, 2014

When I was speaking with my brother about my German experiences, he replied that he would be interested in some major music or sport events. And the talk turned to sport. More precisely to Bundesliga. The average attendance at Bundesliga football matches is almost 40000 people, the largest number in the world. It must be very expensive, we thought.
I started the searching; first I found the offers of some travel agencies, which were very expensive - about 100 Euro / per person. But when I looked at the ticket shops of clubs, the prices became much friendlier - 20-30 Euro. And the outline of our next trip began to take shape.
Almost all Bundesliga clubs are located in the western part of Germany. There are no clubs from the eastern part (former GDR) in Bundesliga, except Berlin. And only the Berlin club is located in the former West Berlin.

Nuremberg Grundig Arena

The closest locations to Prague are Berlin, Munich and (at that time spring 2014 in Bundesliga) Nuremberg. All tickets to Bayern Munich were hopelessly sold out, Berlin would require a slightly longer trip and thus we decided on Nuremberg. Nuremberg has a very nice big arena for 50000 attendees; it was completely rebuilt in 2006 on the occasion of the World championship. This city is only three hours from Prague.
Thus began the planning phase of our adventure for the men of the family me, Ota (my son), my brother and his son. Most of the Bundesliga matches start at 15:30 on Saturday. Therefore we prepared the the trip for the whole weekend. I found the hotel close to the stadium. It looked like a communist panel house from the outside, but photos of the inside showed standard hotel rooms. I bought the tickets to the match directly in the club's e-shop and I got the confirmation with the information where to pick up the tickets.

We got a warning from my wife to beware of aggressive fans, and we set off on the journey early on Saturday morning. We needed to arrive before 1pm because we had to pick up the tickets.
Everything worked out and we arrived at noon. First stop was McDonalds. We preferred this fast food due to the standard menu and friendly prices without surprises. But this time we were surprised. I tried to order McWrap for Ota and I got McRib. And that is not the same. That was something different and Ota refused to eat that - no wonder. That meal had a strange look and strange taste. It reminded me vaguely of curry wurst, or rather the abortive imitation:). Fortunately that was the last surprise on this trip.

Nuremeberg, Documentary centre

The hotel and stadium are located in the big area "Volkspark Dutzenteich" that was built during thirties by Nazis as "Nazi party rally grounds". There are several artificial lakes, stadiums and the "Documentation Centre Nazi Party" here. There is the "Grand street" in the middle of the area, which currently is used as parking for the fair area. This street is almost 2 km long and 40 m wide. It was intended to be the central axis of the site and a parade road for the Wehrmacht. The road reached from the Congress Hall to the Märzfeld.

Nuremberg, Grand street

The Congress Hall (currently the seat of the Documentation centre Nazi party and Nurnberger philharmony) is the biggest preserved national socialist monumental building and is landmarked. When we saw it for the first time we thought, it is the former arena, but then I found out that this building was built as a congress centre with a self-supporting roof and should have provided 50,000 seats.

Nuremberg, Mercure hotel
The Hotel Mercure looked exactly like on photos both from outside and inside. We were able to park in front of the hotel, and the stadium was accessible by foot. We parked in the front of the hotel, checked in and set off walking toward the stadium. We went through a large park, crossed the grand street, saw the Documentation Centre and then arrived at the stadium. Around the area were large numbers of people, and a lot of policemen in order to protect the visitors. Everything was organized well and we were able to pick up the tickets without waiting. Then we decided to explore the area.

Nuremberg, Zeppelin field

Close to the stadium is the so-called „Zeppelin Field“. It consists of a large grandstand and a smaller stand. It was one of Albert Speer's first works for the Nazi party and was based upon the Pergamon Altar. Currently this area is used for sport grounds. We saw the several groups of children training. Several times a year there are organized music festivals as well.
Then we continued  to the Documentation Centre. From the outside the building looks a bit imperfect, non-German. Inside are impressive interiors of the Documentation Centre. We had a cup ofcafe, took a few photos, read the information tables and went back to the stadium.

Nuremberg Grundig Arena

The name of the stadium is currently Grundig Arena. It is one of the stadiums that was rebuilt for the World championship 2006. Despite the fact the 1.FC Nuremberg was threatened by relegation, the number of visitors was quite impressive, about 46 000 people. Thanks to this number, the atmosphere in the stadium was stunning and we felt very safe. The ultras (core loud fans) are in the separated area, divided by a fence. It is usual in Germany, that whole families visit the match. The auditorium of the stadium has a roof, the arena is well-equipped.

Nuremberg, Grundig arena

Unfortunately, the course of the match was not very favourable for home fans. After 5 minutes Nuremberg was losing. Their rival from Hannover played better and deservedly won 2:0. But the overall experience was very strong and great. And it was clear that more football trips will follow. :)
Due to cold weather we spent the rest of the day in the hotel room.
The next day after check out we decided to go through the city centre. Because it was Sunday, there were empty streets without people. Now and then there was a mess in the streets as a result of the "Lange nach der Museen" (Night of museums), which took place the previous night. That was the first and last time we saw a mess in Germany :)

We went through the main square which has a gothic church - Frauenkirche ("Church of Our Lady"). It stands on the eastern side of the main market as an example of brick Gothic architecture. The interesting thing especially for Czech visitors - It was built on the initiative of Charles IV. Main market is also the place where every December the famous Christmas market takes place.

Nuremberg, Albrecht Durer house

We continued to the main landmark - Nuremberg Castle. Before we entered the castle, we passed the Albrecht Dürer's House which was the home of this German renaissance artist. It is a medieval five stories house built in 1420. Currently it is a museum. The statue of the rabbit right in the front of castle reminds us of Dürer.

Rabbit, Nuremberg

Nuremberg castle

Nuremberg Castle is a large historical building in the city centre. It has long history and it was also the favourite place of the King Charles IV, he stopped here, when he travelled to Europe. His son Wenceslaus, King of the Romans, was born in this castle. There is a beautiful view of the city, thus we took a several photos of the cityscape.

After exploring the castle, we set off driving toward the second destination for that day: Ingolstadt. Ingolstadt is the head-quarter of the car producer Audi. Our goal was a museum - Audi Forum. Ingolstadt is in distance about 100 km from Nuremberg. Thanks the highway and unlimited speed in Germany, we reached the city in less than one hour. Audi Forum is located close to the Audi headquarters in the outskirts of Ingolstadt.

Ingolstadt, Audi Forum

It is one round building within a big industrial area. Everything in the area is perfect, groomed and very German. Due to it being Sunday there were only a few people. We paid only 2 Euro per person as an admission fee and we saw a great exhibition. We were able to go through the entire history of Audi: motorcycles, historical cars, race cars, new features. Exhibits have not only Audi brand but also Horch, Auto Union or NSU. It is nothing overwhelming, but it is definitely worth seeing.

Ingolstadt, Audi Forum
In the afternoon we briefly went through the city centre and then went back to Prague.
All crew were excited by this trip. During the journey we were talking what could be the next destination. Later it turned out, that Nuremberg was relegated to the 2. Bundesliga and we had to search for another location.

Where we stayed: Congress Hotel Mercure, great location for us, easy parking and good equipment. In walking distance to the whole area of Volkspark Dutzenteich. To the visit of the city centre itis necessary to use the public transport or car.