The University of Manchester - The University of Manchester Library
First Impressions


Bamberg is situated on the River Regnitz before it flows in to the River Main and many of its most important buildings were constructed on top of one of its seven hills. On the left of the illustration from the Nuremberg Chronicle is Altenberg Castle, the principal residence of the bishops during the Middle Ages. The spires of the Benedictine Michaelsberg Abbey and the towers of the cathedral dominate the right of the picture. The town established itself as an important religious centre and many manuscript books were written and illuminated in the religious houses, most notably by the monks of Michaelsberg Abbey. It is therefore perhaps not surprising that a printing house was established in the city so soon after the exodus of printers from Mainz. With an educated population, a number of religious houses and a wealthy bishop as patron, the printer (Albrecht Pfister) had a ready market for the new technology of printing. Bamberg was also the first place where books in the German language were printed, illustrated by woodcuts.

Discover more about early printing in Bamberg.