City of Bamberg: One of Bavaria's Most Beautiful Cities

The future Emperor Henry II, after his wedding night with Cunigunde of Luxembourg in 997, decided to give his beloved a gift that history will hardly forget: the city of Bamberg. The Counts of Babenberg owned a castle on a hill around which Bamberg had been developing since the end of the Carolingian era. The town became royal property in 906, before passing into the hands of the dukes of Bavaria. When Henry II, Duke of Bavaria, became Emperor of Germany in 1007, he made Bamberg a bishopric in order to turn it into a "Second Rome". In accordance with the rules of medieval town planning, the city was laid out in the shape of a cross, with the churches of St. Michael, St. Stephen, St. Gangolph, and St. James located at the four cardinal points. 

The City of Bamberg

With the arrival of Bishop Othon I, Bamberg became a powerful principality characteristic of the early 12th century. It was the beginning of a period of great prosperity, illustrated by the opulent restoration of the cathedral that took place at the beginning of the 13th century. This prosperity would continue throughout the Middle Ages. At the end of the 17th century and throughout the 18th century, Bamberg became an important cultural center. Hardly influenced by the industrialization of the 19th century, the city would go down in history as the birthplace of Germany's first democratic constitution after the First World War. Three areas of the city have been declared World Heritage Sites. The Bergstadt, comprising the cathedral and its outbuildings, the residence of the former prince-bishop and the burgh with the parish church of Our Lady, as well as the former dwellings of the wine merchants. The Inselstadt, which lies between the two branches of the river Regnitz, was founded in the 12th century and includes, in addition to the town hall, a marketplace, and a group of pre-urban dwellings.

Finally, the Theuerstadt, a neighborhood dating back to the Middle Ages and comprising orchards, scattered houses, and large open spaces that have retained their characteristics to this day. Bamberg is thus an excellent example of a European town whose overall planning essentially dates back to the beginning of the Middle Ages and which includes a large number of buildings from that period, in a maze of streets that have retained their medieval appearance.

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