From Academic Kids

Map of Germany showing Bamberg

Bamberg is a town in Bavaria, Germany. It is located in Upper Franconia on the Regnitz River, close to its confluence with the Main River. Population: 69.899 (31.12.2003).



Bamberg lies on an open plain on the Regnitz River, 2 m. above its junction with the Main River, and 39 m. north of Nuremberg by railway.


During the post-Roman centuries of Germanic migration and settlement, the region afterwards included in the Diocese of Bamberg was inhabited for the most part by Slavs. The town, first mentioned in 902, grew up by the castle (Babenberch) which gave its name to the Babenberg family. On their extinction it passed to the Saxon house. The area was christianized chiefly by the monks of the Benedictine Abbey of Fulda, and the land was under the spiritual authority of the Diocese of Würzburg.

In 1007, Holy Roman Emperor Henry II made Bamberg, a family inheritance, the seat of a separate diocese. The emperor's purpose in this was to make the Diocese of Würzburg less unwieldy in size and to give Christianity a firmer footing in the districts of Franconia, east of Bamberg. In 1008, after long negotiations with the Bishops of Würzburg and Eichstätt, who were to cede portions of their dioceses, the boundaries of the new diocese were defined, and Pope John XVIII granted the papal confirmation in the same year. The new cathedral was consecrated May 6, 1012, and in 1017 Henry II founded on Mount St. Michael, near Bamberg, a Benedictine abbey for the training of the clergy. The emperor and his wife Cunigunde gave large temporal possessions to the new diocese, and it received many privileges out of which grew the secular power of the bishop (cf. Weber in Historisches Jahrbuch der Gorresgesellschaft for 1899, 326-345 and 617-639). Pope Benedict VIII during his visit to Bamberg (1020) placed the diocese in direct dependence on the Holy See. For a short time Bamberg was the centre of the Holy Roman Empire. Henry and his wife Cunigunde were both buried in the cathedral.

From the middle of the 13th century onward the bishops were princes of the Empire and ruled Bamberg, forcing the construction of monumental buildings. In 1248 and 1260 the see obtained large portions of the estates of the Counts of Meran, partly through purchase and partly through the appropriation of extinguished fiefs. The old Bishopric of Bamberg was composed of an unbroken territory extending from Schlusselfeld in a north-easterly direction to the Franconian Forest, and possessed in addition estates in the Duchies of Carinthia and Salzburg, in the Nordgau (the present Upper Palatinate), in Thuringia, and on the Danube. By the changes resulting from the Reformation the territory of this see was reduced nearly one half in extent.

In 1647, the University of Bamberg was founded as "Academia Bambergensis".

In 1759 the possessions and jurisdictions of the diocese situated in Austria were sold to that State. When the secularization of church lands took place (1802) the diocese covered 1276 square miles (3,305 km²) and had a population of 207,000. Bamberg thus lost its independence in 1802, and in 1803, it became a part of Bavaria.

After World War I, when a communist uprising took control over Bavaria, the government fled to Bamberg and had to stay for almost two years, before the Bavarian capital Munich was recaptured by Freikorps (see Weimar Republic).

Historical population:

  • 1885: 31,521
  • 1905: 45,308

Settlers from Bamberg

Bambrzy (ger. Posen Bambergers) - Poles of German origin, descendans of settlers from area near Bamberg, that were settled in villages around Poznań in years 1719 - 1753.


The Cathedral in Bamberg.
The Cathedral in Bamberg.

The Old Town of Bamberg is included in the UNESCO World Heritage, since it retained its medieval look. Some of the main sights are:

  • Cathedral (1237), with the tombs of emperor Henry II and Pope Clement II
  • Alte Hofhaltung, residence of the bishops in the 16th and 17th centuries
  • Neue Residenz, residence of the bishops after the 17th century
  • Old Town Hall (1386), built in the mid of the Regnitz River, accessible by two bridges
  • Klein-Venedig ("Little Venice"), a colony of picturesque fishermen's houses along the Regnitz


The cathedral is a late Romanesque building with four imposing towers. It was founded in 1004 by the emperor Henry II, finished in 1012 and consecrated on May 6, 1012. It was later partially destroyed by fire in 1081. The new cathedral, built by St. Otto of Bamberg, was consecrated in 1111, and in the 13th century received its present late-Romanesque form.

The cathedral is about 309 feet long, 92 feet broad, 85 feet high, and the four towers are each about 266 feet high. Of its many works of art may be mentioned the magnificent marble tomb of the founder and his wife, the empress Cunigunde, considered the masterpiece of the sculptor Tilman Riemenschneider, and carved between 1499 and 1513, as well as an equestrian statue of the emperor Conrad III.

Neue Residenz

The Neue Residenz (New Palace) (1698-1704) was initially occupied by the prince-bishops, and from 1864 to 1867 by the deposed King Otto of Greece.

Other sights

Other noteworthy churches are the Jakobskirche, an 11th-century Romanesque basilica; the St Martinskirche; the Marienkirche or Obere Pfarrkirche (1320-1387), which has now been restored to its original pure Gothic style. The Michaelskirche, 12th-century Romanesque (restored), on the Michaelsberg, was formerly the church of a Benedictine monastery secularized in 1803, which now contains the Burgerspital, or alms-house, and the museum and municipal art collections.

Of the bridges connecting the sections of the lower town the most interesting is the Obere Brucke, completed in 1455. Halfway across this, on an artificial island, is the Rathaus (rebuilt 1744-1756). The royal lyceum, formerly a Jesuit college, contains notable collections and the royal library of over 300,000 volumes. The picturesque Old Palace (Alte Residenz) was built in 1591 on the site of an old residence of the counts of Babenberg. Noteworthy among the monuments of the town is the Maximilian fountain (1880), with statues of Maximilian I of Bavaria, the emperor Henry II and his wife, Conrad III and St Otto, bishop of Bamberg. At a short distance from the town is the Altenburg (1266 ft.), a castle occupied from 1251 onwards by the bishops of Bamberg. It was destroyed in 1553 by Albert, margrave of Brandenburg, but has been partly restored.


The Klosterbräu brewery, and the rooftops of Bamberg.
The Klosterbräu brewery, and the rooftops of Bamberg.

Bamberg is also known for smoked beer (or Rauchbier in German). The most famous being Schlenkerla "Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier" from brewy Heller and which can enjoyed fresh at the tavern Schlenkerla on the Dominikaner Strasse in the old town.

Bamberg is currently (2005) home to 10 breweries (Ambräusianum, Brauerei Fässla, Brauerei Greifenklau, Brauerei Heller-Trum ("Schlenkerla"), Brauerei Kaiserdom, Keesmann Bräu, Klosterbräu, Mahrs Bräu, Maisel Bräu and Brauerei Spezial) which is unprecedented in a city of only 70,000 people.


The University of Bamberg, named Otto-Friedrich University, offers higher education in the areas of social science, business studies and the humanities.

See also

External links

Bamberg and Bamberger is many people's Jewish surname, including:

Ludwig Bamberger
Ármin Vámbéry
Israel of Bamberg, Tosafist
Felix Bamberg, publicist
Samuel Bamberg

Article references

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