Pictures of Amberg

Amberg is quite an attractive city, because of the opposites, which characterize the townscape. With its almost thousand years of history and in front of its impressive, historical backdrop, the town of Amberg has entered the new millenium.

Modern and traditional features are closely intertwined, forming a harmonious entity which provides excellent quality of life. No wonder that living and working in this place are as pleasant as taking a holiday here. Amberg is worth a visit - you’ll see!

Is anything on this picture worth seeing it? You might say: "Definitively NO!" That’s not completely right. Sure, on the right side you’ll see only a part of a sign. In the middle a boring river and on the right side a number of old houses and a tree row in front of them. But throw a second glance at this photo. I’d like to tell you a bit more about it. The river in the middle of the photo called Vils. It is right tributary of the Naab. Its source is near a little village called Freihung. It is approximate 87km long.

In the medieval age this river was quite an important lifeline for Amberg because it flows - not directly - into the Donau. So it was the link between Amberg - an iron digging city - and the important trading cities like Regensburg. The citizens of Amberg needed this way of transportation to reach their delivery area, change iron against salt, money or other necessary things and trading with them. By doing so, the medieval Amberg became rich and powerful.

An old relic of these times is the electroral arsenal behind the house row. It belongs to the elector’s castle built in the times when Amberg was an influential residence town and seat of the government of the Upper Palatinate.

One of the sights of Amberg is the theatre (”Stadttheater”), which is accommodated in a former church. After the secularisation of the Franciscan monastery, the theatre was accommodated in the monastic church dedicated to St. Bernhard.

In the 19th century it was redesigned a number of times and 1952 it had fallen into such disrepair that it had to be closed. As recently as the 1970s it was subjected to a complete overhaul. Its varied programme invites visitors to remarkable performances and concerts. Here, premieres take place at regular intervals; here, renowned casts and artists meet. But that’s not all: In the first part of the building is a restaurant, where it is possible to eat exclusive Bavarian cuisine or refresh in the summer time with an ice coffee for example.

The late-Gothic Parish Church of St. Martin lies in the historic core of Amberg and is the capital church of the city. Start of work was in 1421. The 98 metres-high steeple was finished 1584. The interieur is neo-gothic, because the Baroque ornamentation was replaced by a neo-gothic one. The church got its appearance in 1720. It is possible to visit the steeple also inside. The great outlook is worth the trouble.

With a length of 72 metres, a width of 28 metres and a height up to the ridge of some 40 metres, St. Martin is the largest church of this type in Northern Bavaria. It is known as the most important and monumental church after the Regensburg Cathedral. Because of this importance for the region, the pope bestowed the honorary title of a Basilica minor.

In the focus of this picture stands the Market Square ("Marktplatz"), which contains the Gothic town hall. The Town Hall was first documented as early as 1348. The core of the building, the oldest part, was erected in the second half of the 14th century, and compromises what was formerly the Council Chapel, now called the Gothic Room and the Great Hall.

Extensive conversion work was carried out in the first half of the 16th century, the building then being extended some 50 years later. In the 1860s the façade was completely redesigned. That was also the time when the façade was adorned with two statues, one depicting commerce and trade, the other charity. The latest refurbishment of the whole Town Hall complex was completed in 1989. Today it still contains the urban administration, among other things the register office and a great hall for representative ceremonies. In front of the Town Hall are waiting a host of restaurants, cafes or bistros for you in the town to relax and dine there during or after your shopping tour.

On the left side are many houses, cars and one pharmacy. In the background of the picture a part of the vils gate can be seen. The tower of the gate dates from the 14th century. In 1575 it was reinforced by an outer defence wall and is adorned by the coats of arms of the Palatinate and the Town of Amberg. We can still see the wooden pulleyx that were used to pull up the drawbridge.

On the right side is the traditional Brewery Bruckmüller. For over 500 years real ale has been brewn there, including gastronomic specialities like Kellerbier, Hefeweizen, Knappentrunk and Superator.

In the centre of this picture is a part of the Amberger Congress Centrum. The ACC is well-known for holding conferences of international standard up to 1000 people in the Upper Palatinate.

The ACC is embedded in wonderful surroundings, right in between the area of a recreation park and the Kurfürstenbad (indoor swimming and wellness-facility) close the historical citycenter of Amberg. Due to the extraordinary architecture and multifunctional technique on a high level, the ACC is well-known as an ideal conference center. An exclusive restaurant and a *****conference hotel are connected.

In the middle of this picture you can see the Kurfürstenbad.It is in vogue by people of every generation and nation. It was opened 1990 and extended 2004 with a huge a spa-facility. The Kurfürstenbad has seven pools for indoor swimming, hot-whirlpools, a big slide, an area for little children, a steamgrotto, a restaurant, a massage and physiotherapie praxis, an aquafit-area with an underwater-fitnesscenter (so it is possible to work out in the cooling water), an aquarium, a waterfall and many other things.

The next pictures look a bit green and like an English garden because of the grove and the meadows with sculptures divided through a meander river called Vils. What you see is a part of the enormous acreage of the Land garden exhibition of 1996 which has been retained largely as a recreational area within immediate reach of the town. These regenerate fluvial topography with large paths and green areas - including a herb garden and an amphitheatre - just outside the town moat is ideally suited for walking and relaxing.

The pilgrimage church and the Franciscan monastery on top of the St.Mary’s Hill was built to the plans of Wolfgang Dientzenhofer. The frescoes were created by Cosmas Damian Asam, the stucco by Paul d’Aglio and Johann Baptist Carlone. Work on erecting the church was started in 1697 after the former church burnt to the ground.

Pilgrimage began during the time of the bubonic plague in 1634 when the locals prayed for help to the Virgin Mary riding them of the deadly disease. Consequently the centre point in the church is the miraculous Madonna, a copy of a miraculous image by the famous painter Lukas Cranach.

It is the most famous pilgrimage church throughout the Upper Palatinate. A reason may be the legendary mountain festival takes place in late June or early July. Furthermore with its pilgrimage church and the large forest surrounding them, the St.Mary’s Hill is available for recreation.