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

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

If Wurzburg is a stop on your Main Danube River Cruise, you have many architectural delights awaiting you

Located on both banks of the Main River, Wurzburg is a town in the region of Lower Franconia in northern Bavaria, Germany. The town serves as the capital of the administrative district of Lower Franconia. Spoken in the region is the Franconian dialect.

Würzburg is celebrated for its beautiful art scene and abundance of wines and wineries. In contrast with the old-fashioned cobbled streets and striking baroque architectures, it also boasts a hip and lively nightlife.

However, before it became the city it is now, Würzburg used to be a Franconian duchy until 686, when it was Christianized by three Irish missionaries named Kilian, Kolonat, and Totnan.

Their mission, although successful, ended up killing them. They all eventually became saints. Saint Kilian at one point appeared on the city seal for 300 years, and the Würzburg Cathedral was also dedicated to him.

The Würzburg Residence, the city’s crowning glory
For centuries, the prince-bishops seated in the diocese of Würzburg commanded much wealth and power. Under their reign, the city grew in luxuriousness, best exemplified by a vast compound in the city’s center.

Two prince-shops commissioned the construction of the grandiose palace compound, known as the Würzburg Residence or Residence in 1720. With funding from the von Schönborn brothers, Johann Philipp Franz and Friedrich Carl, the construction was supervised by many people including Baroque architects Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt and Maximilian von Welsch. The principal architect was Balthasar Neumann. It was also Neumann who created the palace’s Baroque grand staircase.

The vast frescoes adorning the interior of the building were painted by two Venetian painters, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo and his son Domenico, who served as his assistant. In fact, the palace’s immense ceiling fresco is widely considered to be the largest in the world.

The Würzburg Residence was completed in 1744, and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and considered one of the finest Baroque structures in Europe.
Although the palace, along with 90% of the city center, was destroyed by British bombers during an air raid in World War II, an ambitious rebuilding project spanning 20 years since, restored the city’s landscape and structures.

“While in port, during our AmaWaterways cruise, we really enjoyed the
Residence as well as the beautiful gardens in the back and the rose
garden to the side. Be sure and take a look if you have the time”
– Jan Baumgartner, Partner, Europeanbarging.com

Würzburg’s majestic Baroque and Romanesque churches
Like the Residence, all the city’s churches were demolished during the war, but fortunately they were all restored as well.

Among these churches is the Käppele, a chapel built in 1748 in late Baroque style. It used to be a small altar until Balthasar Neumann made plans to expand it into the chapel it is today. Its full name is Wallfahrtskirche Mariä Heimsuchung, or the Visitation of Mary, and serves to this day as a pilgrimage church.

Another church to visit is the Würzburg Cathedral which serves as the diocese of Würzburg’s seat. This Cathedral was dedicated to Saint Kilian and has served as the resting place for Würzburg’s prince-bishops for centuries. It is one of the largest Baroque-Romanesque church buildings in Germany and is considered a masterpiece of German architecture from the Frankish dynasty.

Many more churches, monuments, and works of art grace the streets and landscapes of Würzburg, making it one of the most scenic cities in Germany, due in part to its rich and grand history. Its old-fashioned charm mixed with the luxury of its past have branded this town as an undisputed must-visit.

To visit Wurzburg from a river cruise, we offer the Medieval Treasures, Europe’s Rivers and Castles, and Magnificent Europe itineraries on Amawaterways. For more information contact Europeanbarging.com 888-869-7907

Italian Islands of Murano and Burano

Italian Islands of Murano and Burano are Great Vacation Spots

Italian Islands of Murano and BuranoThe islands of Murano and Burano are located in the Venetian lagoon. They offer a perfect escape for visitors who want to discover the wonders of Venice. In addition to the picturesque UNESCO World Heritage backdrop, the islands are renowned for their ability to transport people back in time to an era of respected and genuine craftsmanship.

Whether you are on a barge cruise or river cruise from Venice, Italy, two ports of call will be the islands of Burano and Murano. It would be a wonderful experience to know the history, art and folklore of these islands. Situated in the north of the historic centre, Murano and Burano are the most famous small islands to visit near Venice. They stand as the faithful guardians of their culture and traditional handicrafts that have made them famous throughout the world.

Italian Islands of Murano and Burano are Wonderful Tourists Locations

Even though they are a bit touristy, they do have some really nice craft to offer. Murano is famous for its beautiful glass processing and Burano for lace making and the cheerful colorful buildings.

Murano is a great attraction for tourists who want to learn more about glass and purchase some souvenirs and artistic objects for home. “Murano Glass” is known as the finest glass in the world. In Murano-popularly known as the glass blowing island-you are usually taken directly to one glass blowing factory, where you will see some interesting glass blowing techniques and then have the opportunity to buy some glass ware, glass objects and such. The Italy glass you purchase here will add to the charm of your house as well as stay as the memory of the place forever.

While Murano’s claim to fame is glass, Burano’s is the lace. Burano is one of Europe’s most prosperous lace making centers. The women of Burano are famed as the best in Italy at creating all kinds of fine lace items, from clothing to fashionable accessories. Most of the shops carry the same products, but if you keep checking out the shops, you can find some really nice quality lace and linen items.

As you arrive in Burano, the first thing to catch your attention is the ensemble of colorful row house facades. According to a legend, the colorful houses helped fishermen recognize their homes in the thick mists that sometimes surrounded them. Today they brighten up the atmosphere and add to the unique charm of Burano.

Our Po river cruise and Italy barge cruise will be a great option if you want to visit the amazing Italian islands of Murzno and Burano. Call us for more details! Europeanbarging.com 888-869-7907

The Portuguese UNESCO City of Sintra

Tourist are Welcomed by Sintra

sintraThe beautiful city of Sintra is just what anyone needs to give them a feel of romanticism and feel refreshed for days to come. This romantic city gives off an aura of uniqueness and individuality. Perhaps, many tourists enjoy returning to Sintra because of these qualities
The Royal Palace is undoubtedly the dominant architectural feature of Sintra, situated in the center of the town. Probably constructed on the site of the Moorish Alcazar, its buildings result from two main periods (15th-16th centuries). The interior contains much painted and tiled decoration, but one of the most important features is the facing with tiles (azulejos ), the finest example of this Mudejar technique on the Iberian Peninsula.

Choose Romantic Features to View

Sintra is well known for its romantic architecture after Ferdinand II decided to transform a ruined monastery into a romantic castle. The castle featured many styles, Renaissance, Moorish, and Egyptian. Ferdinand II is well known for his incredible work and will forever be remembered by the town of Sintra where he put his mark. There is something for every visitor to catch each eye laid on the beautiful masterpiece. The interesting parks took over the scenery with elegant beauty that formed a visual with exotic and local tree species.

Other structures, built along the same lines in the surrounding area, created a unique combination of parks and gardens which influenced the development of landscape architecture throughout Europe.

Duoro Cruise

Located between Lisbon and Oporto, a visit to Sintra can be made as a pre or post Douro Cruise visit. We offer several cruise lines with cruises ranging from 5 – 7 nights on the Douro River.

For more information contact: Europeanbarging, 888-869-7907, jan@europeanbarging.com