Sunday, 4 October 2015

bamberger freiheit

It’s become a little tradition for us to visit the big gathering of antiques vendors spread throughout the Altstadt of Bamberg held annual on the Day of German Reunification (Tag der Deutsche Einheit). Though we sadly did not find any treasures to bring home this time, it’s always fun to look and find some of the same relics and artefacts from last year still up for offer and to explore a bit of the historic city.
Of the Old Rathaus—which today houses on of the largest porcelain collections in Europe, a fine place for window-shopping too, there’s a simplified legend that it was built on the artificial island that straddles the Regnitz, the tributary that divides the city in order to isolate a particularly tyrannical mayor. The citizens of Bamberg never had such an intolerable civil leader, but rather, like Nuremberg, aspired for Imperial Immediacy and (Reichstadt, only answerable to the emperor) but the episcopal and secular division of the city—the Lord Bishop’s borders were statutorily defined by the Regnitz—and civil authorities hoped that a little engineered encroachment might consolidate powers. Though the domains remained under separate governance, forcing the bishop and his retinue to pass through the civic hall did go far in keeping the Church in check.