The layout and architecture of medieval and Renaissance Bamberg exerted a strong influence on urban form and evolution in the lands of central Europe from the 11th century onwards. Bamberg is an outstanding and representative example of an early medieval town in central Europe, both in its plan and in its many surviving ecclesiastical and secular buildings.
The Counts of Babenberg had a castle on the hill around which Bamberg developed as early as the late Carolingian period. This became royal property in 906, and then passed to the Dukes of Bavaria. When Henry II, Duke of Bavaria, became King of Germany in 1007 he made Bamberg the seat of a bishopric, intended to become a 'second Rome'.
Bamberg is a good example of a central European town with a basically early medieval plan and many surviving buildings, particularly the way in which the present town illustrates the link between agriculture (vineyards, hop gardens, market gardens).
The town had early cultural links with eastern Europe. Its architecture had strong influences on north Germany and Hungary in the Gothic period, whereas its Baroque element is intimately linked with developments in Bohemia. The street layouts of the three historic core areas retain their medieval features.