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Posts Tagged ‘neo-gothic’

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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Tumultuous times for Cochem

Cochem,_MarktThe first recorded name for Cochem is ‘Cuchema’ in a gifting document from 866 AD. Then- and in the following centuries – the city and its surrounding districts changed ownership and allegiances quite frequently. Religion and politics were tightly interwoven during those times and territories given as fiefdoms, which was a revenue option for the owners, rulers or occupants. Trying to come to grips with the historic time line of the city and the castle towering over it and presenting a short overview is proving to be nearly impossible. The castle’s web site has managed to put together a short and succinct summary of the most important facts and figures for those of you who are keen on historical details.

Castle of modern times

cochemThe most important fact to know is that the castle you get to see today is not the one from the 11th and 12th century. That one was destroyed in 1689 by King Louis XIV during the Nine Year’s war. It took nearly 200 years, well really only 180, for the ruins to catch someone’s eye and the ‘new’ castle to be built. In 1868 the new owner Louis Fréderic Jacques Ravené was not interested in a reconstruction in the original Romanesque style, but wanted the ‘modern’ neo-Gothic style for his family’s summer residence! reichsburg_9_by_januaryguest-d3qt99qIn architectural context that was the same time when Schloss Neuschwanstein was conceived and built.

Walking around the beautifully maintained castle you can indulge your fantasy, pretend you’re in a fairy tale again and imagine what it would have been like for the rich and famous to spend time in their ‘holiday bach’!

Author: Petra Alsbach-Stevens

 

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