Bamberg, a bite for Hansel and Gretel north of Nuremberg

If Hansel or Gretel wanted to eat a big gingerbread house, cake and sweets, they would probably sink their teeth into the Bamberg City Council.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
24 March 2024 Sunday 10:32
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Bamberg, a bite for Hansel and Gretel north of Nuremberg

If Hansel or Gretel wanted to eat a big gingerbread house, cake and sweets, they would probably sink their teeth into the Bamberg City Council. The town hall of this town in Bavaria is the closest thing to a fairy-tale property, located between two one-eyed bridges over the Regnitz River.

Bavaria is one of the luckiest states in Germany when it comes to traditional architecture. And that is saying a lot in a country that has an overwhelming heritage. Within Bavarian territory, Bamberg could easily take the cake if it were better known. Because even though it was declared a world heritage site almost three decades ago, this town of 80,000 inhabitants is not very famous outside the German borders.

The Town Hall has a very original structure, as an arch allows you to cross the building and join the two bridges. The large collection of porcelain inside may go unnoticed; it is open to the public. One of the wings of the building hangs over the water. The town hall is the ideal point to start the tour of this city, which has its three traditional neighborhoods as the main points of attraction.

The Cathedral of St. Peter and St. George, built at the beginning of the 11th century, also has a whimsical touch, with four sharp-pointed bell towers that pierce the sky and stand out throughout Bamberg. It is so enormous that it dwarfs the annexed prince-bishop's palace.

Like other European villages touched with the wand of beauty, Bamberg is surrounded by seven hills. This forces travelers to go up and down hills during the visit. But the effort is worth it to discover the neighborhoods of Bergstadt, Ingelstadt and Gärnetsatdt, which share the most valuable enclaves. In the first are the religious buildings; In the second, artisans and businesses are located around the river and its canals, and in the last, corresponding to the old area outside the walls, the greenery of the parks and orchards allows a panoramic view of the town.

In addition to the sumptuous temples and palaces, Bamberg's architecture is notable for its exposed half-timbering and sloping roofs, reinforcing the fairytale city feel. The owners take great care of the exterior paint and there are no modern commercial signs that spoil the streets, so the whole is very harmonious. In a more questionable aesthetic bet, some gondolas ply the canals to take tourists around. This is intended to reinforce some slogans such as “the Venice of Franconia”, but it is still an absolutely misplaced comparison.

Much more Germanic is the Grüner Markt that is set up every day next to the Neptune fountain. It brings together farmers and ranchers from the area, with their freshly harvested products. Of course, there are shopkeepers who offer a dizzying selection of artisan sausages, and which are treated like treasures by the Bavarians who, as we know, have a predilection for this type of sausage. And its companion, beer. There are up to nine producers in the area, so the classically Bavarian gastronomic combination is easy to enjoy here.

Bamberg is 60 kilometers north of Nuremberg, well connected by rail or by private vehicle on the A73 motorway, which connects both cities in less than an hour.