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Bamberg is a town located in Franconia, Germany, some 60 km north of Nuremberg. It is an architectural gem, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and centre of the region's eclectic brewing tradition. Population: 70,000.

The City

Altes Rathaus
First mentioned in 902, Bamberg was a Bishopric for centuries. It was one of the only cities in Germany to have escaped the bombing in World War II, and thus retains almost all of its original architecture. All European building styles from the Romanesque onwards are represented in the town, and its unspoilt condition has earned it UNESCO World Heritage Site status.

The most famous buildings in Bamberg are the 14th-century Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall), which is built in the River Regnitz, and the 12th-century Dom (Cathedral), perched on one of the town's seven hills.

Life in Bamberg

Despite its beauty, Bamberg has avoided becoming a museum-piece. This is helped in part by the university, which boasts 10,000 students. The city is home to nearly 7,000 foreign nationals, including over 4,100 members of the United States Army and their dependents. The city centre boasts good shopping opportunities, with many of the national chains represented. The town has a Christmas market in December and a popular Stadtfest (town festival) in August. Traditionally fairly conservative, the town did elect an SDP mayor in 2006.

Beer in Bamberg

The town of Bamberg itself boasts nine breweries and is the centre of the region's brewing industry, with some 300 breweries within a fifty-mile radius of the town. Nowhere else in the world is such a density of breweries found. Schlenkerla Rauchbier, most of these breweries are very small, often only delivering to a handful of pubs.

Unlike elsewhere in Germany, where there are distinct beer styles such as Pils, Helles and Weißbier, in the Bamberg region the brewing culture is much more eclectic and defies easy categorisation. Generally speaking, the beers are less bitter than a Pilsner, with more flavour and mouthfeel, less carbonation, and served less chilled than elsewhere. They can be of almost any colour. The most famous beer in Bamberg is Rauchbier, a usually dark beer that is smoky in taste and smell as a result of the smoked malt used. Schlenkerla is the most famous brewer of this style, but Spezial in Bamberg and a handful of other brewers in the region produce their own, usually less-intense, versions.

The town and region are also famous for the "Bierkeller" in which one drinks the local beer. In contrast to what the name may suggest, a Bierkeller is in fact a beer garden, and is usually situated on a hill. The Keller is underground and is where the beer was kept cool in the days before refrigeration. Trees were planted to keep the ground cool, and the shade the trees provided quickly became popular places to drink the beer. In Bamberg, the Bierkeller of Schlenkerla, Spezial and Fässla and are all found on Obere Königsstraße.

See Also

External Links

Cities in BavariaCities in Germany
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