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Making life a holiday with interesting vacation and adventure ideas.

Tales from here and there about this and that.




Friday, November 04, 2005

Regensburg 

After many months, I have finally got round to posting about Regensburg. Tracing the Danube from its source, I posted about the Ulm to Regensburg leg back in May, 2005 but reckoned that there was so much to write about the historic city of Regensburg that it deserved a separate post. It is a long initial post but I will need to update it and it is sure to grow over time.

The area around Regensburg was originally settled by stone age man and there is evidence of a Celtic settlement. Occupied by the Romans, the city grew in stature and by the early middle ages, Regensburg was a cultural centre, recognized for fine works of art in gold and fabrics. It became an important and very wealthy trading post with the rest of Europe but then the trade routes changed, the city's prosperity went into decline and the industrial revolution passed it by. Fortunately, it only suffered minor war damage so the time-locked medieval city center has now become a very prosperous tourist centre.

Regensburg is located at the confluence of the Danube and Regen rivers, just as the Danube bends and heads towards Passau. To its east lies the Bavarian Forest and the city is divided by the Danube with the Alstadt (Old Town) to the south. The Alstadt has been uniquely preserved, with its medieval character carefully conserved by excluding vehicles, with the exception of buses and taxis.

Two thousand years of history are on display, with wonderful architecture and fine museums. St. Peter's Cathedral is regarded as the most important Gothic building in Bavaria. In the Old Town Hall you can find the Reichstagsmuseum, the site of the first German parliament.

There is the castle built for the Princes of Thurn and Taxis, the northern gate of Castra Regina, a former Roman fort and a museum dedicated to the mathematician/astronomer Johannes Kepler, who died in Regensburg. Kepler famously discovered the laws of planetary motion, predicting the orbit of the planets and comets.

You will repeatedly visit the Marktplatz, but from there, go back in time down Hinter der Grieb,with its medieval houses and also make sure you go to the Fischmarkt. Finally of course, there is the Steinerne Brücke, Germany's oldest surviving stone bridge (built 1135-1146) which is a remarkable example of medieval engineering.

There are plenty of festivals throughout the year:

The Maidult beer festival in May,
Bach Week in June,
The Brückenfest Folk Festival and the Bayyerisches Jazz Festival in July,
The Herbsdult beer festival at the end of August/beginning of September,
and in December, the Regensburg Christkindlmarkt, with the Lucrezia craft market, together with the romantic Christmas market at the Thurn and Taxis Palace, full of craft stalls and demonstrations.

At this time, you can also enjoy a Christmas cruise on the Danube and enjoy the spectacle of Christmas lights and decorations.

Don't let the Xmas celebrations interrupt training for the Regensburg Marathon, which is held next year on Sunday, 28. May, 2006.

Regensburg Tourist Information is available from the Altes Rathaus
Telephone: +49 (0) 9 41/5 07 44 10
E-mail: tourismus@regensburg.de

Next stop on our journey with the Danube is Passau and then in to Austria.



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