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Sailing in and out of Locks as we travelled though the Main-Danube Canal, we arrived in a little village called Hassfurt (Population about 13,000) around lunchtime.

After another very orderly disembarkation from our Longship Tor, we were grouped onto about 4 buses; then transported some 30 or so kilometers into the city centre of Bamberg (Population about 70,000) for another educational info-walk and a relaxing afternoon of sightseeing in the Old Town Centre.

Bamberg sits on the Regnitz River about 3 kilometres from the confluence of the Main and the Regnitz Rivers. It’s sometimes referred to as “Little Franconian Rome,” because it too is sprawled over 7 surrounding hills. Each is noted for its own grand church. If you have time check out the short YouTube Video below which is all about Bamberg.

There are some 9 breweries throughout the city of Bamberg. They produce about 50 different varieties of beer altogether. Within a further hundred kilometre radius there are said to be some 300 more breweries. Most famous, of course, is the Bamburg smoked beer called Rauchbier. Dark and smokey it is evidently made by drying the malt over open flames. This is said to deliver its characteristic smokey flavour.

Regnitz River, Bamberg.

Regnitz River, Bamberg.

Today Bamberg is a bustling small city, well known for its student population, a U.S. Army presence and wonderful markets selling all manner of craft and fresh produce. It is also highly regarded as a very authentic, historical, German city as it mostly avoided the damage caused in other areas during the war years.

Historian in traditional dress, Bamberg.

Historian in traditional dress, Bamberg.

Old Palace, Bamberg.

Old Palace, Bamberg.

Bamberg presents a very eclectic mix of architecture ranging from early Romanesque influences, though to medieval styles, the baroque and the modern-day. Frachwerk is also found in many of its old town areas.

Modern Statue, Bamberg

Modern Statue, Bamberg

One of Bamberg’s most famous buildings is the 14th century Altes Rathaus (or Old Town Hall). Being built right over the Regnitz River, it offers beautiful watery views all the way up and down the waterway.

Painting on the Walls of the Alte Rathaus, Bamberg.

Painting on the Walls of the Alte Rathaus, Bamberg.

Bamberg also lay’s claim to a somewhat chequered past having witnessed the torture and execution of some 300 to 600 people during the German Witch Trials of the in the 16th century.

Later, in  February of 1926, it provided the venue for Hitler’s famous Bamberg Conference.

The Residence, and Formal Garden, Bamberg.

The Residence, and Formal Garden, Bamberg.

Very old book in a pharmacy window, Bamberg.

Very old book in a pharmacy window, Bamberg.

Presently, it is a modern-day city endeavouring to encourage education and the arts through it’s own university, symphony orchestra, and artist house villa known as Concordia.

Cafe, Bamberg.

Cafe, Bamberg.

The young were all out on that lovely  sunny Spring afternoon. They were obviously enjoying this age-old city as they congregated in partying groups at the bars and in the cafes and restaurants. They all appeared most cheerful as we made our way through the old cobbled streets.

Buck's Party, Bamberg Style

Buck’s Party, Bamberg Style

Late in the day, we even came across a most intriguing, and might I say rather lively buck’s party. I’m still wondering if this young fellow’s fiancée (probably his wife by now) has seen any of the charming photos of that afternoon’s bubbly proceedings.  Ahhhh well…..it was just good to see the young people enjoying themselves. After all they weren’t hurting anyone but they did certainly appear to be having a jolly good time.

Mate's at the Buck's Party in Bamberg.

Mate’s at the Buck’s Party in Bamberg.

St Michael's Church, Bamberg.

St Michael’s Church, Bamberg.

Ornate Work on Building in Bamberg.

Ornate Work on Building in Bamberg.

Lovely lady in traditional dress in Bamberg.

Lovely lady in traditional dress in Bamberg.

Tulips in Bamberg.

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