Sunday, June 12, 2011

Bamberg, Germany

Unlike many German cities, Bamberg escaped Allied bombing during World War II. Bamberg's old town houses the largest collection of buildings in Germany (over 1,300) to have been preserved in their original state. In 1993 its medieval old town was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. It isn't easy getting on UNESCO's list and so this is a big whoop-dee-do. This is the old city hall. It's built on a spit of land in the middle of the Regnitz river and dates back to 1745. It's reached via a bridge on either side.

View of the old city hall after crossing a bridge. It's now a museum..

Bamberg spreads over seven hills and standing atop each is a church or monastery. This cathedral is the largest of the seven.

I'm not much of a beer drinker but Germany brings out the beer drinker in me. Bamberg's population is only 70,000 but it's home to seven breweries. This building houses Brauerei Faessla.

Yep, Brauerei Faessla has been around since 1649! Entering the building you find a bar and several dining areas. The plan was to return later in the day for dinner but, coming back no seats were to be had as it was packed with locals.

Keep walking down the hallway and it's a small open-air beer garden.
The brewery also doubles as a small hotel. The stairs leads to some of the hotel rooms.

Keep walking past the wall murals and you'll enter the beer production area complete with loud clanging of beer bottles proceeding along the production line.

Hungry and unable to find seats at Brauerei Faessla, we venture across the street to Brauerei Spezial. They have been making beer here since 1536. Not just any beer but, SMOKED beer. Oh man! the beer was fantastic and so was the food.

Bamberg is very bicycle friendly. Matter of fact, tourists have to watch themselves as part of the sidewalks are reserved for bicyclists. We were awaken early one morning (6 AM!) by the sound of a woman screaming. Our room overlooked an alley way and looking out I could see a woman sprawled on the ground next to her bike. Turns out she had been hit by the beer truck in the photo which hadn't stopped correctly.

The beer keeps getting better and better as the next day we have lunch at Klosterbraeu, the oldest brewery in Bamberg--serving suds since 1533!

Until several years ago, smoking was allowed EVERYWHERE in Germany. Meaning, as someone who vehemently hates the smell and stench of tobacco, I could never eat in restaurants thanks to German's love of cigarettes. This is the beer garden area outside Klosterbraeu brewery.

View of a mansion along the riverfront.

Had lunch here and of course I had to try another local beer. Located next to the river and built in 1762 it was part of a mill/waterworks complex.

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