People Power in 1467


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Europe » Germany » Bavaria » Bamberg
May 11th 2018
Published: May 12th 2018
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Bridge to the town hall built in the middle of the riverBridge to the town hall built in the middle of the riverBridge to the town hall built in the middle of the river

The prince/bishop wouldn't grant the people land for a town hall, so they built it in the river, which nobody could own.
Bamberg is yet another historic town near the confluence of two rivers, in this case the Main and the Reglitz. Bamberg's old town, with over 1000 years history, escaped bombing by the Allies in WWII and has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1993. Bamberg is built on an early medieval plan and has many half-timber houses and very old churches.

Bamberg was made a bishopric in 1007 and bishops were later made princes of the Holy Roman Empire in the mid 12th century, so they were leaders of both the church and the state.

According to our guide, having heard how other places were moving toward self-government, the people of Bamberg wanted the same. They wanted a town hall, but their ruler said no, not on my land you don't. So the clever townspeople, realizing that their ruler could not own the river, thwarted him by building themselves a town hall on the small island in the Regnitz River in 1437. It is called the Altes Rathaus and is reached by stone bridges. This town hall is still standing and its exterior is covered in frescoes.


Additional photos below
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Town hall additionTown hall addition
Town hall addition

Not quite in the same style
Half-timber structuresHalf-timber structures
Half-timber structures

We might think the word "Tudor", but of course there were no Tudors in Bamberg.
Bamberg's "Little Venice"Bamberg's "Little Venice"
Bamberg's "Little Venice"

This is the old fisherman's district, and most of these half-timber houses, holding each other up, were built in the middle ages.
Saint Martin's ChurchSaint Martin's Church
Saint Martin's Church

This church dominates the town plaza.
Protection for the VirginProtection for the Virgin
Protection for the Virgin

From what? Pigeons?
Bamberg Cathedral, for the prince/bishopBamberg Cathedral, for the prince/bishop
Bamberg Cathedral, for the prince/bishop

As always: "Prized properties on tops of hills all over the world".
Blunt message in the archway on the cathedralBlunt message in the archway on the cathedral
Blunt message in the archway on the cathedral

The people on the right are smiling because they're going to heaven. On the left the condemned include a bishop and a prince!
The view over the cityThe view over the city
The view over the city

Prince/Bishop is watching you.
Checking out the beer in this historic medieval townChecking out the beer in this historic medieval town
Checking out the beer in this historic medieval town

None of us ventured to try the local "smoke beer" because many folks thought it tasted terrible.
The statue of Neptune, Bamberg's meeting place, and where we had to remeet our guide The statue of Neptune, Bamberg's meeting place, and where we had to remeet our guide
The statue of Neptune, Bamberg's meeting place, and where we had to remeet our guide

This site functions like the steps of the Town Hall in Sydney. The local farmers didn't know Neptune, so they called it the man with the pitchfork.


13th May 2018

People power in 1467
What a beautiful city Bamberg is; some gorgeous old buildings with some fascinating architecture to enjoy. M xx

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