We had changed bases to Bad Konigshofen. We spent our first day, Saturday, catching up with washing as unlike many of the German stellplatz this one had a washing machine and dryer. We had intended to go to Bamberg on the Sunday but we woke to rain so decided we would spend the day catching up on phone calls and planning our trip back to the UK in mid September.
Monday we woke up to grey skies but the forecast was to brighten up so we headed To Bamberg. As we had found in many of the larger towns the signage to the old town was not very clear but we did eventually find a car park close to main shopping area. Fortunately our guide book had a small map of the town and eventually we did find the tourist information office to get a more detailed map of the old town.
Bamberg’s old town is a UNESCO World Heritage site due to its many original historic buildings as the town suffered very little damage during World War II. Bamberg town is spread over seven hills and over history liked to pride itself with Rome. Since 1008 AD to 1802 Bamberg was the capital of the diocese or prince-bishopric with the Holy Roman Empire. The prince bishops were very powerful and had a wide jurisdiction. It was the Prince Bishops of Bamberg during the 13th who were responsible for a significant number of the historic buildings seen today in Bamberg.
After getting our detailed map we made our way across the bridge which crossed the River Regnitz. Right in the middle of the bridge sits the most interesting old Rathaus or Town Hall we had seen. It was a mixture of half timbered and Baroque styles reflecting the changes over the centuries. The Baroque Luftmalerei was very exuberant particular the chubby angel leg sticking out. There are two stories why it is situated where it is: first the city burghers built it there because the prince bishop refused to donate any land for its construction; second it was built to mark the division between the religious and the secular parts of the city.
After crossing the river we headed quickly through the area near the river which was crowded by a beer festival and headed up the hill to the Domplatz. We entered a huge square dominated by the Kaiserdom or imperial cathedral which was completed in 1237. Inside although enormous it was not that impressive except for the elaborate tomb of the holy Roman Emperor Henry II and his wife Cunigunde who founded the diocese of Bamberg.
On the opposite side to the cathedral was again the huge New Bishop residence which was built and then extended between 1613 and 1703 although modern day restoration work was being undertaken. Much more interesting behind the cathedral was the Alte Hofhaltung which in the 15th century housed the prince-bishops household.
From the Domplatz we then walked the hill up to the Michaelsburg a former Benedictine monastery. From here we got great views over the city.
Making our way down again we walked by the river across from medieval fishermen’s houses known as the Klein Venedig or Little Venice before heading back to the car along Main-Donau canal.