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12 June 2011 / leggypeggy

Beer drinking in Bamberg

Smoked beer in Bamberg

It wasn’t the best day for it — cold, windy and raining — but we still had a lovely day trip to see Bamberg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Franconia area of Bavaria. Bamberg made it through World War II with virtually no damage, so most of its fine buildings are originals.

Some structures are truly magnificent. The Altes Rathouse (town hall) is perched between two bridges spanning channels of the Regnitz River. One end is half-timbered and two side walls are beautifully painted. The east side is especially playful, with a cherub’s leg sticking out from the fresco (hope you can see it).

We also visited the Benedictine Kloster St Michael, a former monastery that is now an aged care home (sorry no photos), and the enormous Dom (cathedral). You can see how Poor John is dwarfed in this Romanesque–Gothic structure. It was burnt down twice in the 12th century and ultimately took more than 20 years to rebel. I loved seeing its array of organ pipes. And we both took note of the knight on horseback. His popularity seems to lie in the fact that no one is sure who it is.

Because Bamberg is a bit off the beaten track, it’s not packed with tourists — although it was hard to find a table at the popular Wirtshaus zum Schlenkerla, a 16th century restaurant where we had a Franconian lunch. The picture of the interior is after pic of the food. I enjoyed a version of their own smoked beer (Rauchbier). Apparently Bamberg is famous for its beer, with more than 200 varieties produced locally. Pity I couldn’t stay long enough to try them all.

But more soon on the many beers I’ve tried across the country.

Also: Don’t forget to pick a number by 29 February 2012.

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