Endowed with one of Europe’s largest intact old town centres, Bamberg has the magic of the past hanging in the air, and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1993. Bamberg is an ancient centre of imperial and episcopal power which just like Rome was built on seven hills. Dominated by its imperial cathedral, the town is a listed ensemble of medieval and baroque architecture. Bamberg's well-preserved old town comprises three historical centres - the City on the Hills (Bergstadt), the Island District (Inselstadt) and the Market Gardener's District (Gärtnerstadt).
World Heritage Site visitor centre in the heart of the Old TownThe World Heritage Site visitor centre provides a showcase for the outstanding universal value of Bamberg and serves as an “interpretation aid” for the site. Embedded in the international UNESCO context, the special features of the World Heritage Site “Bamberg Old Town” are conveyed over approximately 220 square metres of exhibition space.
The permanent exhibition brings the unique history of the city to life and focuses on three settlement centres that merged to form the city in the Middle Ages. Vivid displays present concise historical content relating to Bergstadt with its churches, monasteries and residences, Inselstadt with its mills and signs of bourgeois lifestyle, and Gärtnerstadt with its urban landscaping, which can still be seen today. Alongside listening stations, films and digital applications, a “seed wheel” and a model of the town provide an interactive introduction to this World Heritage Site. Particular places that reflect the outstanding universal value of Bamberg are referenced to inspire visitors to explore the old town in more depth.
Further stunning sightsWith its four towers, the imperial cathedral of St. Peter and St. George is the most prominent building. Inside is the Bamberg Rider, the tomb of Henry II and Cunigunde - the only emperor and empress to be canonised in the Holy Roman Empire. It is also home to the only papal grave in Germany - that of Pope Clemence II.
The whole cathedral square is spectacular - with the Romanesque-Gothic cathedral, the magnificent L-shaped design of the baroque New Palace and the Alte Hofhaltung Palace with elements from the late medieval and Renaissance periods. Other attractions in the old town include the town hall lapped by the River Regnitz, the rose garden with a view of the old quarter and beyond to St. Michael's abbey, the tanners' cottages by the old canal, the mill district and the fisherman's village "Little Venice".