Amberg and its sights: Aerial art site against a medieval backdrop
Go on a voyage of discovery through the historic town of Amberg - the former capital of the Upper Palatinate and main transhipment point for Palatinate ore still has its own special charm today. One of the best-preserved medieval towns in Germany awaits you in this gem on the Vils!
A historic town with modern charm
Welcome to Amberg - a town that has preserved its historic appearance and the charm that comes with it for visitors. Visit Amberg by train and see for yourself the modern hustle and bustle in the historic streets. The town, first mentioned in a document in 1034, was for a long time an important transhipment centre for iron and iron ore. The former capital of the Upper Palatinate has lost none of its charm and authenticity over the centuries. The best example of this is the completely preserved town wall that surrounds Amberg like the shell of an egg. Lovingly restored buildings house attractive shopping facilities for locals and visitors alike, even within the medieval town centre.
A city tour through the Middle Ages
For centuries Amberg was impregnable thanks to its fortifications. Today, the four town gates are open to everyone and invite you to explore the town on your own. Coming from the railway station, follow the city wall on the northern side to reach the Ziegeltor - one of the four city gates. The city wall with its 97 doors and gates is about three kilometres long in total. Follow the city wall to the next gate. After only about five minutes on foot, you will reach the Vil Gate. The wooden rollers for the drawbridge can still be seen on this gate tower. From here you walk south into the historic centre of Amberg. The winding alleys between the historic buildings give you the feeling of travelling back in time. After a few metres along Vilsstraße, Amberg's municipal theatre is on your left.
Play in the Franciscan monastery
The Amberg Municipal Theatre, considered one of the most beautiful small theatres in Germany, hosted its first performance as early as 1803. After closing in 1953, it was completely renovated and reopened in the 1970s. Today, the theatre in the secularised Franciscan monastery presents a varied programme, from newly staged classics to lively musicals. Why not visit one of the more than 100 events every year?
Something in the air
Continue south through Amberg's old town. Via Weinstraße and Georgenstraße in the direction of the market square, turn right just before the Vils. There, in the so-called Klösterl, a part of Amberg's Alte Veste, you will find the Air Museum by the artist Wilhelm Koch, which opened in 2006. On an exhibition area of about 650 square metres, you can expect mainly contemporary art. Hear, see, grasp, experience and understand for yourself what air is all about.
Since the opening of the museum, air has played an overriding role in the city on the Vils. In Amberg, you regularly have the opportunity to take part in events that bring the theme of air to life. Every two years, for example, the Amberg Air Night takes place. You then have the opportunity to breathe in the art, so to speak, throughout the old town. In 2009, the city of Amberg therefore awarded itself the title of Luftkunstort. The artistic examination of the element is intended to raise awareness of its presence.
If you find yourself out of breath despite all this air, we have good news for you: right next to the Air Museum you can take a little break in the Rußwurmhaus restaurant. Enjoy the view of the Vils from the wood-panelled dining room or take a seat in the cosy beer garden, where freshly tapped beer and home-style cooking with specialities from the region await you. Upper Palatinate lifestyle and Bavarian cosiness. The beer town of Amberg has a lot to offer when it comes to enjoyment. The art of brewing has always been very important in the secret capital of the Upper Palatinate. Even today, 5 medium-sized breweries and a home brewery brew the drinkable barley juice in the beautiful town on the Vils. Amberg's beers not only impress with their high quality, but also with their variety. You can sample Amberg beer regionally in the city's pubs and restaurants.
On the road on medieval transport routes
Not far to the south of the air museum, at the ship's bridge, you have the opportunity to take a trip on the Plätte on the Vils. In earlier times, the river was essential for transporting Amberg's iron products. During the ride on the flatboat, which is modelled on historical ore ships, you will also learn interesting facts and exciting anecdotes about the city's history. At the same time, you can relax to the lapping of the Vils and simply enjoy the ride. A round trip lasts one hour before you return to the boarding point in the city centre. Alternatively, you can linger briefly at the Drahthammerwiese landing stage and enjoy a cosy coffee in the Drahthammerschlössl. It takes about 30 minutes to walk back along the Vils to the Amberg city wall.
The town's landmark
Back at the city wall, south of the ship's bridge, you can take a look at Amberg's landmark. The water gate building from 1454, popularly known as the "Stadtbrille", is also considered the fifth gate of the town of Amberg. This part of the city wall owes its name "Stadtbrille" to the pillar of the water gate, which stands in the middle of the Vils, and the Vils itself. The arches are reflected by the water, giving the impression of spectacle lenses. The best view of this is from outside the city wall, or already during the trip with the barge on the Vils.
A little to the west of the city glasses is another of Amberg's city gates. The Wingershofer Tor is a Renaissance building from 1580 and the smallest of the four gates. Following the city wall to the east, you come to the last and oldest city gate - the Nabburg Gate - before heading back towards the station. It is up to you whether you prefer to stroll through the historic alleys on your way or walk outside the city fortifications. From the Nabburg Gate you can reach the railway station in five minutes on foot, from where you can start your journey home with wonderful impressions of medieval Amberg.
Our tip: Please make sure to check your train connection and the expected capacity before you start your journey.