In the Middle Ages, Bamberg was two towns divided by the river: the powerful ecclesiastical town of the prince-bishopric, of which it was the capital for 800 years, and the secular town of the burghers. Determined not to play favorites between the ecclesiastical and secular sections of the city, the town authorities built this Gothic structure on its own little island in the middle of the Regnitz River, halfway between the two factions—a true middle-of-the-road (or river) political stand. From the island, you get a camera-worthy view of the old, half-timbered fishermen’s cottages along the banks in so-called “Little Venice.”