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Published: November 14th 2005
Bamberg's Brueckenrathaus Weekend before last we decided to see a little more of Germany and took a ride to Bamberg, about an1 1/2 hour drive north of Ansbach. Bamberg was founded about 900 A.D. and was fortunate not to suffer any bombing damage during World War II. A thousand-year cultural and architectural site, UNESCO declared Bamberg a world heritage city in 1976. It is a beautiful town with unforgettable small and winding alleys with picturesque views at almost every turn. A city of about 70,000, Bamberg’s residence brag that their city is built on seven hills like Rome, has a network of waterways like Venice, and that it’s Altstadt (Old Town) is as beautiful as Prague’s. Although we only spent a couple hours sightseeing, it is a place that we definitely plan on returning to for a more thorough visit.
Bamberg's town hall is built on a bridge over the Regnitz River. It serves both as a town hall and occasional exhibition center.The 15th century half-timbered building falls all the way down the side of the bridge almost into the river itself. Hovering over the two bridges is the newer part of the Townhall, built in the 18th century in a garish Baroque style. The colourful frescoes on the sides of the building are just fantastic, and make this one of the most unusual and most picturesque town halls in all of Germany, if not Europe.Why was the Town Hall built on this *strange* location? The legend explains that the unusual construction site was chosen because the Bishop refused to grant the citizens a building site for the Town Hall that the citizens wanted to have. Maybe it was a good thing because the current Town Hall is magnificent the way it stands today and the location very different and unique!
After we left Bamberg we decided to drive to Wurzburg going through all the little villages enroute rather than taking the autobahn. We came into this relatively small town, Ebrach that had this huge church in the center of town. The Parish Church of Ebrach as it is known has a very plain exterior of gray stone blocks. The church, originally
A View of St. Michael's
Here is a view of the 11th century Benedictine monastery from the Neue Residenz's rose garden. Unfortunately, the roses were not in bloom.
was founded in 1127, by the reform order of Cistercians who sought to re-establish the rule of St. Benedict in its original austerity by means of seclusion, liturgical plainness, (hence, I believe, the blandness of the church’s exterior), and an ascetic style of living emphasizing manual labor. As plain as the church was on the outside, the opposite was true of the interior. It was mind boggling in that as you enter the church the interior walls became so alive in vivid colors. I don’t think my photos do justice to the colors and beauty of the interior.
It was wonderful driving through the German countryside at the height of fall. Germany is beautiful but in the fall all the leaves burst forth in flaming colors which are both beautiful and breathtaking. The area between Bamberg and Wurzburg is filled with vineyards, which produce some of the best German wines. Just outside the village of Volkach we stopped at Maria im Weingarten (St. Mary in the Vineyard), a church surrounded by vineyards. I was amazed by how different the colors of the vineyard leaves were. They formed a patchwork pattern along the hillsides. The fall colors among the vineyards
This eleventh century Benedictine monastary sits atop one of the highest of the seven hills overlooking the city. The modern monastary was largely rebuilt after fire damage in 1610, and thus combines the architectural styles of the original Romanesque with the later, slightly less inspiring, Gothic. In the cellars of the front courtyard you can also find the Frankisches Brauereimuseum, which shows off the fine history of Bamberg\'s brewing industry, from the time of the monk\'s first beers to the modern day. (Unfortunately it was closed when we were there) Why is there a statute of what appears to be Mercury in front of the church? I have no idea except maybe as a speedy messenger service for prayers to God.
and the Main River that flows through the area combined for some great photos.
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