Bamburg – A Gem in Germany’s Crown
Located alongside the Regnitz River in Bavaria, Germany, the town of Bamberg has the distinction of being the only town in Germany that stood intact through the bombing raids of World War II. The old town center is a cultural and architectural delight which is appreciated by its inhabitants and marveled at by visitors.
The best way to explore Bamberg’s old town center – a UNESCO World Heritage Site - is on foot. The winding roads and alleyways of the town center do not allow for traffic which makes strolling through the picturesque area a pleasure. During the tour, which can be taken guided or un-guided, visitors will come across many courtyards, squares and impressive monuments that add to the charm of Bamberg. Throughout the town there are charts that serve as a pedestrian guidance system – twenty in total – which assists visitors to get the most out of their time spent in Bamberg. Provision has also been made to accommodate those with limited mobility.
The magnificent buildings in Bamberg that visitors are encouraged to visit include Böttingerhouse, a palace modeled after the Italian palazzo and commissioned to be built by Prince Ignaz Tobias Böttinger. The building, with its richly decorated courtyard and massive stairwell, is currently an art gallery. The Baroque castle, Concordia, was another of Prince Ignaz Tobias Böttinger’s projects. This impressive castle was completed in 1722 and is situated right on the edge of the River Regnitz. The view of Concordia from the opposite bank, with the castle’s reflection in the calm river, is unforgettable.
The Green Market, a vegetable market in bygone days, is a long square with Baroque style homes and pavement cafés. This is a popular meeting and socializing place, especially with the youth of the town. The 19th century former fishermen houses along the bank of the River Regnitz are fondly known as “Little Venice”. These quaint half-timbered houses with their balconies and moorings for boats provide an interesting glimpse into the past. Other sights that visitors will enjoy include the Old Town Hall and Maximiliansplatz, as well as the numerous churches and monasteries in and around the town.
The many museums of Bamberg include the Diocesan Museum, the History Museum and the Museum of Early Islamic Art. A particularly popular museum is the Franconian Brewery Museum, which provides enlightenment on the history and process of beer making, with a strategically placed beer garden for visitors to explore their new found knowledge.
There is no doubt that Bamberg has much to offer tourists visiting Germany. Anyone taking the time to explore this beautiful historically and culturally rich town will be in for the type of experience that memories are made of.