Guided tour in German only. English audio guides available!
Since 1545, monumental bastions have reinforced the city walls behind the imperial castle of Nuremberg. At the time of their completion, the imposing bulwarks built by Antonio Fazuni were unique in Germany. In their day, they were greatly admired and widely imitated. Today, having survived the Second World War essentially unscathed, these impressive fortifications are hailed as a prime example of Renaissance defensive architecture in Germany. Within the bastions, steep steps lead down into vaulted defense passageways known as casemates at the level of the dry moat. From there, a staircase which has been there since 1543 leads further down into a rock-cut water supply conduit which formerly terminated in the basement of the town hall, next door to the "Lochgefängnis", the dreaded dungeon hole.
The exact age of this rock-cut "secret passageway" is unknown. But it was already in existence by 1459 when "pipe master" Scharpf described it and identified it by the name of "Lochwasserleitung". Apx. 2 km of rock-cut passageways of this sort (which are generally ca 60 cm in width and about the height of a standing man) riddle the sandstone bedrock of the Nuremberg castle hill. They were originally dug to obtain a supply of water for the urban population. With the introduction of a central water supply system, these historic rock-cut water conduits lost their vital significance.