Bamberg - home of a German Emperor and a Pope

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Introduction by me

Start of the Guide

Munich - Capital of Bavaria your first impressions after arrival


a walk through the center

short advertisement

Bavarian towns you can visit yet


Bad Aibling

Bad Endorf

Bad Toelz

Bad Woerishofen




Cruising Germany




Furth im Wald ( Bavarian Forest)



Kaufbeuren (Allgaeu)


Kempten (Allgaeu)

Landsberg am Lech



Noerdlingen in the Ries

Nuernberg (Nuremburg)




A trip to Austria




5-lakes-area - Starnberg part II




A view to Tyrolia and Italy

Innsbruck + Meran

other links

the Ammersee

a marvellous recreation area

all town descriptions in German

Bavaria's treasure box of fairy tales and legends

a German restaurant in Springfield, MA 01103

another good travel guide from Bavaria from my friend Helmut in Canada

Today we will make a very very long trip, we drive to the Vatican City. Hey stop, not to Italy and Roma, no, we have (nearly) the same in Bavaria, exactly in the town Bamberg. In older times it was named the "franconian vatican city" and in our days the UNESCO gave that town the honour title "World Cultury Heir".

Remember, I told you on some other pages, that Bavaria is a country with a lot of hidden treasures. The town Bamberg is one of these. If you just have no map of Germany, I'll tell you easy how to find. You know perhaps Nuernberg, Bayreuth and Wuerzburg. Middle in this triangle Bamberg is located. Distance to Nuernberg around 50 km, to Munich airport about 230 km. You can reach the town by an inland flight via airport Nuernberg, by train taking the Intercity from Munich to Berlin or over some federal roads.

But let us start from Munich airport Franz-Josef-Strauss. We will drive the highway A 92 till the highway cross Neufahrn, then we take the A 9 towards Nuernberg, crossing the beautiful valley of the river Altmuehl (see also at Kelheim), leaving Nuernberg at the right and after a two hours drive we will be in Bamberg. Even from the far you can see the lovely town appearing, a lot of majestic buildings on seven hills will show up.

And this was one of the main reasons why the old German Emperor Henry II. , former Duke of Bavaria, has founded this town on just that location. Seven hills like in Roma, Italy. But about that a little later on. Bamberg is an old lady dressed in wonderful ancient dignity but in the same time young like a girl and full of life. (Big pic - The Bamberg Horseman / small pic - The emperors cathedral)

This town offers for business and vacation great possibilities. If exhibition or congress, the facilities are open for every thing and in a large and honourable scale. Accommodations are enough good ones in Bamberg, I count over 130 houses offering rooms at a good value. That could be very interesting also for vacationeers, so they can spent more money for fun and hobbies. Let's talk only about one world spreaded hobby, collection ancient things or books. In Bamberg you will find about 30 stores with historical stuff and old library stocks.

And fun, oh yeah, this area is marvellous for that. You can bike in the area, make a lot of sports, drive on the river Regnitz by boat (driven or by yourself), discover a little bit in the outside wonderful caves, visit some old castles or sink down in the history of the town itself.

You will need either a lot of films or a digicam for all these nice views and artefacts, you can find in Bamberg and around. Great artists like Tilman Riemenschneider, Veit Stoß or Balthasar Neumann had given this town excellent jewels for eternity. Now you are perhaps a little bit afraid of all that strength you will need there? No problem, these people in Franconia know to satisfy not even the mind than also the body. Walking in town you can smell nearly everywhere the tempting aroma of the franconian fried sausages. Nine breweries offer special kinds of beer, franconian wine houses are to find, cakes made nearly homemade are to get and those of you, who like only international dishes, will find also everything you like.

What do you think, isn't it sounding temptating? Really it is and that all we thank to this old German Emperor Henry II. Now follows the historical part of my travel guide because some of yours want to know, why I said in the headline "home of emperor and pope". The first documented times are between 800 and 1000 after Jesus Christ.

On that hill, you now see the emperor's cathedral, was once a guarding castle, securing the trade between east and west. In the year 973 this castle was given as a gift to the Bavarian Duke Henry II. by the German emperor Otto II. His follower, emperor Otto III. was killed by poison in Roma and Henry II was elected as the new German emperor.

He didn't like the Roman aristocrats and their manners, so he decided to build a brand new capital for the empire. His look fall at the Bamberg location because there was a big similarity to Rom (seven hills). He pulled in his new town the best architects and artists and started with building the chatedral. It was ready in five ! years, can you imagine, what that means in the old times? In the following years the churches St. Stephan and St. Gandolf, the monastery St. Michael and the basilica St. Jacob with her wonderful collonades were built. Looking from the sky you will see, all the named buildings form a cross and till the 18th century people found in the crosspoint between these religious houses a column, set up to demonstrate the emperor's thougt "here will be and is the middle of the world".

This great German emperor was after his death buried beside his wife in Bamberg in his own founded cathedral. And another great grave was made in this holy house, the grave of Pope Clemens II. He was a bishop of Bamberg and was elected to be pope. Nine month later, " with a little help by some friends", rumours told, he died. But the last wish of him was to be buried in Bamberg and so happened. That's why I had my special headline. Let's go on in history, time never stands still. Bamberg had seen two other popes on visit, a lot of kings, dukes, emperors and even one in his blood. The German emperor Philipp II. was murdered by the Bavarian Duke Otto from Wittelsbach there. Yes, the Bavarians could be hard and heavy if they don't like somebody.

Duke Otto was punished by death a little later, you see, even in the old times killing was not allowed as an usual behavior. In the following times a lot of Duke Bishops ruled that town, it would need to much time to talk about all of them. (Big pic - The ancient Duke Bishops Residence / Small pic - View from the rosegarden to St. Michael)

In the Middle Ages the farmers war, the Swedish army and the army of the German emperor, they all let pay the citizens of Bamberg with money and blood. And the plague also was a not wished guest in the town walls.

By the way, all these "happenings" had a bad result following. People normally look for somebody else who is guilty for bad things. So in the old times too. First the jewish people were punished by mistreatment and death, than they found new sinners. Witches and magicians. And one church lawyer, Earl Johann to Schwarzenberg, wrote laws, which were used over 300 years in the German history and were examples and roots of the law book from Emperor Karl V. Want to know some small experience how to handle suspicious people?

You take that person, rip off all his cloth, bind it on a "spanish horseman" (military people now these wooden barriers, sourrounded with barbed wire in the times later) and whip it very well. To help sitting "convenient", you must screw his thumbs and big toes in the same time. If he will not confess after about fifteen minutes treating like descripted, you can use small pieces of wood. These you dig under his fingernails and set them on fire. Mostly than you will get him confessing. If not, you can ... - I guess it is enough for now. Believe me, they had found especially in Bamberg a lot of "nice methods" to reach confessions. There was a real manual for that named the "Bamberg treatment". In my opinion the criminals in our days could be lucky, they should not quarrel, in the past they sometimes even lose their tongues to quarrel.

I will stop my tongue also because digging in the old stories I could tell more and more. You can hear or see at the best possibility the living history in Bamberg yourself. I would enjoy to make a daytrip with you therein but better would be you plan your vacation in town.

So much arts, historical documentation, nice views, good food, marvellous districts, it would be a pity to fail something. Lovers of good music know surely the Bamberg Symphonic Orchestra.

In summer there are several concerts there, the plan you can get over the nice people of the tourist & congress service in Bamberg. Or you visit the homepage of the town with a famous scedule from all events coming soon.

The end now of our trip is a small legend from Bamberg. It is a tale, how a social helpsystem was founded.

The foundation for sick barber- and baker journeymen

Unce upon a time a rich man was living in Bamberg. He had a violent temper and was often really wild. Some day, nobody knew why, he got in rage over his daughter. He was hunting her through the whole house and town, so long, that her only way to escape was the near wood. There she lose the way and walked sad around not finding a way back. Sun was going deeper and deeper, the unlucky maiden kneed down and prayed to the Lord for help.

A few time later two journeymen, one baker and one bader, suddenly appeared, talked very polite to her and brought her back on the right way to Bamberg. Late at night the girl reached the town. Next morning she went to the monastery and became a nun. But thinking on the help of these two brave journeymen she gave the basement money for that foundation.

So, that's it for today. By car I would have two hours back to home but lucky me, in the internet it is only one click. Please let me know, if you enjoy this and some other "web-trips" of mine, I would really appreciate. Thanks for being my guest, hope to see you sometimes personal.

Your George

Script by J.W.Lohfink, for any mistakes in spell or grammar I apologize as a precaution, corrections, questions or comments please mail to me.

>> German version

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