8. Zeppelin Field
“Cathedral of Light” on Zeppelin Field during the last NSDAP Party Rally, 1938 (Stadtarchiv Nuremberg).
The Zeppelin Field (312 x 285 metres interior area, bigger than 12 football fields) with the main grandstand was the only planned construction work to be completed. It provided space for up to 200,000 people. Here mass parades of the German Labour Service, the Wehrmacht, and of the “political leaders” (office bearers of the NSDAP) were staged to assemble before the “Führer”, Adolf Hitler. The “Cathedral of Light” provided spectacular effects, when over 150 particularly strong floodlights beamed right up into the sky.
A Zeppelin landing at Dutzendteich lake lake, 1909 (Stadtarchiv Nuremberg).
After the landing of one of Count Zeppelin‘s airships in 1909, the area on the south east bank of Dutzendteich lake lake acquired the name Zeppelin Field. In the 1920s, the City of Nuremberg created an expansive sports and leisure park there. It included the municipal stadium, the stadium baths, allotments, green spaces, and public sports grounds.
Aerial view of the Zeppelin Field from the south, around 1937 (Stadtarchiv Nuremberg).
In 1933 and 1934, the Zeppelin Field meadow served as a parade ground for the National Socialists during their Party Rallies. They put up temporary wooden stands for the spectators. In 1935–1936, the Zeppelin Field, complete with stone stands, was constructed to plans by architect Albert Speer. The complex is almost square, and centres on the monumental Grandstand with the “Führer’s Rostrum”. The visibly lower spectators’ stands on the other three sides were divided by 34 tower-like structures, housing toilet facilities. The interior (312 x 285 metres) provided space for up to 200,000 people for the mass events staged by the National Socialists.
Rock Concert, 1978 (Stadtarchiv Nuremberg)
Norisring Race, 2005 (Presseamt Nuremberg)
Since 1945, the Zeppelin Field has been used in various ways. In the first instance it served as a sports field and parade ground for the US Army up until their withdrawal in 1995. On top of that, the annual Norisring car races are held here – one of Germany‘s most important motor sports events. The Zeppelin Field is still used as a venue for major rock and pop concerts.
Military Ceremonies of the US Army, 1955 (Nürnberger Nachrichten).