I wasn’t just in Bamberg to move from one brewery to the next. Of course, I also wanted to gather some city impressions and discover Bamberg’s sights.
I really saw a lot. The Bamberg sights – I have compiled my personal highlights here:
Geyerswörth Castle – Tower Tour
Exactly one day before the renovation work on the tower of Geyerswörth Castle was to begin, I had the opportunity to climb the steps in the tower and take a look at the city.
The city palace is located on a small island between the left arm of the Regnitz and the Old Canal. In 1314, the wealthy Geyer family of Nuremberg settled here. Their former residence Geyerswörth with its 14th century building fabric no longer exists today. The family gradually sold their property and in 1580 the site finally belonged to the Bamberg diocese.
The old building was converted into a residential palace and a large representative garden was laid out. Inadequate statics and poor building fabric led to some structural changes.
Today there is still the very beautiful inner courtyard and the tower in the south wing to discover.
With the big key we stand in front of the tower door and open it. The air is stuffy as we step into the tower. We start climbing the, if I haven’t lost count, 132 steps until we finally arrive at the top platform. There’s not much room up here, but it’s quite enough for two or even a small group. The windows are no longer completely clean, the view is already somewhat clouded. But who comes up here to clean the windows? You can open the windows and have a really beautiful view over Bamberg.
If you want to climb the tower after the construction work, you can ask at the tourist information centre if it is possible. I think it’s worth it in any case.
I don’t know how many times I’ve heard the term Little Venice in different cities by now. It almost seems to me that every city that has a beautiful little canal with beautiful houses on it wants to have a Little Venice.
For example, I have already discovered Little Venice in Wolfenbüttel and my home district of Spandau in Berlin. Bamberg also has a place called Little Venice, a Bamberg sight not to be missed.
On the eastern bank of the Regnitz River are a number of residential buildings that date back to the Middle Ages. About thirty half-timbered houses with their small gardens and large wooden balconies stand directly on the bank. The cellars, which are still open to the water today, served as boathouses. The fishermen could dry their nets on the large balconies.
This former fishermen’s settlement is the Little Venice of Bamberg.
If you take a walk on the opposite bank, you have a great view of the houses. In Bamberg, you can also discover Little Venice from the water. Excursion boats regularly sail across the Regnitz.
As a special highlight, two genuine Venetian gondolas travel through Bamberg. You can book different tours and of course also stop by in Little Venice.
We almost went on the gondola as well. Unfortunately, there was a delay in the operating schedule that would have affected our next appointment. With a heavy heart, we gave up the ride, gave away our tickets and so I hope to come to Bamberg again and experience a gondola ride.
Franconian Brewery Museum
We were in Bamberg under the sign of beer. So a visit to the Franconian Brewery Museum was a must.
Somewhat hidden on the Michaelberg is the entrance to the Franconian Brewery Museum. A good 1000 m² of exhibition space is spread over several levels that are not barrier-free and can be reached via steps. During the visit, you climb into the vaults of the former Benedictine monastery brewery, which was closed in 1969.
The museum came into being in 1979 when master brewers founded the “Förderverein Fränkisches Brauereimuseum in der Bierstadt Bamberg e.V.” (Friends of the Franconian Brewery Museum in the Beer City of Bamberg) and assembled exhibits on the subject of beer brewing and beer culture.
We went on a journey of discovery without a guide. There was a lot to discover. The extensive collection of beer mugs alone and the many advertising media on the subject of beer were so varied that I always discovered something interesting.
I was particularly fascinated by the old machines for bottling beer. When you consider how quickly the beer is bottled today with the help of modern technology and how laborious the process was just a few years ago, the development is impressive.
On the lowest level of the museum, you will then find yourself in a fermentation cellar, a storage cellar and can also enter an old ice cellar.
I enjoyed my visit to the museum. I would have liked a little more explanation on one or two of the exhibits. Either I overlooked the signs or there were really no information boards, but sometimes I had to pass when it came to the use or the name of a piece. But I was impressed by the diversity of the exhibits and it is clear that the association that runs the museum has put a lot of time and effort into it.
Wednesday-Friday: 13-17 h
Saturday, Sunday, public holidays: 11-17 h
Discounts are available.
Guided tours can be booked separately!
One of Bamberg’s most striking buildings and sights is the Cathedral of St. Peter and St. George. The four towers are particularly striking. I was drawn to the Domberg to discover the imposing building.
The foundation stone was laid by King Henry II as early as 1004, and the building was consecrated in 1012.
In 1185, a major fire destroyed the cathedral. It had to be demolished and reconstruction began shortly afterwards. In the Baroque period, reconstruction work began which adapted the building to the style of the time. By about 1678, almost all 30 altars had been redesigned. The interior of the cathedral itself was colourfully painted. Remains can still be seen today.
In 1829, under Ludwig I, the purification of the cathedral began. It was to be restored to its original Romanesque style. Walls, vaults, capitals and sculptures were washed away, damaged areas were repaired and a colourless building was created.
I find the prince’s portal, which is located on the northern side of the nave, particularly impressive. It is rarely opened and leads directly onto the cathedral square. If you look at the faces of the figures above the lintel, you will see some grinning almost stupidly. These figures represent the damned being dragged off on a chain by a naked devil. Among the figures are also a king and a bishop.
And then I stood in front of two stone sculptures…
Legend about the Bamberg Cathedral Toads
In front of the Bamberg Cathedral at the Gnadens- und Adamspforte there are really strange sculptures. Completely indefinable creatures that give rise to much speculation.
Toad or lion? You can’t really tell anymore.
Legend has it:
There was a very ambitious young master builder who helped to build Bamberg Cathedral. He was to build the Peterschor. An experienced master builder had been given the task of building the Georgenchor and made much faster progress with his work than the young master builder. Out of sheer ambition, the young man made a pact with the devil. Every night, the devil sent creatures that were half lion and half toad to the Georgenchor. They tore down the walls and constructions that had been built the day before. In this way, the young master builder managed to complete the Peterschor beforehand.
On the day of completion, an elegant man appeared at the construction site and had the finished choir shown to him. The young master builder was proud of his work and only when the stranger said he would now like his reward for his help did he recognise the devil. The young man was afraid, but insisted that he would not give his soul to the devil until after his death. At this, the devil laughed and pushed the master builder off the parapet.
A short time later, the bishop consecrated the building, thus driving out all evil, and the still active cathedral toads turned to stone.
Believe it or not, the legend is beautiful in any case.
Oh yes, the name Domkröten is derived from the term Domgreden. In the Middle Ages, it meant something like steps from the cathedral.
If you go to the cathedral, you should not miss the Bamberg Horseman and the Emperor’s Tomb. But there are many other interesting details that you should definitely see. Unfortunately, my time was far too short to see everything in detail. A reason to go to Bamberg again and then discover the cathedral with a detailed guided tour.
Old Courtyard (Alte Hofhaltung)
Right next to the cathedral is the Alte Hofhaltung. A truly impressive building that was once inhabited by bishops. Even today, one enters the grounds through the “beautiful gate”. This shows a very well-crafted relief with the image of Muttegott, Saint Peter, George, Kunigunde and Heinrich. Two further figures represent the personified rivers Main and Regnitz.
The inner courtyard of the Alte Hofhaltung is surrounded by half-timbered houses. During my visit to the city, the annual festival was taking place. A stage and the grandstand were set up, which unfortunately covered a lot. But I was still able to get a small impression of the inner courtyard.
If you fancy a breath of museum air, you’ll find the Historisches Museum in the Alte Hofhaltung.
Standing on the Domplatz, you enter the Rose Garden through a gate of the New Residence.
If you want to be alone here and enjoy the romance of the grounds, you should go early. During the day, countless groups of tourists come here and look down on Bamberg from the edge of the garden. A view that is really worthwhile!
The garden itself has a small network of paths that meet in the middle at a fountain. Many smaller beds, bordered by box hedges and with up to 4500 roses in bloom, tempt you to take a romantic stroll. Numerous sculptures from ancient mythology stand between the beds. I almost felt like I was in a castle garden.
Bamberg Sights: Discoveries …
Do you still know Sams and Mr Taschenbier? Some of the films about the cute Sams from the children’s book by Paul Maar were filmed in Bamberg. If you stroll through Judenstraße, you will come across the “Haus zum Einhorn”, built in 1747. In the film, the beautiful house served as an outdoor backdrop for Mr Taschenbier’s house.
At the lower bridge is a large sculpture of an oversized head with large parts of the face and the back of the head missing. The bronze sculpture from 1987 is the work of Igor Mitoraj and is part of the Bamberg Sculpture Trail.
The sculpture trail also includes the statue of ETA Hoffmann at Schillerplatz. ETA Hoffmann lived for some time in Bamberg at Schillerplatz. Today there is a small museum about the writer in his house. The sculpture stands in front of the theatre, almost opposite the museum.
To stay with ETA Hoffmann. In his story “The Golden Pot”, a doorknob is mentioned. This represents an elderly woman, the Apfelweibla. Originally, this doorknob was located in Bamberg’s old town at the door Eisgrube 14. Today, a copy hangs there, the original is in the historical museum.
One of the most imposing and striking buildings is the Böttingerhaus. The court counsellor Böttinger had the baroque palace built in 1707-1713. He modelled it on Italian palazzi. The façade is elaborately designed and does not really fit in with the rest of the streetscape. Today the house is privately owned.
I don’t want to miss the opportunity to mention the beautiful old Bamberg town hall once again. You can read more about it in my article ” Bamberg’s old town hall – the city’s most famous building”.
Bamberg showed itself from its best side during my visit, and not just in terms of the weather. I discovered quite a few things and also had a few items on my “I want to see more” list. A reason to pay Bamberg a second visit!
Disclosure: I was in Bamberg as part of a blogger trip on the topic of beer. The visit to the Geyerswörther Tower was part of the trip. The report on it was written independently and corresponds exclusively to my impressions.