The Sandkerwa is Bamberg's most beautiful folk festival and is one of the largest and most beautiful folk festivals in Bavaria.
In five days, the consecration of St. Elisabethenkirche is celebrated in the historic old town of Bamberg. The Sandkerwa is a unique combination of tradition and modernity. Over 200,000 visitors celebrate every year in the narrow streets of Bamberg and enjoy the romantic ambience in front of Little Venice.
An amusement park with bumper cars, carousel, raffle, shooting gallery and catering is usually set up at Markusplatz. There is live music in the marquee at Leinritt, in front of Brudermühle and at Katzenberg.
Among the programme highlights are the traditional fisherman's stabbing, the cock-blowing, in which participants try to smash clay pots while blindfolded, an organ concert and a closing fireworks display.
Those who wish to support the Kirchweih financially can purchase a festival badge at the office of the citizens' association or at various booths during each Sandkerwa. The proceeds help with the financing and thus contribute to the preservation of the traditional Kirchweih.
Bamberg is known for its smoked Rauchbier and is home to nine breweries, Brauerei Fässla, Brauerei Greifenklau, Brauerei Heller-Trum (Schlenkerla), Brauerei Kaiserdom, Keesmann Bräu, Klosterbräu, Mahrs Bräu and Brauerei Spezial, and one brewpub, Ambräusianum and some new smaller breweries.
The historic Schlenkerla Rauchbierbrauerei has a long and eventful history. In addition to the old records on the property at Dominikanerstraße 6, there are also brewing history documents at Oberer Stephansberg 27-35, where the Rauchbier still matures in the deep rock cellars.
Bamberg is a town in Upper Franconia, Germany, on the river Regnitz close to its confluence with the river Main. The town dates back to the 9th century, when its name was derived from the nearby Babenberch castle.
Cited as one of Germany's most beautiful towns, its old town has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1993, with Bamberg being home to Europe's largest intact old city wall.
It experienced a period of great prosperity from the 12th century onwards, during which time it was briefly the centre of the Holy Roman Empire. Emperor Henry II was also buried in the old town, alongside his wife Kunigunde. The town's architecture from this period strongly influenced that in Northern Germany and Hungary. From the middle of the 13th century onwards, the bishops were princes of the Empire and ruled Bamberg, overseeing the construction of monumental buildings. This growth was complemented by the obtaining of large portions of the estates of the Counts of Meran in 1248 and 1260 by the see, partly through purchase and partly through the appropriation of extinguished fiefs.
Bamberg lost its independence in 1802, following the secularization of church lands, becoming part of Bavaria in 1803. The town was first connected to the German rail system in 1844, which has been an important part of its infrastructure ever since.
Bamberg is connected to other towns in eastern Upper Franconia such as Bayreuth, Coburg, and Kronach via the Bamberg–Hof line with trains usually running at least every hour. Connections on the Würzburg–Bamberg line to the west are hourly regional trains to Würzburg, which is fully connected to the ICE network. Tourists arriving at Frankfurt International Airport can take advantage of the new direct connection from Frankfurt main station.
Most international tourists who travel by plane arrive at Frankfurt International Airport or Munich Airport. The nearest major airport is Nuremberg Airport which can be reached within 45mins by car or one hour by train and subway.
Learn more about the Sandkerwa Festival in Bamberg
Also, check our list of the best hotels in Bamberg and book your stay during the event.