There are not many cities in which the
enchantment of history is as evident as in Bamberg. This lends the
upper Franconian city its incomparable and distinctive character.
The slogan "Gift of a Millennium" points out that the city of
Bamberg was able to preserve its appearance over many centuries.
Therefore, this diocesan city is often referred to as an urban
jewel, as a repository of famous art treasures. The importance of
this city in history is evident in the four-domed imperial
cathedral harbouring the tombs of Emperor Henry II and his wife
It is also the site of the sole papal tomb
north of the Alps; Pope Clemens II is buried here. World famous is
the "Bamberger Reiter", the statue of the "Bamberg Horseman",
created by an unknown sculptor and considered to be the embodiment
of the ideal medieval king or knight.
Other imposing monuments are the former
Benedictine monastery on Michaelsberg mountain and the "Alte
Bruckenrathaus", or old bridge town hall, in the middle of the
Regnitz river. Come and discover the city’s treasures in the
Diocesan Museum, in the "Alte Hofhaltung" (Historical museum) and
in the "Neue Residenz", or "New Residence".
The city’s name is derived from Babenbergem,
whose castle was probably located on the present day "Domberg", the
cathedral hill. The area was previously settled by the Slavs and
the Franks. Bamberg is first mentioned in 902 in connection with
the "Babenberger Fehde", or Babenberg dispute, as "Castrum
Babenberg". Emperor Otto II presented the "civitas Papinberc" to
his cousin, the Bavarian Duke Heinrich der Zanker in 973. When the
Bavarian duke’s son, who later became Emperor Henry II (1002 -
1024), married Kunigunde of Luxembourg, the latter was presented
with Bamberg as a wedding gift. After the election of Henry II as
the German king, a bishopric was established in Bamberg as part of
a contest over power. In the 11th century, along the Regnitz river,
a merchant settlement was founded at the foot of the "Domberg".
Later on, the citizenry built a town hall on a city island, and
patrician families guided the destiny of the city. Bishops,
nobility and patrician merchants became patrons of numerous artists
in the late Middle Ages. But Bamberg also became one of the focal
points of German humanism.
The first printed and illustrated book came
out of a Bamberg printing press in 1460/61. The Peasant War, the
Thirty Years’ War, and the witch hunts decimated the population.
Between 1693 and 1746, however, under the leadership of the bishops
of Schonborn, the city experienced an economic miracle. The siege
of the city by Bavarian troops in 1802 ended the independence of
the diocesan city of Bamberg.
In 1808 the author E.T.A. Hoffman was
commissioned as the music director of the theatre. At the same
time, the philosopher Georg F.W. Hegel published a newspaper which,
however, fell victim to censorship. In 1841, Bamberg was the
northernmost point of the "Ludwigkanal", or Ludwig Canal.
Today, Bamberg has 70,000 inhabitants, 8,000
of whom are students at the Otto-Friedrich- University. Among the
numerous cultural establishments are the E.T.A. Hoffman Theatre,
libraries, archives, museums and 25 orchestras. The most notable
orchestra is the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, which carries
Bamberg’s fame to the far corners of the globe.
Important events in Bamberg’s calendar are the
"Sandkirchweih", (in late August), a fair in front of the backdrop
of the former fishermen’s settlement "Klein Venedig" ("Little
Venice") and the Calderon Festival (June/July), which takes place
is the "Alte Hofhaltung". Both events draw many visitors from near
Bamberg Tourist Officer
Tel. 0049 951 2976 200
Fax 0049 951 87 1960
The Bedford-Bamberg Association was formed 25
years ago by a group of Bedfordians with the aim of forging links
with families in Bamberg. Visit their website at http://www.bedfordbamberg.org.uk/.
The Bedford-Bamberg Association hold
events through out the year, and arrange visits to Bamberg usually
on an alternating basis with their counterpart club in Bamberg.