Sunday, May 27, 2007

World Heritage Site Bamberg

Mother's Day, which was a couple of days ago, was an opportunity for me and my Mom to visit Bamberg. Bamberg is a World Heritage Site due to its well-preserved Altstadt (Old Town). Other cities in Germany during WWII got bombed and their Old Town destroyed, for strategic and symbolic reasons, but Bamberg was lucky, it just happened to be of no interest for the allies. I'll be honest, I didn't think the prospect to visit old parts of a city to be that thrilling, but it turned out that this city has a lot of charm and the old houses were just lovely. We also had a very entertaining tourguide who turned out to be a former schoolmate of mine. Years ago she moved there to study medieval history of art and falling for the charm of the city decided to settle there.

I'm afraid my pictures won't do the beauty of this city justice. I'm always surprised to see how boring some pictures can appear, while in in reality the view was so nice. Anyway, maybe you will nevertheless be able to get a hint of how it really is.

But our tour didn't start on top of a hill of course, it started with a short cruise on the Regnitz, the river which passes Bamberg. This part is called "Little Venice" due to the river and the picturesque half-timbered houses on its bank. We got told that these half-timbered houses that nowadays so many people find adorable and cute were considered ugly, oldfashioned and bad taste and their owners were usually really poor people, like fishermen. The building on the right side was a slaughterhouse, a sign that this indeed was not the most expensive residential area.

That's the Bamberg Cathedral. It was built with the purpose to imitate the St Peter's Basilica in Rome (Bamberg is also located on more or less seven hills like Rome and the monarchs of those past ages were eager to find as many resemblances as possible). The cathedral, like the one in Rome, is one of the few churches that are orientated to the West instead of the East.

On the other side of the place is the Neue Residenz, the home of one of the bishops of Bamberg.

The bishop who built the Neue Residenz hated half-timbered buildings. That's part of the former bishop's residence. He would have also like to get rid of this building, but if I remember it right he didn't have the means to pay for it.

View from top of the hill to another hill with another church.

The Old Town Hall built on the bridge as a compromise to resolve the conflicts between the different rising classes among the population. If I remember it correctly, the craftsmen lived on one side of the bridge and the merchants on the other side. Both were mistrustful of each other.

2 Kommentare:

Krawuggl said...

Da hätten wir uns beinahe treffen können, ich war am Vatertag dort. Langsam scheint mir, wir leben in einer ähnlichen Ecke, wo es nach oben und unten und rauf und runter oft nur ein Tagesausflug entfernt ist.

lillysmuul said...

WOW,so lovely old town! Thank you for sharing great pictures!


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