Here you’ll find unspoilt natural surroundings, fresh air, a wealth of culture and the quintessentially laid-back Bavarian attitude to life.
Bavaria is littered with medieval castles and small towns, magnificent palaces and baroque churches, not to mention its urban centres – all providing the perfect setting for everything from traditional festivals to high opera.
A harmonious blend of the traditional and the modern that you have to see for yourself.
My favourite stops along the way included the following.
Historic Miltenberg is picturesque city which continues to maintain many timber framed houses and cobblestone streets.
It is situated along the Main River in Bavaria. You can’t help but make a grab for your camera as you walk through the old town area.
As you look up the hillside from the marketplace you’ll have a great view of the Mildenburg, Miltenberg’s castle, which has been renovated in recent years and below you’ll find the local museum which is apparently worth a visit.
There are several shops shops selling all kinds of handicrafts and of course schnapps tasting.
We didn’t have much time, so after roaming the streets and pottering around the shops, we stopped at this historic ale house for a beer tasting.
I wouldn’t quite call this a “tasting” though – with 7 x 100ml tasting glasses.
Needless to say, we didn’t get through it.
I absolutely loved the hanging lamps. Does anyone know where I could buy something like this?
Würzburg has a perfect harmony of history, culture and wine.
Now a university town, it is idyllically situated on either side of the Main river, offering a vibrant atmosphere and an endearing charm. It has gained a name as the centre of the Franconian winegrowing region and as a city with interesting history.
Würzburg goes back to the year 1000 BC when a Celtic stronghold was built atop the Marienberg mountain.
From the town you can see the imposing Fortress Marienberg which is a symbol of Würzburg and served as a home of the prince-bishops for nearly five centuries. Built in 704, it has been a fort since ancient times. After Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden conquered the area in 1631, the castle was reconstructed in the Baroque style.
Today, it is a park and museum. Unfortunately we didn’t make it up there, but I would love to return one day, even just for the views.
We did get the chance to explore the gardens of the Wurzburg Residence, the former residence of the Würzburg prince-bishops. It is one of the most important baroque palaces in Europe. At completion, can you believe this palace-like building cost 1.5 million florins – at a time when one florin represented a week’s wages for a day labourer.
The gardens were simply perfect. Lush, green and beautifully designed.
We didn’t have time to get into the residence, but I managed to get this snap before rushing back to the boat for sail-off.
A centre of imperial and episcopal power for almost a thousand years, and often referred to as the Rome of Franconia, Bamberg stands on seven hills surrounded by beautiful countryside.
Dominated by its cathedral, the town is a unique and superbly maintained masterpiece of urban design, uniting medieval and baroque architecture.
Unfortunately it was raining and gloomy so we only managed to get to a few sites. First we took a quick walking tour around town.
Then we visited the Bamberg Cathedral. Completed in the 13th century, the cathedral is under the administration of the Roman Catholic Church and is the seat of the Archbishop of Bamberg.
The cathedral is a late Romanesque building with four imposing towers. It was founded in 1002 and completed in 1012. It was later partially destroyed by fire in 1081 and in the 13th century received its present late-Romanesque form.
Next stop was the Old Court, it ranks among the most impressive buildings in the city. The complex once served as the bishop’s residence. Now it houses the Museum of History and St. Katherine’s Chapel which is used for civil wedding ceremonies.
Before being forced to take cover from the rain we took a quick snap of the Old Town Hall. According to legend the bishop of Bamberg did not grant the citizens any land for the construction of a town hall. This prompted the townsfolk to ram stakes into the river Regnitz to create an artificial island, on which they built the town hall they so badly wanted.
Although Nuremberg holds a long history, it is most famed for it’s significance during the Nazi Germany era.
Due to the city’s relevance to the Holy Roman Empire and its position in the centre of Germany, the Nazi Party chose the city to be the site of huge Nazi Party conventions – the Nuremberg rallies. The rallies were held 1927, 1929 and annually 1933-1938 in Nuremberg.
After Adolf Hitler’s rise to power in 1933 the Nuremberg rallies became huge Nazi propaganda events, a centre of Nazi ideals.
At the 1935 rally, Hitler specifically ordered the Reichstag to convene at Nuremberg to pass the anti-Semitic Nuremberg Laws which revoked German citizenship for all Jews and other non-Aryans.
During World War II, Nuremberg was the headquarters of the Nazi Military and an important site for military production, including aircraft, submarines, and tank engines.
A number of premises were constructed solely for these assemblies, some of which were not finished. Today many examples of Nazi architecture can still be seen in the city.
You may have also heard of the Nuremberg Trials? Between 1945 and 1946, German officials involved in the Holocaust and other war crimes were brought before an international tribunal in the Nuremberg Trials. The reason this city was chosen was because it had been the location of the Nazi Party’s Nuremberg rallies and the laws stripping Jews of their citizenship were passed there. There was symbolic value in making it the place of Nazi demise.
Today the unfinished Congress Hall, designed to hold 50,000 people, houses the Documentation Centre Museum. A building made from steel and glass, it provides a striking contemporary architectural counterpoint.
The museum houses the permanent exhibition “Fascination and Terror”. This looks at the causes, the context and the consequences of the National Socialist regime of terror.
Modern media, including computer animation, films and touch screens, in addition to photographs and documents are used to illustrate the buildings on the rally grounds, as well as the history and the background of the party rallies. Audioguides provide commentary in seven languages.
You can also see the outside of the remaining Congress Hall from the museum viewing platform.
For you WWII buffs, the Documentation in Nuremberg is a must visit whilst in Bavaria.
Anisa – The Macadames. xx