Regensburg

Regensburg Cathedral

Regensburg is one of Germany's oldest towns, founded by the Romans in 179 AD. It's in the German federal state of Bavaria, at the northernmost point of the river Danube. Acting as capital of the district of Upper Palatinate and also its biggest settlement, Regensburg today is a thriving city of about 137,000 inhabitants, two universities and many landmarks and little chapels, most dating back to the Middle Ages (e.g. the Cathedral of St. Peter, the Old City Hall and Imperial Diet, and the Stone Bridge). According to legend there are so many chapels here, that there would always be at least one church bell ringing. Since 13.07.2006 the historic city center of Regensburg and Stadtamhof has been a UNESCO World Heritage site. Because of its narrow alleys Regensburg is often called the northernmost city of Italy.

History

Although the earliest settlements date back as far as 5000 BC and it is evident, that the first Celtic settlement, called Ratisbona, was in the city's present-day vicinity since the first millenium BC, the official history starts in 179 AD, when the Romans built the fortress Castra Regina at the northernmost bend of the river Danube. For the following 200 years the fortress served as the Romans main military base in the province of Raetia. After the Romans left the area during the Barbarian Invasions, the town became a civil settlement. Being granted one of the first seats of a bishopric on German territory in 739, Regensburg grew to strength and prosperity during the Middle Ages. After the completion of the Stone Bridge (Steinerne Brücke) in 1146, a symbol of the town's importance in trade, that reached as far as Paris, Venice or Novgorod, the constructions of the cathedral started in 1273. The builders needed nearly 600 years until 1872 to complete this task. Both the Stone Bridge and the Regenburg Cathedral survived unchanged and are the city's main sights today. Having been one of the largest and most important German cities during the Middle Ages, Regensburg became a Free Imperial City (Freie Reichsstadt) in 1245 and was seat to the Perpetual Diet (Immerwährender Reichstag) of the Holy Roman Empire from 1663 to 1806, when the Empire dissolved during the Napoleonic Wars. Napoleon forced Regensburg to agree to become a part of the Kingdom of Bavaria in 1810, which set an end to the city's political importance. However, Regensburg economically regained strength because of its role as a river port for crude oil imports from Eastern Europe. Although Regensburg was target to 20 allied bombings during World War II, because it was home to one of Messerschmitt's main aircraft factories as well as an oil refinery, the historic city center took only little damage. There were two sub-camps of the Flossenbürg concentration camp located in the vicinity of the town for a brief period of time in early 1945. After World War II Regensburg slowly recovered. In 1960 the university was founded and several large companies like Siemens, BMW, Infineon, and Toshiba built factories in the city. In 2006 Regensburg's historic city center was appointed a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Get in

By plane

There are two airports that are suitable for a trip to Regensburg:

By train

Regensburg Central Station (Hauptbahnhof) is conveniently located 700 m (760 yd) south of the historic city center and generally has a traveler friendly infrastructure, including several restaurants, a tourist office and a Deutsche Bahn ticket office and travel agency. It is served by numerous regional trains, many national high-speed ICE and IC long-distance trains and also offers two direct international connections:

By car

Regensburg is easily accessible via the German autobahn network, with two autobahns intersecting in the city:

There are also major national highways passing the city:

By bus

Travelers that go to Regensburg by bus usually arrive at the big bus station in Stadtamhof, on the other side of the Danube. The city has many regional services and also a few national and international connections, most notably an express bus to Prague (Czech Republic), which is much faster than the respective train connection.

By ship

Regensburg is located at the banks of the river Danube, that runs via Vienna (Austria), Belgrade (Serbia) and Budapest (Hungary) to the Black Sea. Regensburg is the starting and end point of regular river cruises down the whole length of the Danube.

Get around

The historic city center is a pedestrian zone, so going by car is not an option. However, if you came to Regensburg by car there are several parking garages around the center, where you can leave your car. As the city center is reasonably compact, it's best explored by foot. All major points of interest are within a 1 km (1,100 yd) radius. For longer distances, Regensburg features a comprehensive public bus network, operated by RVV and RVB. Buses are frequent (10 min intervals during peak hours) and run until around midnight every day. The centre of the bus network is Albertstraße bus station just opposite the train station. There's also a Altstadtbus taking you through the inner city. The price for a usage of 90 min is €2. To reach Walhalla, you also can take a ship, which is leaving from the pier close to the Stone Bridge (Steinerne Brücke).

See

The main attraction of Regensburg is its excellently preserved medieval city centre, with Regensburg Cathedral and the Stone Bridge being the highlights. As one of the few cities in Germany mostly undamaged during World War II, Regensburg boasts the largest preserved medieval city centre in Germany. It is sometimes called "the northernmost city of Italy" due to the lively places and streets with lovely outdoor cafes during summer, as well as the large number of Italian-style medieval merchant houses and towers. The historic centre lies next to the river Danube (German: Donau), and crossing the medieval stone bridge into the town provides a perfect entrance to the city and a great view over the whole historic city centre.

Churches

Regensburg Cathedral

Regensburg has got a lot of churches, chapels and former monasteries. According to legend there are so many of them, that there would always be at least one of them ringing.

Buildings

Museums and Monuments

Do

Buy

Regensburg made its fortune trading in salt, however it is unlikely that you will be taking this home as a souvenir. Regensburg has many centuries worth of old breweries, so perhaps some local beer, or perhaps a litre Stein (glass) would be a good purchase. Try some "Händlmaier's Senf", the typical sweet mustard that is usually served with white sausages. If you need to kill some time at the train station, the footpath leading across the railway tracks also connects the train station to a shopping mall (Arcaden)).

Additionally, there are several shopping malls in Regensburg:

Eat

Regensburg has a superb variety of places to eat, from snacks, to traditional brewery fare, past international cuisine to high-class restaurants. There is sure to be something to please every taste. One famous place is the "Wurstkuchl", just at the Steinerne Brücke (Stone Bridge), founded over 900 years ago and presumably the oldest fast food restaurant in the world. There is a small beer garden right at the river bank where you can enjoy the sausage specialties served by waiters in medieval dress. For Bavarian specialties, try the "Kneitinger" on Arnulfsplatz.

Drink

Regensburgs main drink is, just as usual for Bavarian cities, surely beer. The city boasts three functioning breweries and two brew pubs, producing a variety of beer styles, from lighter Pils to heavy Dunkels; Weißbier (wheat beer) is also locally made. A typical pub to visit would be the "Kneitinger" at the Arnulfsplatz 3. Also the beer gardens near the Danube "Alte Linde" and "Spital Garten", both reachable from the Stone Bridge, offer a perfect way to taste Regensburg-brewed beer. The Bischofshof beer can be tasted next to the cathedral in the court of the "Bischofshof", where the brewery used to be.

In the inner city there are over 350 bars, cafés, clubs and discos. The most famous ones, especially for young people studying here, are:

The beer from the Thurn und Taxis brand is primarily no longer brewed in Regensburg, but an exception is the Thurn und Taxis brew pub "Fürstliches Brauhaus" in the Waffnergasse 6.

Sleep

Stay safe

Regensburg is, like many Bavarian cities, a very safe place. The biggest threat to your health is the local beer drinking culture in combination with the easy availability of alcohol - be careful, when you try to keep up with the locals in the art of drinking.

Connect

Go next

Routes through Regensburg

Frankfurt Nuremberg  W  E  Deggendorf Passau
Hof  N  S  Hallertau
Schwandorf  N  S  Landshut Rosenheim
Ingolstadt  W  E  Cham
Frankfurt Nuremberg  W  E  Passau Vienna
Nuremberg  NW  S  Landshut Munich
Prague  NE  S  Landshut Munich



This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Wednesday, January 20, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.