When the Nazis wanted to blow it up in , two courageous citizens, independently of each other, cut the detonator wires to the explosives and saved the bridge from destruction. The Blue Wonder adorns countless postcards and is, next to the Frauenkirche and the Zwinger palace, one of the most popular photographic subjects in the city, and a backdrop for selfies, and has long been present on social media channels. The city invests more than , euros annually to maintain the structure, which to date has withstood all Elbe floods.
In , locals re-enacted the historical stress test performed in July 11, Nowadays 29, vehicles drive over the Blue Wonder every day, fewer than before the controversial Waldschlösschen Bridge was opened downstream. The bridge's load-carrying capacity is tested at regular intervals and its remaining service life estimated regularly, the next time in Koettnitz emphasises that the bridge is in no danger of being closed in the near future. For more than 10 million euros the protective anti-corrosion coating will be renewed — in bluish grey, as it was originally.
The Blue Wonder is only one of the sights in the capital of Saxony. Dresden is famous for its baroque architecture and art treasures. You should venture out over the Augustus Bridge and stand where artist Canaletto once set up his easel in to paint his famous view of Dresden.
The cityscape, with the Frauenkirche church, Dresden Castle and Dresden Cathedral, has hardly changed. Looking at it from this perspective, you will quickly understand why Dresden is also known as Florence on the Elbe. It's a church but also so much more. It was destroyed during World War II and for 50 years its ruins were a war memorial. After German reunification, donations from around the world helped to have it rebuilt.
It now serves as a symbol of intercultural understanding and a testament to reconciliation. The church is open to visitors and every midday there is an organ concert. The Zwinger Palace is one of the most important buildings of the Baroque era. Augustus the Strong, Elector of Saxony, had it built at the beginning of the 18th century as an appropriate splendid setting with gardens for court festivities.
In the 19th century, the Zwinger Palace was made into a museum which displays paintings, Meissner porcelain and historical scientific tools. Some two kilometers 1. The rulers of Saxony spent the summer months in the Garden Palace, where they were also known to hold grand, opulent parties. The Renaissance building is one of the city's oldest. Over the centuries, it has served as a residence for electors and kings of Saxony.
Today it houses the Dresden State Art Collections. The castle, like most buildings in Dresden, was destroyed during the Second World War. In , while Dresden was still under East German Communist rule, reconstruction work began - and it is still ongoing.
Dresden Castle also has one of the biggest treasure chambers in Europe, boasting some 4, exhibits. Augustus the Strong was the first to present these masterpieces of court culture to the public in The Fürstenzug is a large mural of a mounted procession of the rulers of Saxony. It is located on the outer wall of Dresden Castle's stables courtyard. It displays the ancestral portraits of 35 margraves, electors, dukes and kings. To make the work waterproof it was replaced with 23, Meissen porcelain tiles between and , making it the largest porcelain artwork in the world.
The Semperoper is one of Europe's most elegant opera houses. The Neo-renaissance building was completed in Architect Gottfried Semper focused both on the perfection of form and sound. The acoustics of the Semperoper is famous the world over. Arial bombing during World War II completely destroyed this splendid building, so it took until for the opera house to be reopened. On the banks of the Elbe river, you can enjoy a panoramic view of the cityscape.
During the summer, movie nights are held on the river meadows - making it probably Germany's most beautiful open-air cinema. From the middle of the 13th century onward the bishops were princes of the Empire  and ruled Bamberg, overseeing the construction of monumental buildings. In and the see obtained large portions of the estates of the Counts of Meran , partly through purchase and partly through the appropriation of extinguished fiefs.
The old Bishopric of Bamberg was composed of an unbroken territory extending from Schlüsselfeld in a northeasterly direction to the Franconian Forest , and possessed in addition estates in the Duchies of Carinthia and Salzburg , in the Nordgau the present Upper Palatinate , in Thuringia , and on the Danube.
By the changes resulting from the Reformation , the territory of this see was reduced nearly one half in extent. Since the coat of arms of the city of Bamberg is known in form of a seal. The witch trials of the 17th century claimed about one thousand victims in Bamberg, reaching a climax between and , under the rule of Prince-Bishop Johann Georg II Fuchs von Dornheim.
In , the University of Bamberg was founded as Academia Bambergensis. In , the possessions and jurisdictions of the diocese situated in Austria were sold to that state. Bamberg thus lost its independence in , becoming part of Bavaria in Bamberg was first connected to the German rail system in , which has been an important part of its infrastructure ever since. After a communist uprising took control over Bavaria in the years following World War I , the state government fled to Bamberg and stayed there for almost two years before the Bavarian capital of Munich was retaken by Freikorps units see Bavarian Soviet Republic.
The first republican constitution of Bavaria was passed in Bamberg, becoming known as the Bamberger Verfassung Bamberg Constitution. In February Bamberg served as the venue for the Bamberg Conference , convened by Adolf Hitler in his attempt to foster unity and to stifle dissent within the then-young Nazi party.
Bamberg was chosen for its location in Upper Franconia, reasonably close to the residences of the members of the dissident northern Nazi faction but still within Bavaria.
Its geography is shaped by the Regnitz and by the foothills of the Steigerwald , part of the German uplands. From northeast to southwest, the town is divided into first the Regnitz plain, then one large and several small islands formed by two arms of the Regnitz Inselstadt , and finally the part of town on the hills, the "Hill Town" Bergstadt. Bamberg extends over seven hills, each crowned by a beautiful church. This has led to Bamberg being called the "Franconian Rome" — although a running joke among Bamberg's tour guides is to refer to Rome instead as the "Italian Bamberg".
Climate in this area has mild differences between highs and lows, and there is adequate rainfall year-round. This places the district 10th out of 96 districts rural and urban in Bavaria overall average: The town established a documentation centre in to support World Heritage activities. Some of the main sights are:. Bamberg Cathedral is a late Romanesque building with four towers. It was later partially destroyed by fire in The new cathedral, built by Saint Otto of Bamberg , was consecrated in and in the 13th century received its present late-Romanesque form.
It contains many historic works of art, such as the marble tomb of the founder and his wife, considered one of the greatest works of the sculptor Tilman Riemenschneider , and carved between and Another treasure of the cathedral is an equestrian statue known as the Bamberg Horseman Der Bamberger Reiter.
The statue also serves as a symbol of the town of Bamberg. The Neue Residenz New Residence — was initially occupied by the prince-bishops, and from to by the deposed King Otto of Greece. Its Rosengarten Rose Garden overlooks the town. It has over roses. The Altenburg is located on the highest of Bamberg's seven hills. It was mentioned for the first time in Destroyed in by Albert Alcibiades, Margrave of Brandenburg-Kulmbach , it was used, after scanty repairs, only as a prison, and increasingly decayed.
Marcus bought the castle and completely repaired it. His friend, the famous German writer E. Hoffmann , who was very impressed by the building, lived there for a while. The next owner, Anton von Greifenstein, in founded an association to save the castle. This society still maintains the whole property today. The Altenburg today houses a restaurant. Other churches are the Jakobskirche , an 11th-century Romanesque basilica ; the St. Martinskirche ; the Marienkirche or Obere Pfarrkirche — , which has now been restored to its original pure Gothic style.
The Michaelskirche , 12th century Romanesque restored , on the Michaelsberg, was formerly the church of the Benedictine Michaelsberg Abbey secularized in and now contains the Bürgerspital , or almshouse , and the museum and municipal art collections.
Of the bridges connecting the sections of the lower town the Obere Brücke was completed in Halfway across this, on an island, is the Rathaus or town hall rebuilt The lyceum, formerly a Jesuit college, contains a natural history museum. The old palace Alte Hofhaltung was built in on the site of an old residence of the counts of Babenberg. There are also underground tunnels beneath the town. These were originally constructed as mines which supplied sandstone which could be used for construction or as an abrasive cleaner.
Mining came to an end in but a 7. The tunnels were used as an air raid shelter during World War II. A part of the network can be visited on a guided tour.
Every August there is a five-day Sandkerwa , a kirmess celebrated with beers. The University of Bamberg , named Otto-Friedrich University, offers higher education in the areas of social science , business studies and the humanities , and is attended by more than 13, students. The University of Applied Sciences Bamberg offers higher education in the areas of public health.
Bamberg is also home to eight secondary schools gymnasiums:. There are also numerous other institutes for primary, secondary, technical, vocational and adult education. It takes less than two hours to Munich on the train and with the Nuremberg—Erfurt high-speed railway through the Thuringian mountains finished in less than three hours to Berlin.
East-west connections are poorer. Bamberg is connected to other towns in eastern Upper Franconia such as Bayreuth , Coburg , and Kronach via the Bamberg—Hof line with trains usually running at least every hour.
Connections on the Würzburg—Bamberg line to the west are hourly regional trains to Würzburg, which is fully connected to the ICE network. Tourists arriving at Frankfurt International Airport can take advantage of the new direct connection from Frankfurt main station.
Bamberg is not near any of the major i. But it is nevertheless well connected to the network in all directions: The A73 on the eastern side of town connects Bamberg to Nuremberg connecting to the A9 and Thuringia , ending at Suhl.
Bamberg is served by Bamberg-Breitenau Airfield.