Apart from the bridge and the cathedral, the most striking feature of Regensburg’s old town is the large number of medieval tower houses that once belonged to rich and powerful patrician families. This is what many European cities looked like in those times. The towers appear in the panorama from the bridge and river bank, and you will discover one after every second street corner in the old town.
Regensburg’s wealth in the middle ages was based on trade along the Danube and on the land route that crossed the river in North-South direction. The city was the first capital of the Duchy of Bavaria, then a free imperial city with strong ties to the emperors. The wealthy merchant dynasties built tower houses like in the rich cities of Italy. These were a symbol of their status as well as fortifications for self-defence. Residential rooms were located on the lower floors, the upper storeys served mostly as storage.
All of a sudden the golden era of Regensburg’s history ended in the 15th century. Financial problems, competition of other cities like Nürnberg and Augsburg and pressure from the mighty neighbour, the Duke of Bavaria, caused the city’s fall. In the early modern era the city was too poor to modernize in renaissance and baroque style as others did, and the 19th century and the loss of independence put it to sleep altogether. Poverty is, however, a good conservator.
Fondest memory: Hardly any city North of the Alps has preserved such an amount of authentic medieval architecture.
Many houses in the old town of Regensburg have been refurbished, extended, repaired countless times during their long history. Traces of such changes show on many facades: the arch of a former portal, the stone frame of a Romanesque or gothic window that has later been closed with bricks, reliefs with crests or inscriptions, etcetera.
In case you see an unplastered wall with stones or bricks arranged in a strange pattern that looks like fishbone, you have spotted something very old. This technique was in use in Romanesque times only.
Fondest memory: Keep your eyes open and your camera ready for such details on the facades.
A world class and world famous boys choir is connected with the cathedral of Regensburg. Their history dates back to the foundation of a school by the cathedral in the 10th century. They have their own school, a primary school and a high school with boarding school where the boys receive both their school education and a musical training. They have three choirs: the main concert choir, the elite that do the concerts, and two others for the younger boys and those that are not (yet) on the level required for the big choir. After this thorough training many chose a professional career as singers. Recently I got to know the four guys of the ensemble Stimmwerck, specialists for medieval and renaissance music, all of them former Domspatzen.
First of all the Domspatzen are the cathedral’s choir. They sing during mass every Sunday (10 a.m.) and on church holidays. In addition to that they are performing concerts all over the world.
Fondest memory: If you have the chance to hear them, don’t miss it. Those boys sing like angels (although I assume they are just normal boys in daily life, no angels, LOL). I got to hear their Christmas programme in Passau (they were touring all over Bavaria, doing concerts in many cities and towns during Advent season). It was so fantastic…
Since july 2006 Regensburg is part of the Unesco World heritage. In the historical part of the old town there are 984 monuments, all over Regensburg there are more than 1500 monuments, which is really a lot. When we walked through the narrow streets on our first evening, we were a kind of overwhelmed by all these monuments. The next day, we could much more enjoy the beauty of the houses, the ensemble, the details.
Fondest memory: http://www.regensburg.de/welterbe/index.shtml
More informations here
Regensburg is in Bavaria. With its about 150 000 inhabitants it is the 4th biggest town in Bavaria. It is upon the Danube. It belongs to a part of Bavaria which is called Oberpfalz.
If you want to have a look on Regensburg on Google Earth, this might help you:
Regensburg is as well an university town with about 21000 students.
One of the most important places for Regensburg tourists is the tourist information. The most important thing to get there are the tickets: for the city tour, for a guided tour, for a guided tour in the town hall, ....
The Tourist inforamtion is in the old city.
here the adress: Rathausplatz 3
Tel.: +49-(0)941/507-4410 oder -3412
Fondest memory: Here you find a map of the old city and a descrition how to go there
Pleasantly replenished we wandered the cobblestone streets, admiring wood-timbered architecture along with the Gothic cathedral. In no time we found ourselves crossing the river to a small island on which the Spital Brewery sits. Spital is a very old German word and refers to a hospital for poor people. It’s nice to see that the poor had such a grand view as the brewery’s scenic beer garden overlooks the river with the cathedral in the background. To top things off, the beer and food was excellent as well. We had the special of the day which consisted of pork in a creamy sauce over bread dumplings. It included a frothy mug of beer and soon we found ourselves harkening back to an earlier time while enjoying the enchanting city skyline.
There was still some exploring to do so we set off again on foot and found ourselves on charming winding streets that opened into vast and empty squares lined with a myriad of store facades from another era. Much as the rain drove me indoors on my first visit, the intense summer sun drove us to seek refuge in another beer garden. It would have been easy enough to return to Spital but we ventured across town and up hill from the train station to the Kneitinger Brewery. It was a big leafy area with lots of locals enjoying the products of their fine city to the fullest. It was unfortunate that we found it nearly impossible to be served but eventually got a couple liters of the dunkles beer I so coveted. We decided to grab some food as we’d have a long trip back to Munich soon enough and ordered up a couple plates of cold roast beef. When the massive plates arrived, we remembered that outside of Munich, these meals are quite a bargain and that one would have easily sufficed. Regardless we dug in with gusto. Between the lax service and our huge snack, we had to nearly run back to the train station. We just made our train, with the train literally pulling out of the station the second we stepped on board. (continued below in FONDEST MEMORY)
Regensburg has a great vareity of architecture and fantastic cobblestone streets to wander about but for me, I enjoy the truly authentic Bavarian people that frequent the timeless beer halls. They are a friendly lot and of course, the beer ain't half bad either.
Fondest memory: Rain and Regensburg were once synonymous for me. My first visit was marred by not only dreadfully wet weather but also an unwilling travel partner who had grown weary of my infatuation with attempting to try every native beer in forebodingly equipped Germany. After an obligatory tour of the castle, which was surprisingly good, I found myself sloshing around solo in search of a beer nirvana that never came. It was a mercifully short afternoon that I was happy to escape from.
Needless to say any mention of returning to the city of rain drew little in the way of serious consideration from me. I had fallen in love with a fine German girl who extolled the great virtues of the Bavarian city but I could never muster any real desire to make the trek back until we moved to Munich, a mere two hours away by train. Though seeing the city under sunny blue skies was enticing, it would be a lie to say I wasn’t returning in part to quench my thirst of beers I had missed previously. We were ravenous from the dawn train trip but one good thing about Bavaria is you can always find something savory to eat and a beer to wash it down with no matter the hour. We stopped in an ancient looking eatery and ordered a plate of Regensburger (a local sausage) with a Thurn & Taxis Pils to tide us over until lunch. (continued below in FONDEST MEMORY)
Fondest memory: The final leg on the bus was tedious in reverse and we were happy to find ourselves on the familiar trek uphill to Kneitinger on landing in Regensburg. The beer garden was closed for the season but the bustling from inside was easily heard on our approach. We entered to find a packed house. After a vain attempt to unearth a seat, we backed into a corner stand-up table, hoping to be served a beer. We were told shortly that you had to be seated to be served for this special tapping. We explained there were no seats and that we’d come a long way for the event. He took us around to look for a seat and a couple locals offered to squeeze us in at their table. They were a friendly lot and one of them spoke some English so I got to wax philosophical about my beery adventures, of which he was impressed. We waited quite some time before they tapped the special bock beer to signal in the autumn season. It soon arrived, a dark beauty with a dense tan head. It was a heavenly mix of malt and hops that puts the Oktoberfest beers of Munich to shame. We were in need of some food if we were to consume much of this liquid wonder and were happy when our prayers were answered in the form of a smoky ham with boiled potatoes. It was a simple meal but well suited to the dark marvel of a beer it accompanied. After a few more beers and laughs with our comrades, it was time to catch the train back to Munich. We motioned for the waiter to pay up and were astonished to find the food was free for this special occasion, and that the beer was not only superb but surprisingly cheap. We bided adieu to our new friends and found ourselves rushing to the train once again. I guess a lot has changed for me when it comes to Regensburg. My first trip, I couldn’t wait to get out of there. Every time since, I’ve not had enough time. And I can’t wait to go back.
Fondest memory: A few months later while planning another excursion in Bavaria I remembered having seen a banner at the Kneitinger beer garden proudly advertising a bock beer festival that was coming up. After some research I sorted when it would be and we planned a trip to a Monastery very near Regensburg. It would be a bit of a logistical nightmare but an adventure just the same. We hoped an early train from Munich for Regensburg easy enough. From there, we had to jump on a bus to Kelheim where we caught a boat to the riverside religious enclave. It was quite scenic and a beautiful autumn day. The monastery itself was well situated on a bend in the river and over the top in the typical Bavarian Baroque style but the real attraction here was also a shady beer garden and the monk’s tasty dark bock beer and homemade white cheese. It was a divine combination that was cut too short by the necessity to catch the boat back. (concluded below in FONDEST MEMORY)
Favorite thing: Regensburg has a university which makes it very enjoyable during the school time. However, it is a really small city and it is not worth to take a touristic visit here, especially in summer :) There are lots of pubs, restaurants and bars as there are a lot of students but there are not too many places for shopping. There is a small festival kind a thing during late August or early September (not sure) in the city so you can have a chance to see lots of people wearing their traditional clothes during that time. It is a good time to visit Regensburg, you can see what Bavarians do for entertainment.
Regensburg is very nice Bavarian city. I just visited here for few hours and had a very nice time strolling around, see the old city and the Danube river.
The picture is of the city official tourist information
The Steinerne Brücke (Stone bridge) over the river Danube, was erected between the years 1135 and 1146. It is great example of medival architecture. It is 306 meters long and supported by 16 pillars.
At the front end of the bridge is the old pawnbroker's shop, and at its feet the Historische Wurstküche is an extremely popular rendezvous.
Fondest memory: This is one of the oldest bridges in Europe! Just click on the picture to see the amazing details of it ...
The cathedral looks absolutely amazing! It is a great masterpiece of gothic architecture in Germany. Construction works began in 1250 and it was completed some hundred years later, in 1525. Inside there can be found great artefacts and windows of different eras.
Fondest memory: Just click on the pictures to see the wonderful details of this magnifcant church!
According to legend, during the 17th century a famous French surgeon attempted to cross Regensburg’s Haidplatz square on a tight-rope. In order to make things a bit more interesting he tied fireworks to his body. His subsequent fall, coupled with the huge explosion which followed, would be material for international headlines even today!
Fondest memory: Such dramatic exhibitions don’t normally happen today but you will find jugglers, fire-eaters and stilt-men at the summer festival in Haidplatz square. One of Regensburg’s oldest squares, it originated as a triangular meadow just west of the Roman fortress. Today it is still a focal point -- with a variety of cafes, shops and pubs surrounding the square. We sat at a sidewalk table of the Café Boldenes Kreuz (# 7 Haidplatz) sipping a soft mosel wine (3.5 DM or about $1.75 US) as we studied everyday life in Regensburg.