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.

Europeanbarging Offering 10% Discount For All Military Personnel

Europeanbarging, an ARC accredited agency, is offering a Military Discount of 10%, for both active or veterans, on its’ full line of barge and river cruise products.

Their products include: European river cruises, Short European river cruises (4, 5, 6 and 7 days) Luxury European Barge cruises and Casual Bike and Barge cruises.

The river cruise itineraries include the countries of  France, Germany, Italy, Holland, Austria, Hungary, Portugal and Spain.

The luxury barge cruises are offered on the canals of France, Mosel River in Germany, Venice lagoon in Italy, Thames River in England, Scottish Highlands of Scotland and the Shannon River in Ireland.

The casual bike and barge cruises take place in Holland and Belgium, Germany, France and Italy.

“A  river cruise is one of the easiest ways to visit multiple cities throughout Europe, while still enjoying enough downtime to have the relaxed holiday getaway you deserve.  Our spectacular cruise packages are the ideal way to travel in style and beauty.”  Jan Baumgartner, Europeanbarging

AmaWaterways is rated one of the top river cruise lines in the world.  In addition to offering many different itineraries, they have many themed cruise itineraries such as wine, art, food and music.  The rates include 7 night cruise with multi choice excursions, use of bicycles to cycle the area, free Wi-Fi,  all meals including wine with lunch and dinner as well as a one hour happy hour each evening before dinner.  A wide variety of food choices available onboard.  Rates start at $2999 per person in low season, often with discounts up to $750 off.  Military discount would be additional.

AmaLegro docked at night

Europeanbarging offers two different international cruise lines for their short river cruises:

While onboard the German/English cruise line Arosa, you will enjoy a multitude of amenities including all meals, a beverage package, free Wi-Fi and discounts on spa services.  Meals feature food stations offering regional specialties with lots of options.

Rates for your Rhine River Cruise, Danube River Cruise, Douro River Cruise, Rhone River Cruise or Seine River Cruise start as low as $1,429 per person for a 7 night cruise when booked through Europeanbarging.    For singles, there is a low single supplement charged.  Each ship has a few lower deck cabins with 3 beds that will hold 3 persons.  Children 15 and under CRUISE FREE with 1 or 2 adults in the cabin.

For the French/English cruise line Croisi, their rates include all meals, unlimited complimentary onboard beverages, including: beer, fine wine, spirits, mineral bottled water, soft drinks specialty coffees and tea as well as included Wi-Fi.  They offer optional, motorcoach and walking tours as well as active excursions of cycling and hiking.   Several of their ships feature single as well as triple cabins and elevators. A five day Rhine River Cruise starts at $909 per person.

Luxury barges range in price from low $3000’s to over $7000 per person.  There are several barges in the mid to high $4,000’s.  The rates include the 6 night cruise, daily maid service, bicycles on board for cycling, gourmet meals, wine and cheese of the region with lunch and dinner, open bar with alcoholic beverages and all the sightseeing.  Some barges will have a small swimming pool or spa/Jacuzzi.

Barge on Canal du Midi

The prices are based on the features of the barges and food/wines provided. On the lower priced barges, you will be looking at cabins around 90 – 100 sq. ft., compact bathrooms and small shower stall. The wines will be regional wines. The more expensive barges will have larger cabins – 170 – 230 sq. ft. with larger bathrooms, big shower stalls with a glass door. Some of the wines will be premier and grand cru.  Children are not allowed on the barges unless it is a specific children’s week or a family charter.

Many of the casual bike and barge cruises are 7 nights instead of the 6 nights on a regular full service barge.  Prices range from $1940 to $2378 per person.  These barges range from  6, 20, 21, 22, 24 and 34 passengers.

Barge and Bike In Italy

These cruises are typically for serious cyclist as the biking ranges from  20KM – 65KM per day.  Bikes on these barges are typically heavy duty bikes designed for cycling in the  area.  Many bike and barge cruises have electric bikes available at a cost of between $100 – $150 for a week.

Included in the price: 6 or 7 night cruise, guide for the cycling tours , breakfast buffet, including makings for your packed lunch, dinner (3 courses) on boat, water with meals, clean towels and  bed linen delivered half way through the cruise and bike rental (with helmets).  Children are allowed on the bike and barge cruises.

Europeanbarging welcomes all inquiries to help you find the perfect cruise.  888-869-7907

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4 – 7 Night Bordeaux River Cruises

You’ll be raising your glass many times in Bordeaux, which is renowned for its wines, considered amongst the best in the world. As the capital of the department Gironde in the region Aquitaine, it has over two and a half million inhabitants in its metropolitan area. After years of neglect, the former wet docks are the country’s new hot spot, with a number of cafés, gardens, and museums springing up all the time. A lively university community of over 60,000, (Bordeaux Campus is the largest in France) establishes that Bordeaux is about more than just wine.

Bordeaux is a flat city, built on the banks of the Garonne River. It is also one of the largest French cities by area and geographically one of the largest in Europe. The Garonne merges a dozen kilometers below the city with another river, the Dordogne River to form the Gironde Estuary, which is the biggest estuary in France.

The city center is located west and south of the Garonne. To the east are a few hills – the only ones in the vicinity. These hills mark the beginning of an industrial zone and suburbs. Because it is a flat city, bicycles make excellent modes of transport, especially as the city has more than 580 km of cycle tracks. Bordeaux is among the most economically dynamic cities in France.

Due to the weakness of the subsoil, there are no skyscrapers in Bordeaux, which explains its sprawl. The center of the town has retained its traditional stone mansions and smart terraces, hence the reason behind the city being called “Little Paris”. Bordeaux also features the world’s largest reflecting pool with interactive fountains.

Modern buildings can be found to the west (administrative center) and south (university) of the city. Travel to France’s legendary wine capital, Bordeaux, Iconic châteaux, timeless vineyards and delicious wine tastings are plentiful as you visit Libourne, Blaye, Bourg, Pauillac and Cadillac. This trip is a must for anyone interested in the best of French culture, lifestyle, wine and food.

Being at the center of a major wine-growing and wine-producing region, Bordeaux remains a prominent powerhouse and exercises significant influence on the world wine industry. Non wine production is conducted within the city limits. It is home to the world’s main wine fair, Vinexpo, and the wine economy in the metro area takes in 14.5 billion euros each year. Bordeaux wine has been produced in the region since the 8th century. The historic part of the city is on the UNESCO World Heritage List as “an outstanding urban and architectural ensemble” of the 18th century.  After Paris, Bordeaux has the highest number of preserved historical buildings of any city in France.

Towns visited from a Bordeaux cruise include:  Cadillac, Pauillac, Blaye, Bourg, Saint-Emilion, as well as several wineries for tastings.

BLAYE, is known for its 17th century Citadel, built by Vauban.  Around the Blaye Citadel, there are lots of shops, cafes, restaurants and small hotels.

CADILLAC was founded in 1280 to serve as a river port for the castle of Benauges by the lord of the castle, Jean I de Grailly.  Cadillac is directly across the Garonne river from Sauternes, and is known for producing sweet dessert wines under the Cadillac AOC designation.

Possible excursion from Cadillac includes traveling by coach for the Château de Roquetaillade. This magnificent and prestigious medieval castle built between the 12th and 14th centuries is a listed historic monument. You will see its medieval keeps, the first Renaissance chimneys in the region (1600), but above all its unique 19th-century interiors, a masterpiece by Viollet-le-Duc today listed as a historic monument.

PAUILLAC – From this port is the stepping stone to the famous Grands Cru Wine Route of Medoc – a region producing some of the most famous Red Wine in the world.  As you drive through the region, you will pass through charming towns, acres of vineyards and sunflowers as well as beautiful chateau.

SAINT-EMILION’S – history goes back to prehistoric times and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with fascinating Romanesque churches and ruins stretching all along steep and narrow streets.  The town features the Monolithic church of Saint Emilion – built into a limestone cliff rock.

Monolithic Church of Saint Emilion

The Romans planted vineyards in what was to become Saint-Émilion as early as the 2nd century. In the 4th century, the Latin poet Ausonius lauded the fruit of the bountiful vine.

The town, previously called Ascumbas, was renamed after the monk Émilion (d.767), a traveling confessor, who settled in a hermitage carved into the rock there in the 8th century. The monks who followed him started up the commercial wine production in the area.  Saint-Émilion is one of the principal red wine areas of Bordeaux along with the Meoc, Graves and Pomerol. The region is much smaller than the Médoc and adjoins Pomerol. As in Pomerol and the other appellations on the right bank of the Gironde, the primary grape varieties used are the Merlot and Cabernet Franc, with relatively small amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon also being used by some châteaux.

There are a variety of cruise options in Bordeaux:  Barge cruises as well as several river cruise options.  There are short Bordeaux Cruises of 4 night, 5 night and 6 night as well as 7 night cruise itineraries.  On an AmaWaterways 7 night Taste of Bordeaux cruise, you will enjoy an extensive lineup of included tours, wine with dinner, daily happy hour and included Wi-Fi. In many cases, you will have a choice of excursions, such as standard tours, bike tours, hikes and Special Interest Tours. We always include a large variety of activities so that you can choose how you want to explore.   The international cruise line CroisiEurope, offer short France River cruises with classic and active optional excursions.  CroisiEurope includes a beverage package as well as Wi-Fi in their cruise rates.   No matter your preference, your days will be full of discovery and wonder.

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

 

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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