We are on a little boat ride down the Main. For about a week. Soooo…. this afternoon and tonight are travel-on-board time. Watch those banks go by….
BUT. This morning, bright and early, we went into Bamberg. Dag nab it, I forgot my camera in my State Room, so everything I shot today was with my iPhone.
But. To Bamberg. As German cities go, it is fairly young… just 1,000 years old. But the thing that strikes you about this little town, is just how small and quaint it is. Holy crap. I thought we were in the middle of a postcard much of the day.
The town is in Upper Franconia, Germany, on the river Regnitz… so we weren’t quite in the Main yet. It was founded, around 902. It actually, more or less… “grew up” by the castle Babenberch. Hence the Banberg name eventually.
We learned a little bit about an old boy named Hank… and his wife Gooon-da. (American pronunciations for you!) He was stomping around on the German earth in 1007. And “Hanky” was actually Holy Roman Emperor Henry II or Heinrich II.
He made Bamberg a part of his family inheritance and hence, the seat of a separate diocese. He thought the Diocese of Würzburg was a bit too unwieldy in size. So he split off a couple of little parts… Bamberg being one of them.
Funny story about the dude. His wife is somewhat of a local “Icon” and “Saint” for having experienced a miracle. Apparently, she had been accused of adultery. So she had to walk across a huge bed of flaming hot coals to prove her innocence. Like in her bare feet.. … and a really long dress. AND, she had to do it without falling, catching fire, or dying. She sauntered right across. Swaggered, really. No dead wife. No adulteress. Saintly… in fact.
Her name is really Saint Kunigunde. And there is a big statue of her on the bridge.
Henry, rich-with-gold-Henry, got in good favor with the Pope and all the Catholic-goings on. He ordered a new Cathedral to be built. The Holy Sea came here (Benedict something) AND…. For a short time Bamberg was the centre of the Holy Roman Empire. Henry and Kunigunde were both buried in the cathedral.
Okay, now for the funny story. So Henry’s wife has this miracle right? He needed one too. So his big intervention from God came when he passed a kidney stone. Yep.
Saint Henry the Kidney Stone Passer and his wife, The Fire Walker.
All in little tiny Bamberg. And WE are HERE to experience the history of those amazing occurrences.
We had to be back on the boat at 11:45 and they pulled anchor immediately.
The maneuvering through this winding Main River has been pretty extraordinary, especially when we pass through the locks, or go under the very low bridges.
Speaking of which. When we all converged in Prague a couple of days ago, there were a few different Viking Cruises taking off for separate journeys up and down the rivers. One was going to Budapest.
That boat had an accident this morning on the Danube They were passing under a low bridge, and the wheel house was not low enough. The Captain and an Officer of that ship were killed. They were Hungarians, 49, and 38, I think. Pretty tragic. We had met a few people going on this particular boat while we in Prague.
For being on the boat all day, a lot happened. Including a discussion during dinner with a couple from Canada, about the U.S. Elections.
A day of exploring, a day of new encounters, and a day of learning.