The Bamberg gardeners take part with their own processional figures in the Corpus Christi procession through the World Heritage Site "Old Town of Bamberg".
 © Juergen Schraudner, 2015

Bamberg’s gardening tradition

World Heritage Office, City of Bamberg

Since the Middle Ages, urban gardening has been practiced in Bamberg. These late medieval structures of gardening from farmsteads to adjacent acreage have been exceptionally preserved to this day, in the centre of Bamberg. The Market Gardeners’ District with its wide and open spaces, within the World Heritage site and its buffer zone does not only characterize Bamberg’s townscape, but also forms an important contrast to the densely constructed town of Bamberg. The Market Gardeners’ District together with the City on the Hills and the Island District is an integral part of the World Heritage site. Land use through farming has been evident in the area from the 14th century and continues to this day. Thus, not only tangible, but also intangible cultural heritage assets exist. These include traditions, knowledge, and processing techniques used by the gardeners. In 2014, Bamberg’s gardening tradition was inscribed on the Bavarian Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage. In 2016, it was included in the National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

On 17 March, the German Government decided to close a variety of shops, cultural, sports and leisure venues in an attempt to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Stipulations for market gardeners vary depending on their goods and the availability of contactless payment. Moreover, the Federal Ministry of the Interior has ordered an entry ban for seasonal workers. The annual day of open market gardens at the end of April has been cancelled.

Those restrictions have a negative economic impact on Bamberg’s market gardeners. In order to adapt to those safety measures, many gardeners have switched to delivery services.

Their religion is very important to the gardeners. However, presumably this year’s Christian processions will not take place.

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