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Bamberg or Wurzburg?

Old Mar 7th, 2006, 10:02 AM
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Bamberg or Wurzburg?

If you only had one day to spare (probably an afternoon, one night, and the next morning) which would you choose? We would be coming from the Mosel/Rhine area, and heading for Rothenburg afterwards. Thanks.
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Old Mar 7th, 2006, 10:24 AM
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Wow, both towns are absolute gems. I've visited Wurzburg three times and Bamberg once (just recently discovered it). Which town is more "on the way"? My guess is Wurzburg.

Here is a post I recently put together for another person considering going to Wurzburg:

Wurzburg is a fabulous town and it's the first town of the Romantic Road. This is a great website for an introduction:

http://www.romantischestrasse.de/?lang=uk

Look to the right and select Wurzburg from the dropdown box. Then you can use the navigation bar on the right side of the screen to read about the history, sights, etc.

Highlights

Marienberg Fortress (early 13th century): 1253 - 1719 residence of the Prince Bishops; large-scale reinforcement and extension of the Fortress in the 17/18th centuries; extensive fortifications with the Church of the Virgin Mary (Marienkirche, built in AD 706, the oldest round church in Germany east of the Rhine), gateway (Scherenbergtor - 1345/1482), Renaissance Brunnentempel (well temple - approx. 1600) and Fürstenbau (Prince Bishop's Hall) with late Gothic Bibra staircase (1511).

Residenz: residence of the Prince Bishops (1720-1744): major work of South German Baroque built according to plans by Balthasar Neumann; staircase with self-supporting arched ceiling and splendid ceiling fresco by Giovanni Tiepolo; late Baroque and Rococo staterooms, including the White Room, Imperial Room, Mirror Room; elaborately decorated church (Hofkirche) and Baroque Court Garden; UNESCO World Heritage Monument since 1982.

St Kilian's Cathedral (approx. 1040): the fourth biggest Roman Catholic church in Germany with a cruciform plan; extended, rebuilt and added-to up to the 18th century; destroyed in 1945; reconstruction completed in 1967; bishops' tombs from the 12th to 19th centuries; cloister (1420-53) built on Romanesque foundations; Schönbornsche Grabkapelle (1718-36; Schönborn Family Mausoleum) by Balthasar Neumann.

Neumünster (New Minster - 11th century): Romanesque basilica with dome (1710-16) and Baroque façade; remains of the Hohenstaufen cloister with the sepulchre of the minstrel Walther von der Vogelweide in the Lusamgärtlein garden.

Juliusspital (Hospital - endowed in 1576): Baroque, castle-like complex with an original Rococo pharmacy, the 'Alte Anatomie' (1705-14), and renowned vineyard. Today, a modern hospital with a retirement home. The wine shop that I adore is across the street. Be sure to stop in for samples of the best Franconian wine in the area!

Käppele: Gnadenkapelle (Chapel of Mercy; 1653) on the Nikolausberg hill with domed central building and double tower façade by Balthasar Neumann (1747-50); magnificent ceiling frescos and stucco work; stairs with stations of the cross lead up to the pilgrimage church.

Marienkapelle and Haus zum Falken on the Market Place: late Gothic hall church (1347-1481) erected by the citizens of Würzburg; remarkable tomb stones and tomb of Balthasar Neumann.


Use this website for the open hours of all the sights:
http://www.wuerzburg.de/system/inter...ngress/sights/


And here is a shortcut to the thread:
http://fodors.com/forums/threadselec...2&tid=34759563

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Old Mar 7th, 2006, 01:07 PM
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Wurzburg is directly on the way from where you are starting. Both towns are very pretty, but I would choose Wurzburg. If you have time, make a quick stop in Bad Mergentheim (between Wurzburg and Roth. I think). But you can't go wrong either way.
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Old Mar 7th, 2006, 01:40 PM
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Hard to go wrong either way. Wurzburg is closer, but Bamberg is just up the road. Bamberg is smaller, more compact and easier to walk around. I would choose Bamberg for the Rauchbier alone. (And I'm not much of a beer drinker.)
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Old Mar 7th, 2006, 02:48 PM
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MareW,
Hope you don't mind me hijacking your thread but we are also looking at doing the same thing. We till be travelling by train, would there be luggage lockers at the station? Or more to the point do most of the stations have lockers or are they usually only found in the main cities?
Thanks.
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Old Mar 7th, 2006, 02:58 PM
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Thanks to all for the great information, and for the helpful links, TexasAggie! It's a tough decision. My main sticking point is that Bamberg sounds more "authentic" because it didn't need to be rebuilt. Maybe we need to cut a day off the lakes region in Austria so we can see both.

Maudie, my guidebook says there are lockers in the Wurzburg train station. It doesn't cover Bamberg though.
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Old Mar 7th, 2006, 03:27 PM
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Re authenticity of Wuerzburg: Wuerzburg was pretty much destroyed during WWII, but has been rebuilt about as authentic as it can get, including the Tiepolo painting in the grand stairway of the Residenz.

At the beginning of WWII, the government commissioned a local photographer to take colored slides of all the important architectural gems of the city. This was just at the beginning of colored photography. These pictures, and many other sources, were usewd in the reconstruction of the many architectural and art treasures of city. There are many other cities in Germany, damaged during the war, which are now prime tourist centers - - - Dresden, Munich, Nuernberg, etc. The fatc that they have been rebuilt should not keep you from visiting them. Plus, there is an added benefit: Their bathrooms are much more modern than they were before.
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Old Mar 7th, 2006, 03:38 PM
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Both are great, but we prefer Bamberg. It's Altstadt is an absolute gem, and the Regnitz River running through it adds to the charm. They even have what they call their "Little Venice." Because it was an Imperial City, it has some nice old public buildings like the Old Court. Also the New Residence, the old town hall on the river, tombs of Pope Clemens II and Emperor Heinrich II and his significant other, Kunigunde in the Imperial Cathedral, etc.

Website: http://www.stadt.bamberg.de/

Tourism section in English:
http://www.bamberg.info/www_tks/home_1_1_0_f.htm

Pleasant restaurant: Rathaus Schaenke at the foot of the Rathaus Bridge (my notes say "island side of the bridge.").

Definitely the Brewery Tavern Schlenkerla for Bamberger Brautwurst and Rauchbier.

http://www.schlenkerla.de/

But Wurzburg would be more direct to Rothenburg (no, I'm not going to say anything bad about Rburg.)

You really can't go wrong with either one.
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Old Mar 7th, 2006, 03:39 PM
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Yes Bird, the Rauchbier would call me back! Wurzburg is a beautiful town, but Bamberg is authentic Germany. It's small enough to really enjoy on foot. As for the train station, I'm pretty sure there is a locker area. I do know that the station is very convenient to the town center.
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Old Mar 7th, 2006, 04:43 PM
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I am not much of a drinker, bt I'm sitting here salivating at the memory of rauchbier and the Altstadt in Bamberg - what a wonderful little town!
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Old Mar 7th, 2006, 06:58 PM
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I vote for Bamberg also, though I do think the Residenz in Würzburg is gorgeous, and the chapel is also magnificent. Bamberg is wonderful for walking--a real charmer.
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Old Mar 7th, 2006, 07:34 PM
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Thanks so much! It sounds like Bamberg is a must see, although I haven't ruled out changing our itinerary a bit so we can manage both.
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Old Mar 7th, 2006, 11:20 PM
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Thanks MareW, that's good to know. Which guide book are you using?

Now we just have to try and manage both as well!!!!

Cheers,
Maudie
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Old Mar 8th, 2006, 06:50 AM
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Maudie, that info came from the "Rick Steves' Germany and Austria" book. Hope you have a great trip!
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Old Mar 8th, 2006, 07:42 AM
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Regarding Bamberg's train station:

Bamberg's train station is unattractive but efficient. There is a pretty big department store attached to the station (a good place to grab some food) as well as a few smaller stores and eateries. It would be a difficult walk from the station to the aldstadt with luggage, but a short ride by taxi or bus. Hotel Messerschmitt is located right by the bus terminal and is a good place to stay/eat. (I'm glad your leaning toward visiting Bamberg - but keep this place a secret. It would be unfortunate to Rothenburgize the place.)
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Old Mar 8th, 2006, 07:01 PM
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Bam-freakin-berg

It's that simple
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Old Mar 8th, 2006, 08:20 PM
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MareW,
Thanks for the info, we don't get Rick Steve's books here in Australia.
What time of the year are you going?

Bird, thanks too for the Bamberg station info, that goes into my folder.

What a great resource this is, so much more here than in guide books!

Thanks
Maudie
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Old Mar 9th, 2006, 06:24 AM
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Bird and mk--I just picked up a case of SCHLENKERLA HELLER-BRÄU Rauchbier (Urbock) and a slew of Bratwurst for a Bavarian barbecue I'm having for some neighbors on Saturday.

Not the same as having it in Bamberg, but still better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.
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Old Mar 9th, 2006, 07:57 AM
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RTF-

Prost and Guten Appetit!

If you were able to find the Nuremberg or Coburg style bratwurst - please keep that to yourself (for reasons of jealousy.)
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Old Mar 9th, 2006, 11:59 AM
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I was in Bamberg in 1985 and it was definitely "authentic" Germany -- very pretty and at the time relatively unknown as far as tourists were concerned. I went there because my grandfather had grown up there and I wanted to see it. Well worth a visit.
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