Old Town Hall Fresco

Old Town Hall Fresco

UNESCO identified Bamberg as a World Heritage Site in 1993 for its well-preserved buildings in a mix of architectural styles. All sorts of special and traditional vegetables, and flowers were being sold in the Market Gardeners’ District. White asparagus, known as “Spargel,” and in season strawberries were well represented. The Gabelmann Statue, the Greek god Neptune with his trident, is an adjacent central meeting place. The Old Town Hall, built in 1386 in the middle of the Regnitz River, is accessible by two bridges. It has large frescoes covering the sides of the wall. On one side a statue of a leg sticks out. The river is frequently used by kayakers. Picturesque homes line both sides of the river giving it the title of “Little Venice.” The Bamberg Cathedral dates back to 1237. It has four towers and is representative of the Romanesque style. It has a magnificent marble tomb of Emperor Henry II and his wife Cunigunde. The tomb of Pope Clement II, who was previously the Bishop of Bamberg, is also found in the Cathedral. There is an unusual statue, the Bamberg Horseman, possibly Conrad III, which serves as a symbol of the city. The Bishop’s residence used in the 16th and 17th centuries is near the Cathedral. A delightful rose garden features blooming roses around statues. The walled edge of the garden offers dramatic views of the city. After the 17th century, a New Residence was built for later bishops.

Klosterbräu Brewery

Klosterbräu Brewery

Bamberg has nine breweries serving its beer drinking population. During the afternoon we took a beer tour with a very knowledgeable guide. First, she took us to the Klosterbräu Brewery where another guide walked us through this small brewery explaining each step in the brewing process. We sampled “green” beer before being given samples of three of their beers: a light lager, then a dark followed by a brown. Next, we staggered to the Schlenkerla Brewery which specializes in smoked beer known as “Rauchbier” where we also sampled sauerkraut and sausages. According to legend, smoked beer was discovered by accident. During a fire in a brewery, the smoke is said to have billowed through the brewer’s malt. Rather than disposing of the malt, the brewer used it to brew a beer that was unexpectedly popular. I stayed in a youth hostel in Bamberg 46 years ago. Today’s visit introduced me to entirely new sites.

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