Good Friday, April 6, 2012 was a cold, overcast day in Bamberg, Germany. Unlike the previous weekend, there was no blue sky, a hint of fog, and a threat of rain. This was also a holiday in Germany. The antique shops, art galleries, and retail establishments were closed. On the other hand, restaurants, coffee shops, beer gardens, & tourist attractions were doing a fine business.
My friend Crawford Kirkpatrick and I set out into the cold morning with cameras in hand and headed up to Cathedral Hill somewhat to the south west of us. Cathedral Hill is a section of the city. In German it is Domberg. We were staying within the Domberg part of Bamberg, and Domberg pretty much means Cathedral Hill. I’m afraid I am none too thrilled with any of the outdoor images shown here, but they will give you an idea of the place.
The hill has numerous cathedrals and churches. The last post featured one of these, Michaelsberg Abbey. This one shows a few more. We found many of the churches open that day with no religious services in progress. One, the main cathedral, had a prohibition on cameras. The rest we visited had none.
Our first stop was the main cathedral of Bamberg, St Peter & St. George, although I’ve also seen it called St. George & St. Peter. It is one of the two main buildings on the Domplatz, or Cathedral Place. The cathedral is a large, imposing structure. Construction began in 1002. The building in its current form was completed in the 13th century. Administered by the Roman Catholic Church, it is also the seat of the Archbishop of Bamberg.
The building has 4 impressive towers, one of which was under renovation. Each tower is about 265 feet tall. The main building is about 310 feet long, 90 feet wide and 85 feet tall. Inside are the tombs of the Holy Roman Emperor Henry II & his wife Kunigunde, both mentioned in my 2nd post from Bamberg. Also buried there is a Pope, Clement II.
The cathedral had a prohibition against cameras. We turned ours off and walked into the main entrance. There was no service going on, but only a few feet inside the way into the Nave was blocked off with a guard standing duty.
This was unfortunate. The cathedral is well known for its sculptures and its pipe organ. We were unable to view any of these so we left.
The side entrance, which also opens onto the main plaza is very well decorated. Here are a couple of shots.
Next to the cathedral is this nice house. It apparently holds some administrative offices of the church as the sign would indicate.
On the other side of the plaza from the cathedral is the New Residence. This was home to various Electors, & Prince-Bishops until Napoleonic times. It was built from 1697 to 1703. Here is a shot of the main building, a side entrance, and 1 of the huge door clappers on the main entrance.
As near as I can tell the New Residence can be considered like a governor’s home instead of a king’s home. The building has many furnishings, tapestries, and works of art from the 16th & 17th centuries. The building is also home to a (or the) state gallery. The gallery was open and admission was €4.50 (about $6.00). It was cheap enough, but we decided against it.
Behind the New Residence is the Rose Garden. Being barely out of winter everything was still cut back, and nothing was in bloom, but here are a couple of photos showing the garden and some statuary. Michaelsberg Abby is in the distance of the first shot.
We began to explore again and found a large church about a quarter of a mile away. Its name is Unsere Liebe Frau which translates approximately to Our Loving (or Dear) Lady.
Crawford and I walked in and saw the entire interior was undergoing maintenance. 40 or 50 feet above our heads planks had been laid so the ceiling was also being reconstructed.
This is a shot from the Altar back to the entrance.
The Altar and some of the statues of the Apostles weren’t obstructed in any way so I got these photos of some very beautiful and ornate art work. Again, all of this is hand held, available light photography.
Leaving the church we walked farther up the hill and found another church. This is the Carmelite Cloister, and the Church of St. Theodore. The sign at the base of the building is a sign for the Cloister’s gift shop.
Just outside and as we approached is this shrine. I have found outdoors religious shrines popular in this part of Northern Bavaria. Many of the shrines I’ve seen are no where near churches. Others, like this one, are.
On the side of the building are a number of statues of saints, including this one of St. Theresa.
This is the other side of the Church of St. Theodore. We did not walk inside.
This was still Cathedral Hill and many of the residents may be affiliated with one or more of the churches. I found a number of home decorated with statuary and one with a large, modern bas relief.
In the 3rd photo the sign with the red circle and the black 10 is a speed limit sign. It is in kilometers per hour. 10 KPH is about 6.2 MPH. I found a lot of drivers ignore the few speed limit signs that are posted.
Walking back to our hotel we found another church, St. Stephans. A lot of the older buildings in Bamberg have marker signs on them. This says St. Stephans, now a Lutheran or Protestant Church, was first established in 1008 by Empress Kunigunde.
Germany has many, many Protestant Churches, but this was the first large one I had been able to visit. The space is more sparely decorated than the Catholic Churches I saw here.
Walking down the hill from St. Stephans we turned onto a small, narrow street. At the corner I looked up and saw the street sign, Judenstrasse or Jewish Street.
Walking back I could find no Synagogue. It made me wonder when and under what circumstances the street got its name.
There are no more photos from this point on. On the way back to our hotel Crawford and I stopped at a small pastry shop for a pastry and some coffee, decaf for me.
I should comment on all the German pastries I’ve tasted so far. Wow! To say the least they are very good. Walking into a German pastry shop is easy. Picking one to eat is hard! We found a small shop with an attached interior seating area so their choices were limited to maybe 50 different goodies. Its just as well, 50 was still too large of a choice.
I don’t know when the next post will be, but when I get some photos I’ll let you all know.