I’m really not a fan of this new phenomenon of placing a small padlock in public places as a symbol of a couple’s unending love. This is often done on a bridge where the happy couple can then throw the key into the water below. It is occurring worldwide and causing grief to city authorities that now have to deal with this unauthorized form of expression. It causes me more concern when I see people get “creative” with their locks and place them on statues and other artworks rather than keep to the traditional bridge that is already covered with locks. But that is my issue.
For those who are interested in this form of self expression, Bamberg’s lock bridge is the Kettenbrücke, which stretches across the right arm of the Regnitz near the pedestrian zone just down from Maximilianplatz. Bamberg’s lock bridge was a bit different since the wires allow for the locks to line up neatly in rows. I guess if I had to design a bridge for this purpose, this would be the way to go – at least it isn’t as unsightly as other bridges that have locks haphazardly strewn all over it.
One of Bamberg’s claims to fame is that it has nine breweries. Yes, count them – NINE. I don’t drink beer but Hubby does and our travels always include him trying out the breweries in the cities we visit (check out his tips on these breweries). During our first trip to Bamberg, we managed to visit five of the nine. Of the remaining four, one was still closed for the holidays, one was too far to walk to, a third one Hubby had already tried their beer, and the final one we got lost trying to find and decided to give up for the day. But our trip to Bamberg was also a planning trip for a future group trip when we bring other beer lovers to Bamberg for a tour of the breweries, so we’ll get to those other breweries eventually.
Beer is a long tradition in Bamberg and their specialty beer is a Rauchbeir – a beer with a smoked flavor. There are other beers as well, although if you are interested in the Rachbier, you will want to try Schlenkerla Brewery (Dominikanerstrasse 6), which is famous for its smoked beer. Hubby had already tried this particular breweries beer and he is not a fan of Rauchbier. As we walked past the place, it looks just as smokey as its beer with smokers lined up outside and inside. It didn’t look like a place to go in for a nice meal – more of a bar for those wanting to meet up with friends.
We had good experiences in the other breweries we visited, eating lunch at one and having a snack in another (our dinner brewery was the one we couldn’t find – I’ve since doublechecked a map and learned that we hadn’t walked far enough). We met the brew master at Greifenklau and Hubby was in on the first sampling of a new beer that had just been tapped.
Overall, the brewery restaurants we visited were friendly places, serving up a variety of beers and good traditional German food. Most had locals dining at them, which is always a good sign for a great place to visit.
The nine breweries of Bamberg are:
Ambrausianum (Dominkanerstrasse 10)
Klosterbrau (Obere Mühlbrucke 1-3)
Schlenkerla (Dominkanerstrasse 6)
Brauerei Spezial (Obere Königstrasse 10)
Fässla (Obere Königstrasse 21)
Keesman (Wunderburg 5)
Mahrs (Wunderburg 10)
Greifenklau (Laurenziplatz 20)
Kaiserdom (Breitäckerstraße 9).
Bamberg also has the Franconian Brewery Museum, located in the former monastery on Michaelsberg. The Tourist Information Office offers a special beer tasters package – for €20 you get a Bamberg backpack, ceramic beer mug, beer postcard, beer coasters from the breweries, and five vouchers for beer from participating breweries.
Similar to Rome, Bamberg was built on seven hills. And just like in Rome, Hubby and I stood atop of the higher places in the city and tried to count the hills. And just like in Rome, we were wrong. Like Rome, Bamberg’s seven hills are not the big ones farther away, but rather some lower easy to climb hills that are located very close to each other.
We were standing on one of the hills when we attempted to find them – we were in the gardens of St. Michael’s Abbey, atop the hill called Michaelsberg. The nearby cathedral sits on another hill – Domberg. Since were able to walk from one hill to the next within a matter of minutes, that gives you an idea of how close the hills are together.
The map above shows the location of the seven hills of Bamberg – Michaelsberg, Domberg, Abtsberg, Jakobsberg, Kaulberg, Stephansberg, and Altenburg (berg is spelled different with this one – the highest hill of the Bamberg seven and home to Altenburg Castle).
We took our German shepherds on excursion to Bamberg. Zarina and Zharden fom Irin Hof strolled along the city with us. The people who saw us on excursion loved our dogs very much, asked us about them and wished us a success in Ulm where we were going to take part in the SV BSZS (Shaeferhund Verein Bundessiegerzuchtschau-2009).
You can watch my 2 min 23 sec HD Video German shepherds fom Irin Hof in Bamberg HD out of my Youtube channel.
The weather took a turn for the worse whilst I was in Bamberg and it was really very bleak and cold on one day in particular. Here in Australia during the cold weather, Sidewalk cafes have gas heaters which are turned on to keep the diners warm. In Bamberg (and I guess in other parts of Germany as well) they provide woollen blankets for the cafe and restaurant patrons who want to sit outside. Nice touch, I thought.
The imperial Cathedral of St Ptera and St George goes back to foundation by Emperor Heinrich II..who foundend the bishopric of Banberg in 1007..the first cathedral was consecrated in 1012..but. like its successor ,it burnt down..
When we strolled through the town we happened to see some schoolkids who did a rehearsal for the upcoming parade next week.
I cannot tell you what a parade this was, sorry, but it was in July or August and probably a big event.
The played several instruments, sang and marched along the streets. Very nice.
Bamberg is the home of the famous `smoked beer', which Germans call Rauchbier, a great local specially that some people believe is tasting like liquid ham (I didn't - actually found it very good!!). The smoky flavour is obtained by exposing the malt to the harsh, aromatic smoke of burning beach-wood logs. Smoked beer is among some 50 different types of beer the town serves. Nine breweries still operate in town, and about 90 in the surroundings, giving this region the highest density of breweries and beer worldwide.
Sit down in one of the local restaurant-pubs where you can try the local beer and eat local dishes - you will not be disappointed!!
Rauch is the German word for smoked and Rauchbier is a style of beer that is produced using barley, dried over a beechwood fire. This imparts a unique smoky flavor. Beechwood fires were commonly used in Franconia until the middle of the 19th century.
I was in Bamberg on Easter Monday and really liked this local custom: Statues of holy people were "dressed" in an easter outfit with many eggs and flowers. Very cute. Very colourful.