2. Inner courtyard of the Congress Hall
The Congress Hall under construction, 1939 (Stadtarchiv Nuremberg) .
The Congress Hall was intended for NSDAP party congresses. For the construction on marsh ground, planned by the architects Ludwig and Franz Ruff, costly foundations had to be laid. For this, 22,000 concrete posts were rammed into the ground. From 1937, a total of 1,400 people permanently worked on the construction site. The centre of the hall was to be a speaker‘s platform for the “Führer”, Adolf Hitler, and all spectator stands were to be facing it.
Interior view of the planned Congress Hall, model (Stadtarchiv Nuremberg).
Interior view of the Congress Hall during construction (about 1939). The picture shows a wooden model demonstrating the overall height of the planned building (Stadtarchiv Nuremberg) .
A self-supporting roof construction was to span the main hall at a height of approximately 70 metres. The monumental building would have provided space for over 50,000 people and would thus have been almost twice as big as the Coliseum in Rome. The unfinished shell (1937–1939) was put up to a height of 39 metres. Construction work was abandoned in World War II.
Top left: Café on the gallery of the inner courtyard (1950).
Top right: Consultation on the setting up of a football stadium in the inner courtyard (about 1960).
Bottom left: Model for the football stadium.
Bottom right: Sketch for a leisure and shopping centre (1987).
All Pictures: Stadtarchiv Nuremberg
After the war, the question what to do with the unfinished shell was raised. The City of Nuremberg developed various plans, such as for example demolishing or re-building the shell as a sports stadium. All plans fell through because of prohibitive costs. In 1987, the City Council rejected the suggestion of an investor to convert the building into a leisure and shopping centre. Today, the north wing houses the “Documentation Centre Party Rally Grounds”, while the south wing is used by the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra. Open air concerts take place in the southern inner courtyard. Other parts of the build ing are used for storage purposes.