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Coming into Bamberg means being on the brink of leaving the beer making region of your cycle tour. The city is not only famous for its historic city center, but also for its huge range of beers. During your guided tour you will be able to discover the historic city centre and taste some of the local specialties.

History

Bamberg_town_hall_from_opposite_bridgeConflicts in the early Middle Ages meant that the city and its estates changed ownership a lot of times, which in turn meant political unrest and marauding soldiers throughout the rest of the Middle Ages. The one constant power throughout these times was the Catholic Church, which accounts for the higher than average number of churches in the city; around twice compared to the national average. Like Rome it was built on seven hills and sometimes referred to as Frankish Rome.

Bamberg-KleinVenedig1-AsioNot until the late 17th century did the city enjoy relative peace and quiet and was able to culturally blossom during the Baroque period. Right up to the early 1930’s Bamberg and its intellectuals were seen as radical democrats, which reached its peak in the declaration of the Bamberger Verfassung – the first democratic constitution for Bavaria – in 1919. The third Reich and WWII left their marks on the city, even though not physically: only a small percentage of the city fell during attacks, making the historic city center the largest undamaged one in Germany. In 1993 this was made official by its entry into the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Sights

Bamberg-Turm-EWThe guided tour will take you to the Imperial Cathedral, which is an excellent example of how architectural styles develop over the time it takes to construct a huge building and how the changes are incorporated into it. The cathedral was started in the Romanesque style which later developed into the Gothic style. The photo of the two towers demonstrates the differences perfectly.

Apart from the churches throughout the city, there are numerous private dwellings and educational institutions to admire. Discover on your tour how the city preserved its historic buildings and encouraged modern architecture to become part of an intriguing cityscape.Konzerthalle_Bamberg_Dämmerung_Peter_Eberts

All this sightseeing can make one very hungry and thirsty: what better way to find out about the local beer brewing traditions and local specialties by stopping for a bite at one of the remaining breweries: there used to be 68 breweries listed with 8 still up and running. A local specialty is ‘smoked beer’ which goes pretty well with a Schäufele, a hearty pork shoulder roast!

Author: Petra Alsbach-Stevens

 

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Baroque church design

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756px-Ludwigsplatz1.svgOn a visit to Saarbrücken you should go and have a look at the Ludwigskirche in the center of town. It is one of three of the most relevant Protestant churches in Germany. It was designed by Friedrich Joachim Stengel and consecrated in 1775. In line with the traditional baroque design of a ‘complete work of art’, the design not only focused on the church itself, but included the surrounding Ludwig’s Square as well. The map illustrates the plans for the surrounding buildings even though not all were completed.

Restoration

1920px-LudwigskircheDuring a bombing in October 1944 the church sustained such major damage that only the surrounding walls remained. Even though rebuilding started in 1949, because of fierce discussions until the 70’s it isn’t finished yet. The discussions were about whether or not to restore the original baroque designs or just keep the exterior and create a modern interior. Eventually the traditionalists succeeded and most of the interior is now finished. Now they just have to decide whether to paint the exterior the original white – which would require regular cleaning and repainting – or not. Also some exterior balustrade figures are still not replaced, but it is nonetheless well worth a visit!

Author: Petra Alsbach-Stevens

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