- Location: Upper Franconia on river Regnitz, Bavaria, Germany
- Attraction Type: Historic City
- Significance: Historic City, Architecture, Cathedrals and Monasteries, Public Buildings, Beer and Culinary
- Best Time to visit: You can visit Bamberg at any time of the year
- How to Reach: By car, take highways A70 and A73 to directly access Bamberg. Two of the most popular routes are A3 Frankfurt-Nuremberg and A9 Berlin-Munich highways. You can access these roads from Frankfurt and Munich airports. Nuremberg is also about 50 minutes away. The German rail net also passes through Bamberg. For the particularly adventurous, there are options for accessing the city through river cruise ships.
- Nearest International Airport: Nuremberg Airport. However, you can also access the city easily from Munich and Frankfurt Airports, which are equidistant from the city (about 230 km).
What do civilians of a city do when the ecclesiastic authorities deny them even a million centimeter of space in land for construction? The answer is simple: they create an island of their own and go on with their plans. That is precisely what the citizens of Bamberg did in the 14th century when the bishop denied them lands. They rammed the river and created a town hall. It still stands tall over the cityscape as the Old Town Hall. Eventful history, a very typically European ambiance, and great beer make Bamberg in Bavaria a great place to visit.
However, if you think that Bamberg is all about history and heritage, think again. True, like most German cities it has a history to boast of, but it is also a major center to exhibit modern architecture. A sculpture walk across the city will tell you how the most radical postmodern works of art exist vis-í -vis grand sculptural works from centuries back in history.
History of Bamberg
In the early years of its inception, Bamberg saw the settlement of a large number of Germanic groups, beginning with the Slavs and then moving on to the Saxons. It became a separate diocese during the time of Henry I, the King of Rome. From then on, it remained a very important religious center, with its bishopric changing hands time and again. Being such an important spiritual center, Bamberg was always at the center of the religious debates of the country throughout the middle ages and the early modern period. For example, it became a center of witch-hunt in the 18th century.
Being for long under the control of a powerful bishopric, the church lands were finally secularized in 1802. The very next year, it lost its independence and became a part of the Bavarian kingdom. From then on, its fate was distinctly attached to the fortunes of Bavaria, experiencing a communist uprising and becoming an important center for Nazi recruitment under Adolf Hitler. However, peace reigned after the completion of World War II.
Things to see in Bamberg
Bamberg is best explored on foot, like all other old European cities. You will find views and landmarks that you will never be able to access via bus or other modes of public conveyance. So, be ready to do some serious walking during your visit here. The city authorities are well aware of the fact as well, there are pedestrian signs everywhere guiding you through the narrow, historic, cobbled alleys that zigzag through the old quarters of the city.
Some of the sights and sounds that you can expect to view during your visit through the city include museums, churches, architectural wonders, and beautiful parks and gardens.
Churches and Monasteries: For over a thousand years, Bamberg has been a center of great religious activity. As a result, it is no surprise that a large number of churches and chapels have been built in the city. The churches are representative of different styles of architecture, including the more common gothic styles to the much rarer Romanesque style. Some of the major churches and monasteries of the city are:
The Imperial Cathedral
Museums: There are a large number of museums in the city of Bamberg. Some are highly specialized like the Nativity Museum while others give a clear idea of the heritage of the place. Some of the must see museums of Bamberg include:
- Diocesan Museum
- Bamberg Museum of Nativity Scenes
- Franconian Brewery Museum
- History Museum
- Missionary Museum
- Museum of Early Islamic Art
Famous Buildings and Places: Over its thousand years of history, Bamberg has witnessed the construction of buildings and architectural wonders of absolutely sublime beauty. There are some places that are also bound to attract attention. Some of the buildings that you must make a point to see during your Bamberg tour are:
- Little Venice
- Green Market
- Old Court
- Old Town Hall
- Townhall Castle Geyersworth
Events in Bamberg
Like other German cities, Bamberg has its own set of absolutely fabulous events. Mostly of musical and cultural nature, these events attract enthusiasts and visitors from all over the world. In Bamberg, there is something for people of all tastes. There are cabarets, concerts as well as symphony orchestras. Check on the events calendar published every year to find out the events you have an opportunity to witness.
Accommodation in Bamberg
With such magnificent richness in terms of history and heritage, and with such artistic wealth, it is imperative that the whole of Bamberg cannot be explored in a day. There is a large number of hotels, hostels as well as rental accommodations available in the city. A large number of major chains have their hotels in Bamberg. Some of the most popular hotels in Bamberg include:
- Hofmann Gasthoss
- Tandem Hotel and Cafíé
- Flair Hotel Drei Kronen
- Zum Storch, Gasthof
- Berliner Ring, Hotel Garni
Dining in Bamberg
Do not leave Bamberg without tasting on some excellent local delicacies. They are found almost everywhere across the city, and the dishes are prepared from the freshest produces. Asparagus, in particular, is very popular. Get some local knowledge from the residents and then indulge yourself in a delicious culinary experience.
One of the most well-kept secrets about Bamberg is that it has serious claims at being the beer capital of the Bavarian region. Bavaria is well known for its beer, and Bamberg is no letdown. You cannot possibly leave without visiting the beer garden of Bamberg, with its ten famous breweries offering you with the best beers you will get anywhere else in Germany or the world for that matter.