On a vacation to Bamberg, there are many sights to see. However, a must see spots, if you believe the locals (one of which is me!), is the Bamberg Apfelweibla. But what is it and why should you care?
First off and the avoid any confusion, the Apfelweibla is a doorknob. And there is a bit of a history here.
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The history of the famous doorknob in Bamberg
It all started with the famous German poet, composer and theatre director E.T.A. Hoffmann. He lived in Bamberg between 1808 and 1813, before he became popular
Later on, he often returned to visit his friend Carl Friedrich Kunz who lived in the house with the doorknob. Fun fact: that friend would eventually become his publisher.
As he was writing his story “The Golden Pot” (Der goldne Topf*), he included the image of the old woman’s face from the doorknob as a key element.
The story centers around a young student named Anselmus. After kicking over the apple basket of a local woman who sells apples, he runs away scared and later sees a vision of her face in a doorknob he touches. His response: fainting.
It’s not a very flattering story but locals love that this doorknob has become so recognizable because of it. You can even buy merch!
Where to Buy Apfelweibla Souvenirs
A little further down you can find a local antiquity store that sells Apfelweibla souvenirs.
You can get a copper baking dish for 20 EUR or a porcelain box for 25 EUR. If you just want something edible, there are pralines with the apple woman faced doorknob as well.
- Address: Bamberger Apfelweibla, Judenstraße 17, 96049 Bamberg
- Phone: +49(0)951/57106
- Opening hours: 1pm to 6pm (Mo-Sat), closed Sundays
Another unique Apfelweibla souvenir from Bamberg can be had in the local glassware store Inge-Glas, which is close to the town hall. It stocks all kinds of stunning, hand-blown ornaments throughout the year but the most coveted is the Apfelweibla, of course.
- Address: INGE-GLAS® MANUFAKTUR Store Bamberg, Karolinenstraße 10, 96049 Bamberg, Germany
One such ornament costs 25 EUR. They pack it really nicely in a classy box so it won’t break on your journey. But be warned, you might want to buy more than that cause they have so many gorgeous and fun things.
What does Apfelweibla mean?
The word Apfelweibla is local Franconian dialect for Apfelweibchen, which translates to “apple woman”.
Where is the Apfelweibla in Bamberg?
The original doorknob is kept in the Historic Museum in Bamberg. The version you see on house 14 in the street Eisgrube is a replica.
You can easily find it if you take the steps up to church St Stephan and then turn right into the narrow street. You can find the house with the big wooden door on your left.
- Address: Eisgrube 14, 96049 Bamberg, Germany
What is the Apfelweibla made out of?
In the story, the doorknob is made out of bronze.
Is the Apfelweibla real?
The doorknob is. And the inspiration behind it for the story was probably the doorknob too. I have not found any information on whether a real person inspired the lady in the story or the making of the doorknob in real life.
Have you ever heard of the Apfelweibla before? And have you been to Bamberg?
If not (yet), I have a range of handy articles to help you plan your Bamberg trip with ease. Should you have any question or even need a personal photographer/guide to document your Bamberg vacation with stunning visuals and expert local tips, send over a message to inquire availability.