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The Romantic Road - Bamberg, Germany
Bamberg is located in the region of Franconia in the state of Bavaria in Germany. It is located on the Regnitz River near where it flows into and converges with the Mainz River, It is approximately 63 kilometers northeast of Wurzburg, Germany, but is considered on the Romantic Road. Like Wurzburg, Bamberg is a very Catholic city and the Bishops of Wurzburg gave Bamberg its own diocese, and therefore, it has its own cathedral(new) which was consecrated in 1062. I know, the year 1062 is considered new? Well, medieval times were considered "new" in Germany, because it has such a long history of Germanic peoples, the Goths, Visigoths and other "old" tribes that inhabited it early on. Because Bamberg is a Catholic city, Prince-Bishops ruled Bamberg as they did in Wurzburg.
The cathedral of Bamberg is of Romanesque architecture with four grand towers, founded in 1004 by Emperor Henry II. Tilman Riemenschneider traveled from Wurzburg to Bamberg to carve the marble tomb of Henry and his wife. It was carved between 1499-1513. Also sculpted at the cathedral is The Bamberg Horseman (Der Bamberger Reiter), an equestrian statue that serves as the symbol of the city. (Pictured above) Visitors to Bamberg always seek out the Bamberg Rider for the good luck he is supposed to bestow on all who seek him, out so don't miss looking for him at the cathedral.
Bamberg is considered the "Venice" of Germany with the charming city sitting on both sides of the Regnitz River and the Old Townof Bamberg on an island in the river. It is an unusual layout for a town, but it certainly adds to the charm and enchantmentof the city. On land, Bamberg extends over seven hills, and each hill having its own church. Bamberg is very proud of its similarity to Rome and her seven hills. The Old Town of Bamberg is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage city, because of its medieval appearance.
Bamberg, like Wurzburg, also has the Neue Residenz (The New Palace 1698-1704) which was the seat for the Prince-Bishops of the city. Don't miss the Rosengarten (Rose Garden) which overlooks the city and has a fabulous view.
The Altenburg, which is the castle in Bamberg, was the residence of Bamberg's bishops before the New Palace was built. It became a prison after the New Palace was built and today it has been turned into a restaurant with a beautiful view of Bamberg. Be sure to eat in it if you can - it is worth the view and the experience of eating in a real castle - and the German food isn't bad either. It is a smaller, beautiful and charming castle that I saw for the first time as the snow was softly falling on a winter day. It was covered completely in snow and I was searching for a Snow Queen that day, as that who was what seem appropriate to find in the castle. It is another castle you don't want to miss seeing on the Romantic Road.
I mentioned that Bamberg had seven churches, one on each of Bamberg's seven hills. Of these churches the one to see and not to miss is the Michaelsberg Abby, in which the church is ensconced - the Michaelskirche. Today it is a museum with municipal and regional art collections that are a treasure to see.
Also, check out the Obere Bruke (completed in 1455) which is one of the original bridges in Bamberg. Halfway across the bridge on its own island is the Rathaus, or the city hall which was built from 1744-1756.
Bamberg - a true beer town
And if you like beer tasting and beer gardens, Bamberg is the city to see. Bamberg is a beer town with eight breweries. It is best known for its smoked beer called Rauchbier, and as far as I know Bamberg is the only place to try this beer. I'm not a beer drinker so I've never tried it, but for beer enthusiasts, I'm sure it's something you don't want to miss.