1. Old Town Hall, Lower Bridge, Upper Bridge and Old Town
The Old Town Hall of Bamberg is probably one of the most photographed places in Germany. In the center of the Regnitz, it is framed by the upper and lower decks. But why did the people of Bamberg build their town hall in the middle of the river? According to legend, the Bishop of Bamberg did not want to give the citizens any of his land for construction. As a result, the Bambergs rammed poles in the Regnitz and created a kind of artificial island on which they erected the building.
The town hall was first mentioned in 1387 and rebuilt between 1461 and 1467 in the form that can be seen today. The facade frescoes were redesigned in 1960. Anyone interested in historical porcelain should definitely visit the Ludwig Collection inside the building.
2. The little Venice
The former fishing settlement in the island city of Bamberg is called “Little Venice”. Half-timbered houses with small gardens and piers nestle together along the Regnitz. The best way to experience Little Venice is from one of the excursion boats – alternatively, the other side also offers a good view of the row of houses and many great photo spots.
3. Bamberg Cathedral and Bamberg Knights
Bamberg Cathedral rises above the old town on Domplatz. A predecessor Romanesque building, the Heinrichsdom, consecrated in 1012, fell victim to a fire in 1185. The new late Romanesque building was consecrated in 1237 and is largely preserved to this day. In addition to the architecture, special highlights are the richly decorated doorways and stone carvings, especially the Bamberg knight inside, as well as the tombs of the emperor and the pope. The tomb of Pope Clement II is the only remaining papal tomb north of the Alps.
You can read more about the Bamberger Reiter here:
4. New residence and rose garden
The New Residence on Domplatz was built in 1604 for the bishops of Bamberg. In the residence you can now visit three magnificent apartments with high-quality works of art and furniture, the baroque imperial hall and two state galleries with masterpieces of baroque and old German painting. In the inner courtyard, visitors have a great view over Bamberg’s rooftops from the rose garden. In the summer months, a magnificent splendor of flowers spreads over the more than 70 beds, framed by lime trees. Numerous benches invite you to linger.
5. Old Court
The ancient court embodies the beautiful architecture between the Middle Ages and the modern age. It consists of former residential and agricultural buildings of the episcopal court. With the high Renaissance gables, the imposing portal and the beautiful inner courtyard with half-timbered buildings, the building has been the scene of theaters, films and the like several times in the recent past.
Inside there is also the Historical Museum. In 1208 the imperial history was written in the old court with the regicide of Bamberg. At that time, Otto VIII von Wittelsbach, Count Palatine of Bavaria, killed the Roman-German king Philip of Swabia.
On the highest of Bamberg’s seven hills, visitors will find the Altenburg. The former place of refuge for the citizens of Bamberg was built around 1100. Later it served as a fiefdom of the prince archbishops. From the 16th century the walls were used as a prison. In 1801 it was finally acquired by a doctor who repaired the increasingly dilapidated structure.
From 1808 to 1813, the writer ETA Hoffmann regularly retired to a small hermitage in one of the wall towers that bear his name today. Until 1982 the bears lived in an enclosure on the Altenburg – today there is a stuffed bear in the kennel.
7. Michelsberg Monastery
The former Benedictine monastery of St. Michael has been enthroned on Michelsberg since 1015. After the church had to be rebuilt first due to an earthquake and then after a fire, the mighty buildings now appear in the Baroque style. A highlight of the church is the “Himmelsgarten”, a ceiling painting featuring 578 flowers and medicinal herbs. Unfortunately, the interior cannot be visited at the moment due to extensive and long renovations.
But the outdoor area is already worth a visit. The Baroque façade of the church with a staircase, the tomb of St. Ottone and the neo-Gothic mesh vault are just three of the many highlights. The terrace behind the church offers a wide panoramic view of the city. We also recommend a visit to the Michaelsberger Garden, a Baroque terraced garden with a fountain and two pavilions.
A tip for wine lovers: for some years now, on the slopes of the monastery garden, the vine has started to grow again and wine lovers can enjoy a real Bamberger Silvaner from Michelsberg.
8. Green Market, Neptune Fountain and Maximiliansplatz
Around the Fountain of Neptune – called Gabelmann by the locals – there is always a lively hustle and bustle on the Green Market. There are restaurants, delis and department stores framed by the Jesuit Church and Baroque houses. From Monday to Saturday, the farmers’ market is also held in the pedestrian area. Market traders offer fruits and vegetables from the region.
On Maximiliansplatz – better known as Maxplatz among Bamberg residents – food stalls offer visitors a variety of delicacies. The sculpture of King Maximilian – King of Bavaria watches over the square. It is surrounded by the saints of the city, Emperor Henry, Empress Kunigunde, Bishop Otto and St. George.
9. The green lungs of Bamberg – The Hain Park
Nature lovers don’t have to leave the center for a long walk in the countryside. The city park with Theresienhain and Luisenhain and the botanical garden invite tourists and locals to stroll. From the old canal you can reach the grove along the Regnitz in a few minutes. Here not only hikers, runners and cyclists get their money, but also water sports enthusiasts can let off steam in the waters without their own equipment.
The playground in the grove is a popular gathering spot for families, and footballers can show what they can do on the football pitch. Or how about a game of minigolf? Visitors can also pursue this pleasure in the park. For curious minds, “HainApp” offers a lot of information about the recreation area and its vegetation. By the way: Munich’s English Garden served as a model for Hain Park.
10. Gardener’s town with observation tower and gardener and hacker museum
Grow vegetables in the city center? Already in the Middle Ages, Bamberg gardeners were known beyond the city limits, especially for their licorice. Narrow but very deep plots of land still characterize the garden city of Bamberg today. Not visible from the street are the garden centers behind the closed facade of the houses. A visit to the historic center is not only worthwhile for the many Ab-Hof outlets, the gardener and hacker museum tells the story of the neighborhood and from the lookout tower visitors can see what can only be guessed from the surrounding streets.