Bamberg Travel Guide
Bamberg is an absolute paradise for beer drinkers. It has more brews and breweries than any other city or town in Germany, more than even Munich, with the average Bamberger consuming an average of 190 liters of beer in any given year. And what's the most famous beer in Bamberg? you might ask. Why, Rauchbier, a smoked beer brewed here since 1536 and now served at restaurants and bars throughout the city, which is a tourist draw unto itself. But besides its notoriety as a beer-drinking haven, it must be fair to say that Bamberg is also one of Germany's loveliest towns, its old town crisscrossed by narrow, cobbled streets and richly endowed with architectural gems – some 2,300 or so protected buildings that span an entire millennium, ranging in style from Romanesque and Gothic to Renaissance and Baroque. In fact, the old town of Bamberg is now a designated UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site, and the principal reason to go to Bamberg – other than the beer, of course! The town, besides, has a good store of traditional Northern Bavarian restaurants serving authentic regional dishes to add to visitor interest, chasing it down with – what else? – Bamberg's hearty brews!
Bamberg is built on seven hills – yes, like Rome! – and situated on the Regnitz River, just before its confluence with the river Main, in the Franken (Franconia) region of Bavaria. It is 39 miles (63 km) north of Nürnberg and 63 miles (101 km) east of Würzburg, with rail and road links to both.
Bamberg can be reached by either road or rail from Nürnberg, which is 30-40 minutes to the south, or Würzburg which is about an hour to the west. Nürnberg and Würzburg in turn can be reached by air or rail from Munich and Frankfurt respectively.
Bamberg's main draw is of course its architecturally-rich old town, with its Romanesque and Gothic churches and no dearth of ornate mansions. Priorities are the Bamberg Altes Rathaus (old city hall), the thoroughly-enchanting Romanesque Bamberger Dom, the 11th-century Michaelsberg Abbey, and, for beer drinkers, Schlenkerla, one of the town's most famous breweries and taverns.
Bamberg is noted for its associations to Tilman Riemenschneider (1460-1531), one of Germany's most famous sculptors, who was born here; and the Dientzenhofer family, who also hailed from here and who designed and built a fair number of Germany's Baroque palaces, most notably the Bamberg Neues Residenz.
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