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Tuesday, 1 September 2015

A Baroque style palace in the historic center of BAMBERG (Bavaria) | The New Residence in Bamberg | 17th and 18th century interiors

The town of Bamberg, picture taken from inside the New Residence

A Baroque style palace in the historic center of Bamberg 
New Residence Bamberg
17th and 18th century interiors
In this blog entry we visit the New Residence, a Baroque style palace in the historic center of Bamberg. Staterooms with beautiful 17th and 18th century interiors


Bamberg is a town in the north of the federal state of Bavaria (Germany). This Franconian town is home to roughly 71.000 inhabitants and extends over seven hills, each crowned with a magnificent church.
Bamberg’s geography is shaped by the river Regnitz, and is located close to its confluence with the river Main.
The city of Bamberg boasts the largest preserved historic center of Germany and for this reason it is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site.
One of the old town’s most famous landmarks is undoubtedly the Bamberg Cathedral, a late Romanesque style building, where Henry II (Heinrich II), the last Ottonian emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, was buried. In the year 1007 he founded the Diocese of Bamberg, which is currently known as the Archdiocese of Bamberg.
More than fifty breathtaking castles, fortresses, palaces and residences can be found in Bavaria. In this blog item I want to introduce you to the New Residence, a Baroque style palace in the historic center of Bamberg.

A Baroque style palace in the historic center of BAMBERG | The New Residence

New Residence Bamberg

The New Residence Bamberg is a monumental building which consists of four enormous wings, all constructed in sandstone. This building complex is located at the famous Cathedral Square (Domplatz) in Bamberg. It was the former residence of the prince-bishops of Bamberg. The building’s exterior clearly reveals that it was constructed in two distinct phases; namely the Renaissance style, between 1604 and 1612, and the Baroque style.

Between 1697 and 1703, during the reign of prince-bishop Lothar Franz von Schönborn, a number of large Baroque style wings were attached to the existing edifice.
There are over fourty state rooms, such as the Marble Hall, the Hall of Mirrors (decorated with stucco by Antonio Bossi) and the Imperial Hall.
The impressive Imperial Hall is located on the second floor and is adorned with magnificent wall and ceiling murals executed by Melchior Steidl. 
These are marvelous designs including medallions representing Roman emperors and a central ceiling mural, which represent the four known continents at the time. 

17th and 18th century interiors | Bamberg Residence

Furthermore, the ceiling mural contains an artistic rendition of the “Sciences”, represented by Putti, and 16 life size portraits of emperors. The ceiling mural is conceived as a trompe l’oeil. However, not only the ceiling is a lust for the eye, but also the wooden floors are of extraordinary quality, containing large geometrical shapes and motives made up out of several species of wood, including nut wood and pear wood. It is a motley collection of shapes, shades and colors. It was the first time that I saw such beautiful and rich parquet floors.
Until 1802 the New Residence served as the seat of the prince-bishops of Bamberg, who in those days both possessed the spiritual power as well as the temporal or worldly power. The splendor and brilliance of this palace’s interior make you relive the heydays of the prince-bishops rule.
From 1803 onwards this Baroque style palace was used as a royal residence.


Nowadays this building serves several functions, including of course the museum which allows you to visit the 17th century Baroque style state rooms. This entry ticket will also allow you to visit several parts of the palace housing a large collection of paintings, owned by the federal state of Bavaria (Bayerischen Staatsgemäldesammlungen). All the more reason to visit the New Residence in Bamberg!

Lucas Cranach, Lucretia  (1538)

Visiting the Baroque style state rooms is only possible in small groups. A guide will give detailed explanations and the tour takes around 1.5 hours. Taking photographs is allowed (without flash). 

Here is a brief taster of some of rooms.

A carved supraporte | Bamberg Residence

The Imperial Hall: the ceiling mural is conceived as a trompe l’oeil

The New Residence | Our guide explaining the Imperial Hall

The New Residence in Bamberg | The Imperial Hall

17th and 18th century interiors | Bamberg Residence

17th and 18th century interiors | Bamberg Residence

 The Rose Garden (The New Residenz)

The Rose garden
When exiting the New Residence you’ll walk through a monumental gate which leads to a large courtyard, adjacent to which the Rose garden can be found.
This exceptionally beautiful 18th century rose garden is home to over 60 different species of roses (approximately 4500 bushes in total), which are nicely divided into several beds, skirted by box-tree hedges. Narrow garden paths and a collection of sandstone sculptures (Rococo style) will lead you to the 18th century tea pavilion near the edge of the rose garden. The buildings comprising the New Residence were built on a hill site, allowing a magnificent panoramic view of the historic centre of Bamberg and the Michelsberg Abbey (Kloster Michaelsberg) near the edge of the rose garden.

Bamberg, view from the Rose garden towards the Michelsberg Abbey
New Residence Bamberg
Opening hours:
April - September: 09:00 - 18:00
October - March: 10:00 - 16:00

Schloss- und Gartenverwaltung Bamberg
Domplatz 8
96049 Bamberg
Ticket price (2014): 4.5 Euro

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