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Living History

The mystique of Europe for many is the ability to experience the history of the past while walking among ancient buildings and visiting ancient sites. That was our day today in well-preserved Bamberg, Germany. The cobblestone streets traverse two rivers crossed by ancient bridges. The extensive Altstadt (Old Town) contains wonderful buildings that evoke an opulent past. The Residenz (Palace) of the Elector Prince Bishop is grand in scale and rich in interior. There were seven Electors in the Holy Roman Empire who were the chief Princes of the Empire. When an emperor died, these electors met to choose the next emperor. They alone were allowed to wear ermine robes that symbolized their position. The Residenz contains a massive hall that was built to receive the Emperor should he visit. It uses the painting technique known as
trompe l’oeil which tricks the eye into seeing something that is not there. In the case of this magnificent room, the eye sees a high-tiered room, when in fact it is a rather low and flat ceiling. Really amazing.

We ate our evening meal in a thick-raftered old style restaurant in the same family since 1536. We tried and enjoyed the smoked dark beer. You could smell the smoke as you drank. The place was packed and people continued to stream in. We realized they came by bicycle or walked. Such is life in ancient German cities. WEG


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