One visible sign of Nuremberg’s eventful history is the Tucher family castle surrounded by gardens in Sebalder Altstadt. The "city of the Nazi party rallies" had been the focus of Allied bombing raids since 1942. At the end of the Second World War, the air raid on 2 January 1945 almost completely destroyed the eastern part of Sebalder Altstadt, leaving some 100,000 inhabitants homeless.
One of the cultural and historical treasures affected was Tucherschloss. Built by Lorenz II and Katharina Tucher between 1533 and 1544 as a representative castle with gardens, it has been in family ownership throughout. The unique early Renaissance architecture had been on the "art protection list" of monuments requiring special protection since 1941, but at the end of the war only three outer walls and part of the characteristic stair tower remained standing. The furniture and precious works of art had been salvaged at the end of 1944. However all the fixed installations were destroyed beyond repair.
The castle lay in ruins for 19 years. From 1950 it was provisionally protected from the weather, further decay and vandalism by a wooden emergency roof and bricked-up windows. The castle was saved thanks to the family’s dedicated efforts: the lawyer Dr Hans Christoph von Tucher (1904-1968), son of the then owner Heinrich von Tucher (1875-1962), tried to raise funds for the cost-intensive restoration from the early fifties. He negotiated for years with the responsible city and state offices, used his political contacts and staked his private fortune.
As the building owner himself, he ensured that the castle conformed to the traditional proportions and space arrangements and that any existing structure was reused. The result was a stylishly reconstructed treasure – an absolute stroke of luck for that time!
Hans Christoph von Tucher did not live to see the inauguration of the castle in October 1968; he had died unexpectedly in London in August of that year.