A little behind on this one! We visited Bamberg the day before Easter! From the train station, we strolled through the chilly open-air Easter market on our way to the Dom, and much like springtime in the midwest, people were out enjoying a festively bright morning. Nearly everything was closed the day before, so in Bavaria this was the day to be out.
Bamberg was built in the 11thC, and one of the main sights is the Cathedral of Saint Peter and Saint Georg. The cathedral is noteworthy for a few reasons: 1) It is the burial place of Pope Clement II, the only pope buried north of the Alps 2) The cathedral statue of the Bamberger Reiter, an unknown knight who was used in the 1940’s for Nazi propaganda as a symbol of German ideals 3) Architecture. The Dom was built Gothic, but burned down (twice) and was altered to Romanesque. All traces of it’s gothic roots were intentionally removed, and is now light Franconian sandstone.
Bionade: A Fermented Soft-Drink (and a Dark Smoky Bamberg Ale)
The highlight of the day! I ordered Bionade with lunch and the discovery of this beverage has made me a fangirl. If you have tried it, you will agree! It is more refreshing than soda — sort of like ginger ale– but less sugary. The drink was developed in the 1960’s-70’s in the apartment bathroom of a Bavarian brewmaster who wanted to create an organic non-alcoholic drink (for kids) using fermentation. It is still produced in northern Bavaria. (I haven’t seen Bionade in the US, but it should be available)
Bamberg is also known for Rauschbier, smoked beers. Derek ordered one with lunch and found out that he doesn’t dig the taste of campfire in his beer. But he did like Bionade!!
Remarkably, the old city of Bamberg was not damaged during WWII and many of the historic buildings are original examples of Romanesque architecture. You could walk the old city of Bamberg in half-a-day, but really– I’d say keep the walking minimal. The city has much to offer, but my reflections are: Go on a warm day. Walk around in the morning. Spend the entire afternoon sitting outside at a cafe near the Regnitz river and just enjoy the vibe of a great old city.