The Town of Bamberg is listed as a World Heritage Site primarily because of its authentic medieval appearance. From the 10th century onwards, its town layout and architecture has been a great influence in Central Europe.
Some of the main monuments are:
- Cathedral (1237), with the tombs of emperor Henry II and Pope Clement II
- Alte Hofhaltung, residence of the bishops in the 16th and 17th centuries
- Neue Residenz, residence of the bishops after the 17th century
- Old Town Hall (1386), built in the middle of the Regnitz River, accessible by two bridges
- Klein-Venedig ("Little Venice"), a colony of picturesque fishermen's houses from the 19th century along one side of the river Regnitz.
- Michaelsberg Abbey, built in the 12th century on one of Bamberg's "Seven Hills"
- Altenburg, castle, former residence of the bishops
Map of BambergLoad map
Visit May 2010
I'm afraid I will not second the raving reviews below. However I might just have caught Bamberg on a bad day: there were streams of tourists milling around (some of them even aboard pseudo-Venetian gondolas), a number of stag/hen parties, some drunks occupying park benches, a couple of homeless. I even encountered a loud group of whom one person used the Nazi salute. There's a jail sentence for that in Germany.
The city itself reminded me a lot of Strasbourg - its riverside location, typical German construction style and the cathedral. But of course there are some worthwhile things to see. The former City Hall is the most prominent of these. It has splendid frescoes on the outside. I also liked the courtyard of the Old Palace.
This Old Palace now houses the Historical Museum. It has a number of not too interesting exhibitions. Currently there's also a photo exhibition about WHS in Nepal, Cambodja and Thailand which is worth a look. I almost had to stay forever in the historical museum as I kept going around in rounds without finding the exit. Fortunately an employee came to my rescue...
The Town of Bamberg was the World Heritage Site I was most looking forward to when I traveled to Germany in March 2019. The distinctive half-timbered addition to the Old Town Hall, or Altes Rathaus, cantilevered over the Regnitz River was featured in many travel guides, and that was the first site I zeroed in on upon arriving in Bamberg. The legend I heard about the town hall was that neither the church nor the merchants were willing to donate land for the town hall, so the citizens constructed an island in the middle of the river on which to build their town hall. Although the bridges leading to the town hall were crowded with tourists, there were some good spots to view the beautiful frescoes on the side of the building, as well as the photogenic neighborhood known as Little Venice perched on the banks of the river below the town hall.
After wandering around the islands on the Regnitz, my friends and I traveled back up the hill to the Bamberg Cathedral, an imposing Romanesque structure towering above the town. The cathedral was under construction when I visited, so I didn't find it as impressive as other churches I saw while in Germany. I did enjoy walking around the nearby Alte Hofhaltung, the Old Court where the bishops of Bamberg resided before they moved to the Neue Residenz. The courtyard of the Alte Hofhaltung, as noted below, was worth visiting both as an escape from crowds, and for the fully-engrossing half-timbered quarters enclosing the space.
The medieval heart of town was a joy to explore, but before the day left, our group made sure to head up another of Bamberg's hills to see Michaelsberg Abbey, a former Benedictine monastery. An event was going on at the abbey, so we were restricted to the courtyard. We were free to walk around the outside walls and through the gardens, however, and were treated to an amazing view over the town of Bamberg. Since our visit to Bamberg coincided with the first full day of sun we had seen during our trip to Germany, the Town of Bamberg more than exceeded my expectations, and I would gladly return.
Logistics: There are parking lots throughout Bamberg, with the main structure near the visitor center on the Regnitz River; the city can be easily explored on foot.
March 2010 - actually it is a shame, that I have only spent a few hours in Bamberg so far. Since I am a Brewing Engineer, there is lots to discover in that town.
The world's most known malthouse is standing just next to the train Station, one of the most famous brewing Equipment suppliers is also located here. And of course, Bamber is home to the famous Rauchbier. Bacon flavoured beer, Yummi:) We caught a timespan, when we were the only tourists in town and After days of snow, spring was coming out and the town was decorated with daffodiles. We took a Map and walked from one brewery to the next, actually had 3 beers at 3 locations, and visited the Main sights during the walk. The bridgehouse is unique and also the cathedral is worth visiting. Apart from that there are lots of timberframed houses.
I will definitly come back again and already looking forward to Rauchbier again.
It is easy to explore Bamberg by foot and, if you start at the train station and head towards the cathedral, you will pass through each of the different sections. The main sights are up on the hill and on the island at its foot. Make sure you don’t miss the Bamberg Cathedral the Old Town Hall, the Neue Residenz and its gardens, and Michaelsberg Abbey.
Bamberg is also a wonderful town to wander around and the architecture in the older parts is beautiful. From the river, you’ll be able to ‘Little Venice’, which is a collection of fishermen’s houses from the 19th century.
Another particularly famous aspect of Bamberg is the beer. It has a rather unique style of brewing that leaves some of the beers with a smoky or bacon flavour. The small pubs in the area at the base of the cathedral hill will happily serve you a glass – and it’s a good way to finish up a visit to this wonderful little town.
Read more from Michael Turtle here.
Inscribed on the UNESCO list due to its Slavic connections, its architecture and its links with the 18th century Enlightenment, Bamberg is known among beer lovers for its sheer variety of brews in that beeriest of countries, Germany. I have been twice with friends: in August 2010 and May 2015.
The town is built around two rivers. The medieval and baroque town houses and buildings are well preserved and most of the streets remain cobbled. Of all the buildings, the town hall, or Rathaus, is the most impressive to my mind.
As for the Slavic connections, Bamberg played a role in the past a link between Central and Eastern Europe, which explains its rather Polish feel. In the 18th century Enlightenment it was home to the philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and the author E.T.A. Hoffmann – on whose work ballets including The Nutcracker and Coppélia were based.
Although a pleasant town, if you are not a real beer afficionado seeking to check out the offerings of each of its 11 breweries, Bamberg is quite doable in one night. After narrowly missing the hourly train to Würzburg, we passed the time drinking local lagers and playing list-based drinking games … a finer activity on a summer’s day I haven’t yet found.
Read more from Tom Livesey here.
I visited Bamberg in June 2013. I was very lucky with the weather which was sunny contrary to what had been forecasted till the day before. Perhaps this was one of the reasons why there weren't huge crowds of tourists, who knows? I did not complain and explored all the sites the city has to offer and enjoyed walking through the narrow winding alleys and found a couple of welcoming and quaint beer gardens in the process. The Rathaus is an incredible sight, seeing is believing as they say. It appears to be almost floating in the middle of the river and is adorned with colourful murals on its sides. To me, Bamberg is one of the top WHS Germany has to offer and definitely well worth a visit!
I stayed a week in Bamberg before Christmas 2000 . It's very charming - but a WORLD HERITAGE SITE ? The sculpture in and on the cathedral is justly world famous - and the adjoining museum has terrific exhibits . But to be honest , after that and the small Altstdat - there's not much to see. It's a good base for exploring Upper Bavaria as transport is excellent . But compared to Lubeck and Goslar , it's small potatoes . Here in the UK we have many small towns more interesting - Shrewsbury , Stamford , Kings Lynn , Conwy , Melrose , Howden ; etc - and believe me none of those will ever be a World Heritage Site ...
Bamberg is a very historic and quite pleasant town in northern Bavaria, just a short train ride from Nuremberg. It features several interesting buildings, above all the old town hall (on an island in the river) and the famous cathedral with the equally famous Bamberg Horseman. The town is easily explored on foot, and was very nice to discover on a warm fall day. The cathedral museum should not be missed.
Central Europe has thrown up some of my favourite towns and Bamberg certainly ranks among them. We spent an unexpected and very cold day here in January 2007, and it was a great experience.
The centre of the town, situated between two rivers, is very nice with lots of cobbled streets and squares. However it is once you get to the river and see the fantastic and unique Altes Rathaus (picture) built between two bridges over the river, that the town becomes really charming. The murals on the side of the building are great, reminding me of many of the buildings in Cesky Krumlov.
This side of the river is actually fairly steep with lots of twisty lanes hiding café’s and antiques shops. It all leads up to Domplatz, which as the name suggests houses the Cathedral and its surroundings. The Cathedral itself is a bit Gothic/ Romanesque hodgepodge but worth a peek. The other sides of the square are taken up by; the impressive Neus Rezidence with an apparently great rose garden and the Old Courthouse, which is worth having a peek into to see the lovely courtyard surrounded by large half-timbered buildings.
It was cold and getting dark so unfortunately we didn't manage to make it up to Michaelsberg, to see the monastery, perhaps a reason to return!
Bamberg is a town famous for its beers, and there are plenty of places to try the local brews. We enjoyed trying all the varieties at Ambräusianum at Dominikanstr. 10 but there are plenty great looking pubs. If you only get chance for one beer then try the brew that Bamberg is most famous for Rauchbier (Smoked Beer) it is a very distinctive flavour, a little like drinking a bonfire/ bacon, much more enjoyable than it sounds!
I really enjoyed Bamberg and would thoroughly recommend a visit, the trademark Altes Rathaus and Rauchbier really shouldn’t disappoint in one of Central Europe’s nicest towns.
One of our favorite towns is Bamberg, a beautiful cathedral city that has escaped extensive war damage. On top of the hill four sharp spires rise from the Transitional Gothic cathedral. A wood sculpture in the cathedral, the monument for the tomb of Emperor Henry II, took the famous sculptor, Tilman Riemenschneider, 14 years to carve.
Das Bamberger Brücken-Rathaus, or Bamberg’s City Hall sits on a bridge over the River Regnitz. This incredible building, sits on a small island, anchored in the middle of the river, with a little timbered building, Häuslein, that seems to have been just tacked onto the bridge’s pierhead.
The two nights in two different years that we spent at the campsite in the suburban town named Bug, it rained and rained. What is remembered depends a lot on sunshine or rain. In either case what we see is exciting, but when we have another chance to see Bamberg, we will pray for sunshine.
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