Discover the Medieval Secrets of the Bavarian Town of Bamberg
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BambergArched stone bridges, road bridges and wooden bridges weave back and forth across the River Regnitz, transporting you to the artificial island and medieval town of Bamberg. If you enter the old city via the Alte Rathaus, make sure you examine the building closely. You’ll discover the Old Town Hall, built in the middle of the River Renitz in 1386, delicately straddles the Obere and Untere Bridges. On one side sits the oldest part of Rathaus, a 15th century half-timbered building that juts out and over the bridge, almost touching the water. Colorful frescoes decorate the sides of the newer part of the town hall, an 18th century Baroque-styled building.
Before you enter the old city, look to your right past the frescoes and the river and you’ll see Klein-Venedig, Bamberg’s version of “Little Venice.” These half-timbered 17th and 18th century houses with balconies and front gardens line the River Regnitz.
The Domplatz (Cathedral Square) is the centerpiece of the old townHere you’ll find a number of magnificent buildings, including the 13th century Kaiserdom (The Imperial Cathedral of St. Peter and St. George). The cathedral’s massive four towers sit on the side of one of Bamberg’s seven hills.
Take a peek inside the cathedral and you’ll see the famous Bamberg Horseman (also known as the Bamberg Rider). Some have suggested that this sculpture might be the Hungarian King Stephen I. You’ll also see the Marble Tomb of Emperor Henry and his wife Cunigunde.
Near the Kaiserdom you’ll find the Renaissance facade of the Alte Residenz (the Old Court), built in 1007 to seat the first bishop. The Old Court also housed bishops in the 16th and 17th centuries. The Baroque-styled Neue Residenz (New Residence) was built between 1697 and 1703 for Bishop Prince Lothar Franz.
Eighteenth century bishops also resided in this L-shaped palace. If times permits wander the Neue Residenz hallways and explore the magnificent princely bedrooms, the Imperial Hall on the second floor and the Kaisersaal Concert Hall.
If you love beer, you'll love Bamberg. Home to nine breweries, Bamberg is known as a beer drinker's Eden. Enjoy the town’s most famous beer, its "smoked beer" (Rauchbier) found in most of the local pubs and restaurants.
If You GoMost major airlines fly into Bavaria's Munich Airport or Nurnberg Airport. By car, Bamberg is north of Nurnberg and can be reached via A70 and A73. German highways are excellent. Just make sure you stay to the right if you’re not passing.
For more information on Bamberg visit Bamberg.info or stadt.bamberg.de
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Maureen C. Bruschi is a freelance travel and sports writer and photographer. She lived in Istanbul, Turkey for two years and has traveled to over 15 countries. She has been published in a number of publications including Travel Post Monthly, The Writer, BootsnAll Travel, TravelLady.com, BudgetTravel.com blog and USTA Middle States Section.
Unless otherwise indicated, all photos by the author