Why the Bamberg Dom Is a Must-Visit When You’re on a Danube River Cruise

A Danube River Cruise in Bamberg, Germany will give you glimpses of well-preserved buildings. One of these buildings is the Bamberger Dom (Official name is Bamberger Dom St. Peter und St Georg. Also dubbed as the Bamberger Cathedral, it’s a must-visit site for many reasons.   Since 1993, the cathedral has been part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site  “Town of Bamberg”.

 

Bamberg Dom

History Encompassing Two Millennia

Before he became a king and an emperor, Heinrich II had his favorite home in Bamberg. Years later, he offered the property as gift to his wife, Cunigunde.

Around 1002, Heinrich II became Germany’s King. He liked Bamberg so much that he did most of his governing duties therein. Aside from his fondness of the town, he and his wife were known for being pious. It wasn’t a surprise when they initiated the creation of a diocese in Bamberg.

Building began on the same year. It was declared holy on May 6, 1012 as part of the founder’s birthday celebration.

However, the initial cathedral got burned down decades later. It was replaced but it was also destroyed by fire. The current structure was built in the 1200s.

The Remaining Germany-Based Papal Grave

It’s known that many popes are buried in Italy, specifically in Rome. However, not all former popes are buried therein. Some papal graves are in France. There’re also one in Bamberg, Germany.

Before the 1800s, two papal graves were situated in Germany. The first one is that of Pope Clement II. Before he became the leader of the entire Catholic Church, he served as bishop of Bamberg. His body was first buried in Rome but was eventually moved to Bamberger Dom. The marble tomb of Clemens II is located in the west choir.

The second Germany-based papal grave belonged to Pope Benedict V. His tomb was in Hamburg. However, it was destroyed around 1800s. This left Pope Clement II’s tomb the only other papal grave that’s not based in Italy or France.

The Tomb of the Imperial Couple Turned Saints

The bishops of neighboring dioceses opposed the creation of the initial Bamberg diocese. However, then-king Heinrich II insisted.

Twelve years after becoming a king, Heinrich II was recognized as the Holy Roman Emperor. When he died in 1024, his wife planned his interment in the Bamberg Cathedral. Almost 16 years later, Empress Cunigunde also died. She and her husband shared a carved, marble tomb splendidly carved by Tilmann Riemenschneider.

The imperial couple didn’t have a child. As a result, the Ottonian dynasty of Emperors ceased to exist.

Nevertheless, the legacy of the former emperor and empress lives on. The Bamberg Cathedral is among the reminders of their contributions. Moreover, they were also canonized as saints by the Roman Church.

Works of Art

The cathedral itself is a work of art. Romanesque and Gothic styles were used in designing the structure. Aside from this, the sculptures you can find in the famed tombs are also worth seeing. The statues are noteworthy for their refined details as well.  The most noteworthy treasure is the slender equestrian statue of the Bamberger Reiter (Bamberg Horseman), whose identity remains a mystery.  This statue, possibly depicting the Hungarian king Stephen I, most likely dates to the period from 1225 to 1237. The Reiter is probably the oldest statue of a horseman created in post-Roman Germany.  Nearby, the Virgin Mary altar by Veit Stoss also warrants closer inspection.

Bamberger Dom is among the best sites to visit, not just in the town of Bamberg, but in the entire German country. Everyone can bask in the solemnness the cathedral and its rich history offer. You can also enjoy the breathtaking architecture, sculpture and other works of art you can see therein.

Bamberg is a stop offered on river cruises itineraries that feature a Main and Danube River itinerary.  Featured cruises are:  AmaWaterways Medieval Treasures; Europe’s Rivers & Castles; as well as the 14 night Magnificent Europe.  Arosa’s  “Romance on the Rhine” cruising between Cologne and Engelhartszell, Austria as well as Cologne and Regensburg also makes a stop in Bamburg.

Europeanbarging can assist with finding the perfect river cruise for you.  Contact them for promotional offers and details on payment plans.  Europeanbarging are barge and river cruise specialist since 1998.  For more information:  jan@europeanbarging.com  888-869-7907

Oberwesel and the Germany River Cruise

A Germany River Cruise takes you across the romantic Middle Rhine Valley. As you cruise down this stretch of the dreamy River Rhine, you will see medieval towns and castles dating back to the late 18th and 19th centuries. You will see the verdant vistas that inspired many writers to wax poetic about the region’s natural magnificence.

A Rhine River Cruise offers a vast landscape of natural beauty. You will see the lush vineyards of the valley, the thick woods of the mountain ridges, the magnificent rocks of the riverbanks, and the side-valleys cutting into the banks of the Rhine River.

Oberwesel Name Plate

A stop on a Middle Rhine cruise might include a tour of Oberwesel in its itinerary.

Oberwesel is a Medieval town that has preserved its medieval silhouette. It takes pride in two Gothic churches – the Church of Our Lady on one end of the town and the Minorite Monastery on the other end.

The Church of Our Lady in Oberwesel is regarded as one of the finest examples of the extraordinary architecture that marked the cathedrals of the Middle Ages.

The church is positioned loftily at the southern part of Oberwesel. It looks very impressive even from a distance, living up to its distinction as one of the most significant high Gothic churches in the Rhineland.

The structure is stark and unadorned. It is defined exclusively by clean and sharp geometric shapes. The interior is impressive. The ceiling looks incredibly high, its heights made more pronounced by the soaring central nave.

The church has a high gothic shrine altar. The triptych altarpiece looks remarkably like the impressive façade of a medieval cathedral. It is intricately ornamented with columns, gables, arcades, and roses amidst a gold background.

The presbytery is spanned by vaults standing on willowy pillars. The rood screen stands at the end of the presbytery. You can imagine the medieval priests of that time reading the gospels from behind this screen.

Paintings which date back to the Middles Ages adorn the walls of the church. These paintings bear the beauty and richness that marked the works of art that flourished during the medieval period.

The Minorite Monastery is another Gothic church in Oberwesel. It is well-known for its beautiful ensemble that includes the sacristy, the church ruins, and the monastery garden.

The sacristy is famous for its unique architectural form. It took extensive reconstruction work during 2006 to restore the 15th century sacristy to its original glory.

Oberwesel has a remarkable townscape that echoes what life was like during the Middle Ages. It still has its medieval town wall. Sixteen of the original defensive towers still run along the stretch of this wall, earning the town its name of “Town of Towers.”

Medieval Defensive Tower

The wall and towers were built to protect the townspeople from attacks. They also provided defense against ice drift and floods. On top of all these, the high wall and towers which could be seen from miles away were important to Oberwesel’s reputation. They marked the town as one with wealth and great power.

You can climb up the peak of the wall and enjoy the view of the quixotic Rhine River.

Europeanbarging can assist with finding the best Rhine River Cruise.  For more information:  jan@europeanbarging.com   888-869-7907   Barge and river cruise specialist since 1998.

Rhine and Moselle Fairytales River Cruise

Europe’s Rhine River is known as one of the most popular cruising paths. It is referred to as “Old Father Rhine” which offers breathtaking glimpses to castles, villages and vineyards. The spellbinding views bring a sensation of living in a fairytale and anticipating a meeting with the royalties.

Embarking on a fairytale journey of a lifetime begins from Amsterdam, Netherlands to Basel, Switzerland. This river cruise itinerary will be passing through spectacular towns of Cochem, Strasbourg, Bernkastel and Riquewihr. Every town has its own colorful history and tales that will be a delight to know.

Travel in style and comfort with AmaWaterways’ Rhine & Moselle Fairytales cruise package. It is an 11-night Germany River Cruise which provides luxury accommodation, world-class amenities, award-winning dining and a promise of extensive tour in every point of destination.

Mosel River Cruise town of Cochem

With an 11-night cruise, you are able to visit more towns and see more than is usually possible on a 7 night river cruise.

The cruise starts in Amsterdam and there is the option to explore more of Amsterdam with a 2 night pre cruise stay.  Featured sites include a visit to Zaanse Schans, a city tour of Amsterdam, including a canal cruise thru the city.  You will enjoy the sights of Skinny Bridge, the tall and narrow houses along the river banks, and the opportunity to take a glimpse of Anne Frank’s home. In Begijnhof, walk around the city and enjoy the Middle Age Era buildings.

Afterwards, the cruise ship will be embarking outside Amsterdam and take you to the next destination of Cologne.  Here you can enjoy a guided walking tour to visit the UNESCO designated and revered Gothic masterpiece Cologne Cathedral and the Old Town will be the day’s highlight. Enjoy beer tasting in Kölsch. Try Reibekuchen, a potato pancake with apple sauce. You can also join a bike ride tour and see Stadtgarten.

Next stop Lahnstein, with the possibilities of discovering the rich history of Koblenz, located at the junction of the Rhine and Mosel Rivers. A guided day tour will bring you to Clock Tower, Monument of Emperor Wilhelm I and other cultural monuments. You can explore the place with the guided “Two Rivers Bike Tour” or ride a cable car to give you an aerial view of Ehrenbreitstein Fortress or a Castle Lahnstein hike.

Heading onto the Mosel river, you come to the town of Cochem, with half-timbered homes and the Reichsburg Castle.

Continuing along the Mosel river, is Trier, the oldest city of Germany where you can find the ancient Roman Amphitheater, the Basilica of Constantine and the Roman Baths. Unravel the secrets of Porta Nigra Gate. Listen to stories of barbarians and bishops which crossed the famous gate way back 180 A.D.  For more active travelers, there is a Trier bike tour or a hike to point Petrisberg – located above the Roman Amphitheater amidst the vineyards.

Heading back toward the Rhine River, the next stop is the cute town of Berkanstel – enjoy a day filled with wine-tasting activities because Moselle Valley is popular wine-producing region for over 500 years.  Walking, cycling or hiking excursions are available to choose from.

Back on the Rhine River, you come to the famous Loreley and the Rhine Gorge – a UNESCO designated area where breathtaking views of vineyards are located. At Rudesheim, take a gondola ride to Niederwalddenkmal Statue. Taste the town’s famed Rüdesheimer Coffee or explore Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Museum.  Alternatively, enjoy a Schloss Johannisberg bike tour or a hike through the vineyards.

The next stop of Ludwigshafen has so many options to enjoy in the area – a visit to Romantic Heidelberg Castle,  a visit to one of the largest Baroque palaces – the Mannheim Baroque Palace (closed between March 4, 2019 to January 26, 2020 for remodeling). Mark Twain has written about it in one of his novels. Another option is a visit to the beautiful Schwetzingen Palace Gardens, or a Ladenburg bike tour or Heidelberg Philosopher’s Path hike – located on the northern side of the Neckar River – opposite of Heidelberg Castle.

Continuing along the Rhine toward Basel, a stop at the charming city of Strasbourg, the capital of Alsace. The fairytale-like sights of “La Petite France” will captivate your senses. Other iconic structures are Place de la République, Parc de l’Orangerie and the European Parliament. Being on the border between France and Germany, there is a great combination of architecture that has a beautiful canal meandering thought the old town.  The Strasbourg Cathedral  of Notre Dame, offers it’s famous astronomical clock as well beautiful stained glass windows – the beautiful Rose window and some from the 13th and 14th centuries.  Today it is the sixth-tallest church in the world and the highest surviving structure built entirely in the Middle Ages.

The stop at Breisach has many options for touring.  The Alsatian town of Riquewihr offers the enchanting sight of a medieval hamlet and other well-preserved architecture, looking like it did in the 16th century. Another option is the Black Forest town of Freiburg – home of the most beautiful spire on earth, as well as impressive stained glass windows – the Gothic cathedral known as Freiburg’s Münster.  Those wishing a more active excursion can cycle through the scenic countryside, or go on a hike in the Black Forest, a magical land full of cultural traditions.

Last stop – Basel Switzerland.  After breakfast, your Germany River Cruise ends.

If you have the time, AmaWaterways has put together a great little extension in Switzerland featuring the lovely cities – Lucerne, Vitznau and Zurich.  Your excursions include a tour of Basel, followed by a bus transfer through the country between Basel and Lucerne, where your overnight. Excursions include a city tour and also you see the famous Lion Monument; another overnight then a scenic cruise from Lucerne to Vitznau on Lake Lucerne, followed by a transfer to Zurich where you overnight for 2 night and enjoy a tour of this international city.

This cruise itinerary offers only a few departures each year, so call soon to check availability.  Europeanbarging can assist with availability and check for promotions.  888-869-7907   Barge and River Cruise Specialist since 1998.

Interesting Facts Along the Danube River

The mighty Danube River is the longest river in the entire European Union. It runs through or forms a part of the border for 10 countries, originating in Germany’s Black Forest and ending in the Ukraine where it flows into the Black Sea.

The Danube River has an important part in European culture and history, dating back when it was the north boundary of the Roman empire. It’s also home to the great Austrian musician Johann Strauss .

Cathedral in Linz along the Danube River

Those longing for the charm of Old World Europe will experience the very heart of the continent, where kings and queens were crowned and some of the world’s best musicians – such as Mozart and Beethoven,  composed and performed for the courts. Great European capital  cities like Budapest, Vienna, Linz and Bratislava remain an incredible experience, as well as such excursions to the beautiful  Austria’s Lake District and the Czech Republic’s charming mountain town, Ceský Krumlov – both tours offers by AmaWaterways .  From fortresses and grand abbeys perched high above the Danube to iconic UNESCO World Heritage Sites, be romanced by the Danube with all her regal and romantic splendor.

Visit Regensburg and you can discover the best of both worlds, visiting one of the oldest medieval cities in Germany and the largest medieval town north of the Alps.  Along with nearly 1,500 buildings listed as being of historical interest — find picturesque cobblestone streets and alleys, colorful buildings and cafés –  the oldest working bridge in Germany and perhaps the oldest restaurant in the world,  lively public squares and a vibrant Old Town that was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In modern times, it is known for being one of Pope Benedict XVI’s residences; he taught at the university when he was known as Revered Joseph Ratzinger.

Regensburg is sometimes called both “Germany’s medieval miracle” and “the northernmost city of Italy” due to its lively streets and lovely outdoor summer cafés.  Regensburg was the start of the Route of Emperors and Kings in the medieval period and the route continued to Passau, Vienna, Linz before ending in Budapest.   Soak up the atmosphere or admire the rich history.

Known as the “City of Three Rivers” since the mighty Danube River is joined by both the Inn River and the Ilz River, Passau is a historic town who can trace their roots past the 2nd Century BC. First founded by the Celts and then a Roman town for 400 years, the city traded hands a few times.

The picturesque city of Passau is known for its Gothic and Italian Baroque architecture as well as its promenades, winding lanes and quaint Bavarian shops (expect to fall in love with a cuckoo-clock or two). It is also home to the historic St. Stephen’s Cathedral, which for most of its life housed the world’s largest cathedral organ (that honor now goes to a church in Downtown Los Angeles). Left undamaged during World War II, the Old Town was left as it has been for hundreds of years.

Another excursion offered on several Danube River itineraries is to the beautiful city of Salzburg, Austria.  Besides acting as the birthplace for one of the most famous musicians and composers in history, many may recognize this backdrop from a more recent musical accomplishment. The beautiful, rolling hills and lush, green landscape of this town was employed as the setting for the Tony Award winning musical, and Academy Award winning movie-musical, The Sound of Music. After its initial cinematic release in 1965, The Sound of Music became the highest grossing film of all time, beating out Gone with the Wind, and held the title for five years post-release.

This iconic masterpiece follows the story of the von Trapp family as they struggle with the Nazi takeover of Austria in the late 1930’s. However, many do not realize that the lively and entertaining movie is based on true events, written about in the memoirs of Maria von Trapp, the inspiration for Julie Andrew’s Golden Globe winning performance. The Story of the Trapp Family Singers, an autobiography written by Maria von Trapp, describes the true story of the musically-inclined family, from her original role as tutor for one of the von Trapp children, to the family’s escape to America upon the Nazi annexation of Austria.

AMA Waterways cruises the Danube, with itineraries cruising between Budapest and Regensburg as well as Vilshofen to Budapest.  Discover a wealth of art, history and cultural treasures as you cruise to some of Europe’s most famous destinations. From Budapest, journey to Bratislava, Vienna, Passau and the 2,000-year-old town of Regensburg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Along the way, visit magnificent cathedrals and Baroque abbeys, sample Vienna’s sinfully rich Sacher torte cake, experience the breathtaking scenery of the Wachau Valley winemaking region and traverse Europe’s Continental Divide.

Croisi River Cruise offers 3 – 7 day European River Cruises and is the oldest river cruise line in Europe as well as being family owned.  The cruise line has over 42 vessels cruising the waterways of Europe.  Danube itineraries include a 5 day and 8 day round trip Vienna cruise on the Danube as well as a 6 day cruise between Passau and Budapest.

Prices include the cruise, all meals, beverage package with alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and Wi-Fi.  Excursions are additional.

AROSA CRUISE LINE cruises the Danube,  featuring short river cruises with English and German language onboard.  There is no fixed seating or table arrangements on board.  All meals are served as buffet.  There are chefs at all meals with an open kitchen preparing these dishes as you watch – so everything is fresh.
One night a week there is a special sit down wine and culinary special dinner for a small additional fee.

The ships have bicycles with helmets on board for cycling tours.   Arosa is also known for their superior spa facilities onboard.  Arosa offers 4 night, 5 night and 7 night round trip Passau river cruise itineraries.  Arosa also allows children 15 and under to cruise free with their parents in the same cabin.  They limited triple cabins and 1 set of connecting cabins per deck on a few of their ships.

Prices include the cruise, all meals, beverage package with alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and Wi-Fi.  Excursions are additional.

For more information on any of the Danube River cruise itineraries or other rivers, please call or email:713 240 6753 or 888 869 7907  jan@europeanbarging.com

Cologne Chocolate Museum- Taste Greatness

Cologne Chocolate MuseumA Variety of Chocolate to be found at Cologne Chocolate Museum

Anyone who loves chocolate is sure to fall in love with Germany. Cologne, Germany’s fourth largest city is Germany’s chocolate capital as it is the proud home of the world famous Imhoff-Stollwerck Museum or Chocolate Museum. The museum, founded just 25 years ago, has attained a worldwide fame and reputation. As the Visitors step into the cologne museum,  they overwhelmingly smell  the chocolate fragrance. Your visit is sure to keep getting better after that first step.

The Chocolate Museum, located on the Rhine River, is shaped in a wonderful ship shaped building of glass and metal. The museum is spacious, well aerated and modern inside. The chocolate museum started as an exhibit aimed at celebrating the 150th anniversary of Stollwerk. The event was so successful that the idea of creating a full-scale chocolate museum automatically originated and the chocolate museum opened its doors on October 31st, 1993.

The Cologne Chocolate Museum is A Great Attraction for Many Visitors

More than five million visitors come to the Cologne Chocolate Museum every year. They come to have a look at the grand museum; Also, to see the process of shaping the chocolate through various stages. This self-financed museum was established as an interactive experience. Here, visitors can learn about the history of chocolate starting with Mayan’s chocolate “drink of the gods” to today’s chocolate commercials.

The greenhouse of the Cologne Chocolate Museum is a delightful experience as travelers stroll through it, looking at the cocoa trees. In the mini-production unit of the museum, visitors can see the incredible transformation of cocoa beans into chocolate bars through various stages.

Kids Enjoy Interactive Activities at The Chocolate Factory

The Chocolate Museum hosts several interactive activities for kids. The most attractive feature of the museum is a 10-feet high chocolate fountain: The employees at the museum will happily dip waffles into the warm chocolate to give visitors a generous try.

Many take home delicious chocolates from the shop inside the museum where visitors can choose from a wide range of German and Swiss chocolate.  There is a big assortment of imported chocolates as well as fresh made chocolates on premisses.

Be sure to check out the decadent chocolate desserts in their cafe.

Cafe in the Cologne Chocolate Museum

Your visit to the Chocolate Museum will be an exciting, delightful and knowledgeable experience. People who love to travel should not miss the opportunity to book their holiday on Europeanbarging’s Rhine river cruise. Do not forget to make a visit to the marvelous Chocolate Museum in Cologne!

Rhine River Cruises with stops in Cologne include short 4 – 7 day river cruises on Arosa and  Croisi Europe as well as 7 – 15 days cruise on AmaWaterways.

Contact Europeanbarging so they assist you in finding the perfect cruise for you.  info@europeanbarging.com  or 888.869-7907