Top Historic Sights in Bamberg, Germany

Explore the historic highlights of Bamberg

Bamberg Town Hall

The old town hall of Bamberg was built in 1386 in the middle of the Regnitz River, accessible by two bridges. According to legend the bishop of Bamberg did not grant the citizens any land for the construction of a town hall. This prompted the townsfolk to ram stakes into the river Regnitz to create an artificial island, on which they built the town hall they so badly wanted. The Old Town Hall's frescoes never fail to imp ...
Founded: 1386 | Location: Bamberg, Germany

Bamberg Historic City Centre

Bamberg is located in Upper Franconia on the river Regnitz close to its confluence with the river Main. Its historic city center is a listed UNESCO world heritage site. Bamberg is a good example of a central European town with a basically early medieval plan and many surviving ecclesiastical and secular buildings of the medieval period. When Henry II, Duke of Bavaria, became King of Germany in 1007 he made Bamberg the se ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Bamberg, Germany

Bamberg Cathedral

The Bamberg Cathedral is a late Romanesque building with four imposing towers. It was founded in 1002 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. Due to its long construction process, several styles were ...
Founded: 1002-1111 | Location: Bamberg, Germany

Geyerswörth Palace

Geyerswörth Palace is a former prince-bishop"s city palace built in 1585-1587. The current appearance dates from the restoration made in 1740s, after the collapse of Renaissance gable on the north side.
Founded: 1585-1587 | Location: Bamberg, Germany

St. Martin's Church

St. Martin"s Church is located in the heart of Bamberg. Built by the Dietzenhofer brothers, it is Bamberg"s only baroque church. The creation of this church is closely linked with the Jesuits as it was originally constructed as the university church and the church of the Jesuit College. After a construction period of just seven years, the house of worship was consecrated in 1693. The trompe d"oeil dome by ...
Founded: 1693 | Location: Bamberg, Germany

Michaelsberg Abbey

After the creation of the Bishopric of Bamberg by Emperor Henry II, the first Bishop of Bamberg, Eberhard I, founded the Michaelsberg abbey in 1015 as the bishop's private monastery. Accordingly the abbot answered directly to the bishop of Bamberg, and to no-one else. The monks for the new establishment were drawn from Amorbach Abbey and Fulda Abbey. The chronicler and author Frutolf of Michelsberg was prior here until h ...
Founded: 1015 | Location: Bamberg, Germany

Carmelite Monastery

The Carmelite monastery of Bamberg was founded in the 12th century and turned into a baroque style building by Leonhard Dientzenhofer in 1692-1701. The church dedicated to St. Theodor was part of a Cistercian convent, whose nuns devoted themselves to nursing in the 13th century. In 1589, Carmelites moved into the building, that had been deserted in the meantime. Behind the monastery"s baroque facade, the visitor is g ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Bamberg, Germany

St. Stephan's Church

St. Stephan"s Church is built on the most eastern of the seven hills. It has been Bamberg"s most important protestant church since 1807. The original building, which was probably donated by empress Kunigunde, was erected at the same time as Heinrich"s Cathedral and was consecrated by Pope Benedict VIII in 1020. Today"s church was constructed in two phases in the 17th century and is based on a Greek cr ...
Founded: 1628 | Location: Bamberg, Germany

Altenburg Castle

Altenburg castle is perched on top of Bamberg"s highest hill and is one of Bamberg"s major landmarks. The castle was first mentioned in 1109 and was used at this time as a refuge. In the 14th and 15th centuries it served as a richly furnished residence for Bamberg"s bishops, but was almost completely destroyed in 1553 by margrave Alfred Alcibiades von Brandenburg-Kulmbach in the second margrave war. The on ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Bamberg, Germany

St. Jacob's Church

St. Jacob's church was built in the 11th and 12th centuries outside the fortifications around Cathedral Hill, and was used by numerous Jacob pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela. Initially, the church was modelled around Heinrich's cathedral and was constructed as a column basilica. In 1771 the baroque facade was added, behind which numerous components from the romanesque period can still be discovered. Inside ...
Founded: 1073-1109 | Location: Bamberg, Germany

St. Gangolf's Church

St. Gangolf is the oldest of Bamberg"s churches and comprises several styles. The parish church, a former convent of canons, was built in the 12th century under bishop Otto the Holy in a romanesque style and converted into a gothic style around 1400. It later received baroque furnishings and today boasts a romanesque nave, a gothic choir, rococo altars and a modern altar, thus spanning many centuries.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Bamberg, Germany

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Heraclea Lyncestis

Heraclea Lyncestis was an ancient Greek city in Macedon, ruled later by the Romans. It was founded by Philip II of Macedon in the middle of the 4th century BC. The city was named in honor of the mythological hero Heracles. The name Lynkestis originates from the name of the ancient kingdom, conquered by Philip, where the city was built.

Heraclea was a strategically important town during the Hellenistic period, as it was at the edge of Macedon"s border with Epirus to the west and Paeonia to the north, until the middle of the 2nd century BC, when the Romans conquered Macedon and destroyed its political power. The main Roman road in the area, Via Egnatia went through Heraclea, and Heraclea was an important stop. The prosperity of the city was maintained mainly due to this road.

The Roman emperor Hadrian built a theatre in the center of the town, on a hill, when many buildings in the Roman province of Macedonia were being restored. It began being used during the reign of Antoninus Pius. Inside the theatre there were three animal cages and in the western part a tunnel. The theatre went out of use during the late 4th century AD, when gladiator fights in the Roman Empire were banned, due to the spread of Christianity, the formulation of the Eastern Roman Empire, and the abandonment of, what was then perceived as, pagan rituals and entertainment.

Late Antiquity and Byzantine periods

In the early Byzantine period (4th to 6th centuries AD) Heraclea was an important episcopal centre. A small and a great basilica, the bishop"s residence, and a funerary basilica and the necropolis are some of the remains of this period. Three naves in the Great Basilica are covered with mosaics of very rich floral and figurative iconography; these well preserved mosaics are often regarded as fine examples of the early Christian art period.

The city was sacked by Ostrogoth/Visigoth forces, commanded by Theodoric the Great in 472 AD and again in 479 AD. It was restored in the late 5th and early 6th century. When an earthquake struck in 518 AD, the inhabitants of Heraclea gradually abandoned the city. Subsequently, at the eve of the 7th century, the Dragovites, a Slavic tribe pushed down from the north by the Avars, settled in the area. The last coin issue dates from ca. 585, which suggests that the city was finally captured by the Slavs. As result, in place of the deserted city theatre several huts were built.

The Episcopacy Residence was excavated between 1970 and 1975. The western part was discovered first and the southern side is near the town wall. The luxury rooms are located in the eastern part. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th rooms all have mosaic floors. Between the 3rd and 4th rooms there is a hole that led to the eastern entrance of the residence. The hole was purposefully created between the 4th and 6th century.