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Home Page > Travelogues > Germany > Bayern > Regensburg

Also available:  Segment on the Regensburg Christmas Market


State of Bayern (Bavaria)

Regensburg -- Old Trading Port from Roman Times 


State of Bayern (Bavaria)

Regensburg was one of the oldest cities around.  In ancient times, it served as a major port on the Danube (Donau) River heading east into View of the Old City from the DanubeCentral Europe.  In modern times, Regensburg was a comparatively forgotten city, playing second (or third) fiddle to the likes of Munich and Nuremberg for tourist attention.  This was a shame -- because Regensburg was one of the grandest cities in lower Bavaria.  It had a beautiful city center with a number of lovely monuments and landmarks.  It was also a rich city, as its location on the confluence of the Danube and Regen rivers meant Regensburg was still a significant commercial center.  Tom has visited Regensburg four times, and also enjoyed it.  This travelogue divides the downtown into three parts -- the riverfront, the lower pedestrian zone along the river, and the center market.

The top 'postcard' shot of Regensburg was shown in the first photograph, which was taken from the Steinerne Bruecke, Regensburg's old bridge.  Prominently shown was the Regensburger Dom (Cathedral) and the strand following dowSteinerne Brueckenriver.  The Steinerne Bruecke, shown in the second photo, was the main bridge, and it was much larger than this photo shows.  The statue in the distance over land actually marked the center of the bridge, as this spanned over a split in the river.  In between, there was a large island containing a huge park and two major outdoor cafés shaded by the thick trees.  These cafés were the main attraction during sunny weather.  However, the island was very low ground, and on one of Tom's visits the Danube experienced high water that covered the whole island.  Despite how the city was so low to the bank, there were a number of canals on the opposite bank that worked to protect the city from flood.

The lion's share of the points of interest were on the south bank.  Heading to the city from the Steinerebruecke, we passed through a beautiful clock gate (the Bruckturm) that housed the city's tourist information bureau.  After crossing a main street that included several specialty shops (especially an old toy bear store), we faced a building called the Goliath House, whose mural is shown in the third photograph.  Based on the bizarre mix of window styles, we suspected that this structure has been rebuilt multiple times.  But given the city's Roman and later Catholic history, the mural was probably a reconstruction of the original once painted on the building.

The pedestrian zone ran along a 'T', with one main road paralleling the river from the Domplatz to the Haidplatz and on to the Alter Kornmarkt.  The Domplatz was a small square adjacent to the Cathedral.  Opposite it was a hidden plaza in the old Bishops' residence where occasionally special events were held.  The Cathedral was fantastic, filled with wonderful artwork.  Following the road, we passed bEvent in the Haidplatzy a number of landmarks, such as the Alter and Neues Rathauses (Old and New Town Halls).  The Old Rathaus near Haidplatz had a decorative facade and huge clock tower. 

The Haidplatz formed as a second street connected at a sharp angle, forming a triangular plaza at the 'Y'.  It's location being a little away from the beaten path lent to its use for small-scale special events (as opposed to the main square where the larger events took place).  During Tom's second trip to Regensburg, he happened upon an AIDS benefit taking place there.  The fourth photograph shows this event, with the Thon-Dettmer Palais in the background.  AIDS benefits were not uncommon across Germany, and Tom had encountered several in his travels.  Like the others, this was well-attended by younger people and filled with food, drink, and live music (normally popular style).  The Haidplatz was also used during Christmas Market season for additional booths and stage music.

TNeupfarrkirchehe Alter Kornmarkt was at the far western end and hosted some of Regensburg's cultural landmarks.  Included, was the bright yellow and white Stadttheater, the city theater.  Opposite it was the Praesidialpalais, a beautiful manor that since became a café.  Surrounding these were a number of lovely houses and there were multiple fountains in the middle.

The center market, known as the Neupfarrplatz, was the first stop through the main commercial district, which was quite large.  The Neupfarrplatz was so-named for the Neupfarrkirche, the "Reformed Church" shown in the fifth photograph.  This square hosted the Saturday market and was also the primary venue for the Christmas Market.  The commercial zone seemed always packed with people, both for the huge department stores and the many ethnic restaurants that populated the access ways toward the main station.

Other attractions in Regensburg included the palace and the gardens to the south of the old town near the railway station.  The palace is only occasionally open, but the gardens were open to the public 24 hours a day. 

Regensburg was a nice place to go for day visit.  With the quaint and historic old town gracing the Danube, it was a good alternative to the larger and better known places in Bavaria.

Trip taken 22 June 2002 -- Page last updated 01 September 2006 -- (C) 2002 Tom Galvin

Also available:  Segment on the Regensburg Christmas Market

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