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April 28, 2022
Bamberg, Germany: “Franconian Rome”

Today’s town, Bamberg, is situated on seven hills. Rome was also built on seven hills, which is why Emperor Heinrich II decided to make Bamberg the capital of the Holy Roman Empire in 1007.

Bamberg is also one of the few cities in Germany not destroyed by World War II bombing. (It was considered to have no strategic importance.) As a result, Bamberg today has a large landscape of well-preserved Medieval structures in its Old Town. The city is still laid out as it was in Medieval times; with Gothic, Baroque and Romanesque architecture.

After a morning of sailing and an early lunch, all guests spent a whopping five hours in Bamberg: the included hour-and-a-half “Bamberg Walking Tour” excursion, followed by several hours of free exploration and shopping.

One of Bamberg’s most picturesque areas is Venedig (“Little Venice”)

A melange of Gothic, Baroque and Romanesque architecture

You can still see Bamberg’s city wall

In remembrance of the WWII purge of the entire Jewish population, Bamberg has set “Stumbling Stones” into the ground to remind people where Jews once lived

When Bamberg became a capital, a new cathedral was built. The Imperial Cathedral contains the tomb of Pope Clement II, the only pope who is entombed north of the Alps. Another feature of the city is the Rathaus (Town Hall). Bamberg occupies both sides of the river, and the townspeople wanted a Town Hall that would serve both sides, so they constructed the Rathaus on an artificial island right in the middle of the river.

The Dom (Imperial Cathedral)

The Dom is adjacent to the Domplatz, an enormous square. Parking is only allowed here on Sundays; the rest of the time it is completely empty.

Inside the cathedral

The tomb of Pope Clement II is very difficult to spot. It is the white box hidden behind the large gold chair at the altar.

Here is a better picture of the Pope’s tomb from the cathedral brochure

The Rathaus

The Rathaus façade is decorated with colorful murals on all sides

Parts of the mural are three-dimensional!

Right next to the Obere Brücke (the “Big Bridge” where the Rathaus resides) is the Untere Brücke (“Little Bridge”)

During our free time we walked through the Grüner Markt, the Fresh Produce Market

Bamberg is also famous for its rauchbier, or “smoke beer.” This refers to an ancient method of drying the brewer’s malt over an open flame. According to legend, a Bamberg brewer used malt that had been smoke-damaged in a fire, and the beer turned out to be unexpectedly popular. Today, authentic rauchbier is brewed only in this area.

Rauchbier is supposed to have a smell and taste like bacon, but no one in our party was too eager to try it. So instead, during our free time Gail and Cameron went to a local ice cream shop and enjoyed a “bubble waffel.”

As we leave Bamberg, we also leave the Main River. For the next few days, we will be transiting through the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal.

A rauchbier proprieter

Gail and Cameron were more attracted to the “Bubble Waffels”

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