Tuesday, 4 January 2011
My second full day in Bamberg again dawned cold and bright, but after a day and a half of quite heavy drinking (for me), I decided it was time to get some exercise. So after breakfast I headed off to walk up to Altenburg Fortress, the former refuge of the Prince-Bishops; Bamberg's historic rulers.
Altenburg Fortress is situated on the highest of Bamberg's seven hills (386 m above sea level), and can be seen from many places in the city. My son and I had seen the fortress on our previous visit to Bamberg where, sitting in the shady beer garden at the rear of the Greifenklau Brewery, we could see the Altenburg Fortress lit up by floodlights, across the valley. It certainly looked impressive, so I was determined to visit it on this occasion.
It was freezing cold when I set off for the fortress, but as it was a steep and lengthy climb up the hill I was quite warm when I reached the summit. The restaurant was about to open, so I was glad of the opportunity of a coffee, and the chance to rest my legs. After that I had a quick look around the fortress. Many of the buildings were destroyed in 1553, during the War of the Margraves, but the 33 m high keep remains, together with part of the surrounding ring wall.
It was much quicker descending, and I was soon back in the Altstadt and a resumption of the beer drinking!