The One with Amberg, Germany


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Yesterday we drove about 40 minutes to the town of Amberg, Germany. It’s ancient, beautiful, and if you’ve ever heard of it, I'd be amazed. This town is buried away among Bavaria’s hidden gems a few hours north of Munich. Population: 44,756 and 19.32 square miles.

Driving through the beautiful countryside. It never gets old.
We thought it was going to rain but by the time we got there the clouds had melted away revealing a lovely and perfect day!
Yup. Everything is in German! Parking garage entrance. City of Amberg. Or something along those lines.
We parked the car, unloaded our gear, then headed out! 
We were immediately greeted by some fun dog and cat art.

Nabburger Tor (Nabburg Gate), the grandest of Amberg’s four city gates. A drawbridge was lowered to allow access across the moat and the gate’s towers were used as medieval dungeons.
The city's medieval Old Town is nicknamed the Ei (Egg) after the shape of its intact city wall. Iron mining made the city rich during the Middle Ages and it was able to afford one some of the best fortifications in Germany. As well as the still standing city wall, Amberg had a water-filled moat and about 100 defensive towers. Medieval scribe Michael Schwaiger declared “Munich is the most beautiful princely city, Leipzig the richest, but Amberg is the most secure!”

You know I LOVE colored buildings, and this town had a-plenty!
We walked to St Martin’s - a gothic Catholic church built in 1421. Currently the tower is covered in scaffolding. We have bad luck with scaffolding. I guess all these old European buildings need to be repaired often!
Cute market square - or Marktplatz - which still lives up to its name on Saturdays when produce and flower stalls fill the square.


Pumpkins!! Proof it's almost Halloween!

This building dominating the square is the 14th century Rathaus (Town Hall) with a beautiful external staircase and balcony.

Fox and Jane chilling at the fountain in the square.

Looking down the Vils River.
What I wouldn't give to pause and eat a long and relaxing meal here.
We walked along the river and stopped every few feet so I could take pictures :)
Once a means of trade and transportation, the Vils divides the Old Town neatly in half.
Vessels were once used to transport iron to nearby Regensburg and bring salt back to Amberg.
Vine-covered goodness.
Charming!
Above photos were across the river and this is on our side of the river.
We came upon a funky and modern bridge.
I wasn't sure it would be able to hold our weight, but we crossed unscathed.
The Stadtbrille (City Spectacles) gateway stretches across the Vils River.

Two of its semi-circular arches cast reflections on the river, if you squint hard enough the effect makes it look like a huge pair of specs. The gate was built in the early 1500s as part of the city’s defences. The 'Brille once had portcullises which could be lowered when the city was attacked.
My favorite street in Amberg: looking down Schiffbrückgasse.  

The Frenzl-Haus is one of the nicest buildings in Amberg's pedestrian street, Georgenstrasse, with its elaborate rococo bay window.
Pink building and more shots of the Frenzl-Haus.


Walking down Seminargasse.
Now this building has a tale worth mentioning!
The Eh'häusl has a long and glorious past - its story begins in 1728. At that time it was still necessary to provide proof of landownership to the city council if a young couple wished to wed. In order to circumvent this rule a clever businessman built a house in the 8 feet 2 ½ inch space between two existing buildings on Seminargasse. He finished the house by putting up a wall in the front, one in the back and a roof on the top. The house was rapidly completed providing real proof that you could be a landowner. One could buy the house, get married, and sell it to the next prospective groom. Ever since then this house has been called the Eh'häusl (Ehe-Häus or marriage house) in the local dialect. The name continues to be used to this day. It is not only a deluxe class retreat but also the "smallest hotel in the world". For 250 Euros a night you can rent the Eh'häusl. I totally want to!
The door of the Eh'häusl is quite funny with pictures of a sad couple, then they hand over a scroll, and then they're happy canoodling in each other's arms.

Continuing on up Seminargasse.
Fox "reading" along with a statue outside a modern library. | Jane holding her balloon, meandering along past the library.

I found this stick with a great shade of chartreuse moss growing on it.

St George's - a 15th century gothic church.
Exterior of St. George's.

 Nothing too fancy right?
But then we stepped inside and WOW!!! Such a hidden gem!

We've been inside a lot of churches in our year over here, but I never tire of walking inside these amazing and detailed and ornate churches. 
Gasp out loud beautiful.
We were the only ones inside the church so we took a family selfie :)
We reached the other end of the "egg" and turned around.
Once again we stopped to take photos of neat buildings on the way back to the car!

We passed a sunflower field on our way to Amberg so I made sure to get a few photos of 'em on the way home.
Sunflowers are my favorite. 
Another fun Saturday exploring this beautiful country we live in!

11 comments

  1. Ah! I love Amberg, I will eat a relaxing meal at the restaurant with you any day ;) Fantastic pictures Miss Paige!

    And I totally stopped to take a picture of those same sunflowers today on the way home from church!!! They make my heart happy!

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  2. Wow. You visit the most beautiful places. I can't get over the architecture!

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  3. That was a fun, relaxing adventure! It's so cool that we live near such incredible places!

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  4. Love love love these photos! Thank you so much for sharing and for the history behind it all!

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  5. The cat and dog artwork is so cute! And holy moly...how gorgeous is the inside of St. George's!!! Love the cute little hotel and the story behind it!

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  6. Those are some amazing photographs of Germany; and that church, wow.......it was jaw dropping just looking at the photos.

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  7. What a quant little town! Definitely loving all of those colors! And I can't believe Halloween is just around the corner!!

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  8. Both my kids were born in Amberg :) It's a great quick trip. Have you taken your kids out to Rofu yet?

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  9. Way to represent, Chris....Cougar True Blue! :)

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  10. How neat! As always. :) Love the story of that Marriage House too! Very cool. :)

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