Things To Do In Bamberg
Bamberg is an experience that every traveller must explore in the Upper Franconia/Bavaria region of Germany. The town stands along the River Regnitz, which flows into the Main and winds around the Old Town Hall, the row of huge cathedrals and museums, and the Altstadt. Bamberg is built on seven hills, each with a significant building on top. It's a charming old city with many attractions and virtually every corner breathes history and culture. There are good restaurants and a large number of breweries.
You'll find timber-framed buildings, many great churches (because it has been a Bishop City in the old days), Klein Venice river's edge, and a selection of Brewery pubs. You can sample different beers and great food in the breweries and restaurants. The food is of good quality and certainly not expensive. The Old Town Hall (Rathaus) "hanging" on the bridge above the water is the most peculiar and interesting part of the city. On the other side of the river is a great shopping street with many wonderful shops and outdoor cafes. There is the Danube -Main channel where you can get a boat trip and admire the view of the city from the water. A trip on the river is strongly recommended. In general, all about Bamberg is fantastic and worth discovering.
When To Go:
In Bamberg City, the spring (April to May) and summer (June to August) is the best time to plan a vacation and see its scenic features and explore the fun things to do outdoors under the clear sky even if it’s a bit humid. Although the winter season (November to March) borders along the cold and chilly atmosphere, the month of December and the celebration of Christmas is a good reason to visit the city. The season of autumn (September to October) is characterized with consistent downpours and a favorable temperature of 15 to 20 °Celsius. However, if you are not comfortable with intermittent rain showers towards the afternoon, refrain from planning your holiday vacation to Bamberg during the autumn months.
Here are the key attractions and things to do in the city of Bamberg:
Dom is the main cathedral of this small but very ancient city. Inside one of the walls is a statue of the Bamberg Horseman and it is a truly remarkable sculpture. In the center of the cathedral is the tomb of the imperial family and St. Henry 2 Kunigunda. Pope Clement II, the former Bishop of Bamberg also lies buried in this cathedral. His tomb is the only tomb of the Pope in Germany. Be sure to go to the right side from the entrance of the cathedral arch and visit the famous portal called the “Gates of Adam”. The cathedral is beautifully decorated with statues and paintings of different eras and looks quite unusual because of its four towers. Inside, it is more interesting, despite the fact that the original stained-glass windows did not survive after the World War II bombings.
The foundation of the former preserved Romanesque cathedral and the arches with columns can be seen through the gate. It has a collection of bas-reliefs depicting scenes from the life of the rulers of the 11th century (the church began its construction in 1004). Built high on a hill, the cathedral is very large and surrounded by other ancient structures and an interesting patio. The cathedral is stunning with its amazing architectural details making it a must in Bamberg. It also contains the catacombs of bishops and has a huge collection of statues and precious paintings.
St. Michael’s Church
The St. Michael's Church is a perfect example of a European architecture with rich interior carvings. It was destroyed by fire in the seventeenth century, but it was rebuilt keeping all the original features. It is believed that the monastery was founded in 1015 because of its baroque facade, as well as the design of its adjacent buildings. In an earthquake in the year 1117, the first church was destroyed and a new one was built in Romanesque style. In 1610, it was damaged by fire. Finally in the eighteenth century it was rebuilt in Baroque style. Despite the baroque decoration, it recognizes the Romanesque style in the transverse nave. The nave and side were built in late Gothic style after the fire of 1610.
The church stands atop a very high hill above the town of Bamberg and it can be seen from almost all directions. The hill on which the church of St. Michael was built is the highest; an ancient road paved with some old houses that leads from the main cathedral (Dom) to the church. Not far from the church are the fields and woods. The church used to be the church of a Benedictine monastery. The monastery was secularized in 1803. The climb to reach the location of this church is a bit gruelling, but ultimately worth it. The area of the church and the church itself are both captivating and the view of the city from this height is also pretty cool.
St. Michael's Monastery
St. Michael's Monastery is located at the top of the mountain, which offers a magical view of the city and a feeling that you soar over these small houses. Inside the monastery (established since 1015), there is a cozy cafe where you can drink coffee and choose a cake. Along the fence there are large maps of the area.
On the lower level of the monastery is a beautiful park, a fountain area, and plenty of benches. This is a place for real rest if you are tired of the hustle and bustle of the downtown area of Bamberg. The buildings of the monastery and the church of St. Michael are both perfect examples of magnificent Gothic architecture.
Bamberg Altstadt (Bamberg Old Town)
Bamberg Altstadt is an obligatory passage in the Upper Franconia region. Starting from the central part of the city up to the river, followed by the imposing presence of the main cathedral where you will still come across other beautiful churches, castles, half-timbered houses that form a set of the most beautiful attractions to see in Germany, the place is the most exciting part of Bamberg. If you reach the Old Town, be sure to try the famous craft beers, especially the famous Rauchbier. Like any ancient city in Germany, it is worth picking up a map at the tourist information center and follow the indicated route.
The Bamberg Old Town has preserved its medieval style and is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The city is indeed amusing and the park in the central square features a puppet show at noon. The nine breweries around the city with its century-old buildings not only offer beer and traditional food of excellent quality, it is also a great way to meet the interesting locals and leave an impression of travelling back to the time of the Renaissance and the Middle Age. Despite having some very chic boutiques, the "Altstadt" has retained its old and historic look. A place that is ideal for sightseeing and shopping.
Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall Of Bamberg)
Bamberg is one of the few German cities that almost escaped Allied bombing during the Second World War. This is a very beautiful old Bavarian (Franconia) city, the seat of kings and bishops in the Middle Ages and also called as the "German Rome". Since 1993, Bamberg has been recognized as a UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site. In Bamberg, you can arrive by land, travel by car or bus for Bavaria, and by water through the river channel connecting the Rhine and other rivers in Germany to the Danube. The river divides the city into two parts. In the center, on an artificial island is where they built the Old Town Hall of Bamberg or the Altes Rathaus. Moreover, the flow of the river in this part can be quite rapid. The walls of the Town Hall literally hang over the waters of Regnitz River.
The Altes Rathaus is probably one of the most beautiful buildings in the city and the world's only city hall that is "floating" on the water with a half-timbered extension. It is the calling card of the city of Bamberg and for a practically good reason, because it attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world. The walls are painted in Baroque style and the building looks so bright that it is impossible not to take pictures of this interesting building in the middle of the river. The building was constructed, reinforced, and was altered during the 14th and 18th centuries. The Town Hall also now houses the museum of porcelain. In 1750, the Town Hall attached a pretty artsy balcony above it showing the coat of arms of the city. Currently, the center of the building is a tower of sandstone composed of a white balcony, a bell tower, and a clock. On the left, there is a magnificent baroque facade decorated with frescoes and statues of saints. On the right is where you'll find the half-timbered outbuilding hanging over the water, which houses the "corporal house".
The Neue Residenz is located directly opposite the old cathedral (Dom) on the square. It is another ancient palace that belongs to the church and the official residence of the bishops of the city. The Baroque style palace was built in the early 16th century. The new bishop's residence is gorgeous, with its elegant front rooms with rich furnishings, porcelain collections, carpets and portraits.
The elegant Imperial Hall on the third floor is spacious, but small. The Hall is unique and with the help of articulate painting, the perspective changes making the ceiling look higher. Inside, you can find the National Art Gallery and the famous artwork "Lucretia" by Lucas Cranach -the Elder. The gallery is also filled with remarkable masterpieces of Dutch and Flemish paintings from artists like; Snyders, Jordaens, and Van Dyck. A visit to the interiors can be arranged with an authorized guided tour only.
Rose Garden At The New Residenz
Visiting Bamberg City cannot be limited only to the Cathedral and the commercial part of the journey, be sure to get to the Rose Garden at the New Residenz. This is a wonderful vacation spot where everything smells fragrant and the area is filled with roses in different colors (pink, red, white, and yellow). In addition to the hill, you can see the city and admire its panoramic vistas. The Rose Garden is a wonderful oasis in the middle of the ancient buildings of Bamberg. Here, you can have a good rest after a hike to the religious sites and the Old Town.
The garden is planted with thousands of rose bushes of different varieties, there are many quaint statues and you can sit on the benches and enjoy the natural beauty of the surroundings. In summer, it is better to come here in the morning immediately after the opening or in the evening when the bulk of tourist bus arrival subsides. An important detail is that access to the garden is free, which always adds several points to the place. The garden is attached to the New Residenz and looks suspended or watching over the city.
Alte Hofhaltung (Old Residence)
The Old Residence or the Alte Hofhaltung is located in the Cathedral Square opposite the New Residence. From 10th to 11th centuries, it housed the imperial residence right at the same time when Henry II passed the ownership of the building into the jurisdiction of the bishop. The New Residence for the bishop was built a few centuries later.
In 1938, the Old Residence housed the Historical Museum of Bamberg. The courtyard (where you can enter through a very beautiful gate) is built in the style of Half-timbered houses, which are residential and farm buildings containing the prince's kitchen, bakery, stables, servants' rooms, storage for food and animal feeds.
Klein Venedig or the Little Venice is the place that attracts most tourists in this small German town. There are areas along the river with paths and where it is possible to arrange a short hike. The colorful facade houses along the water look neat and most of it is well-restored. The site "Little Venice" is quite small, but it is possible to get around within an hour and see all the accessible sides. If you want to ride on a gondola, but did not get to reach Italy, the Little Venice in Bamberg is just for you!
For 15 Euros you can ride through the city, you can admire the beauty of the coast, flowers, and see how people go around by using boats to reach their homes and feel the love of the beautiful city of Bamberg and Little Venice. It looks very romantic. In the city on the river there is an organized system of spillway locks, so the sudden rise of the water level in the river does not disturb the life of the city. The river current is very rapid making this part of Bamberg an ideal site for competitions on rafting or kayaking during summer. The lovely half-timbered houses are reflected in the calm surface of the water and very nice views from the bridge of the town hall. This is the true flavor of the German heartland!
Altenburg is an old fortress located at an altitude of 386 meters. It is far from the central part of the town and the road goes uphill. It is better to use the service (at the entrance to the fortress there is a designated terminal) or get on board the tour bus. The fortress was built in the 12th century as a haven for refugees and is used by the archbishops. In the 16th century, the castle was badly damaged and the bishops restored only the three-storied central tower-dungeon (in XIII century), at a height of 33 meters and some parts of the fence. On the tower you can climb (170 steps of the spiral staircase) and have top views of the entire city. Admission to the tower is free, but at the entrance there is a box that requires 1 Euro per person for the maintenance of the monument. It is not compulsory. You can walk around and see the nearby medieval structures.
Around the castle there is a park (or forest), where you can also take a walk. Although the castle is located away from the city center and the main attractions, it is worth a visit.
Bamberg is a charming town, blessed with friendly people, many sights, and good restaurants, as well as being the host of the oldest brewery in Bavaria. Be sure to see the headquarters of the Old Town Hall on the river beside the bridge linking the two sides of the city and which it is mandatory to discover all of the historic and religious attractions of Bamberg. The row of old churches, medieval buildings, the rich cultural and political history, plus the famous beer is what makes the city important to Germany. A walk through the city center shows a vibrant community and where the new happily blends with the old.
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