The 18 best sights of Regensburg – description and photos

Regensburg

Regensburg is a city in Germany, in the state of Bavaria. It is located at the confluence of the Danube and Regensburg, in the northernmost bend of the Danube. East of the city begins the Bavarian Forest. The city is the capital of the Upper Palatinate region and the seat of the bishop of the Roman Catholic Church. The population is 150,894 as of the beginning of 2018. The Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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How to get there

Regensburg is a very convenient choice as a starting point for travel in Bavaria: numerous trains pass through this city to literally all popular European destinations, most of them operate – in Bavaria – a “Bavarian ticket”, a kind of pass that allows you to travel throughout Bavaria for little money. It should be noted that for a group of passengers, the Bavarian ticket is noticeably cheaper than for one person.

The nearest airport, to which flights by German Wings, Air Berlin, S7, Lufthansa and Aeroflot from Russia are available, is Munich (about 3 hours flight time).

History

The city is so old that it’s hard to comprehend it: around 79 A.D. its history begins. At first it was a fortress, built as an observation post, then the fortress became a military stronghold of the whole province, later Regensburg became the capital of the Bavarian dukes, then, having received the status of the imperial, it became one of the richest cities in Germany. Interestingly, by changing its status, the city often changed its name. Such a long history of the city has led to the fact that today it is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Regensburg today has a population of over 130,000 people and arrives annually more than 2 million tourists, whose desire to see this wonderful old town is understandable, so many attractions and historical sites.

Cuisine and restaurants

In addition to interest in history and architecture in Regensburg you can also satisfy more prosaic interests, for example, go to the oldest Bavarian sausage shop “Historishe Wurstkuche” (translated roughly as “Historical Sausage Kitchen”) and dine on a portion of excellent Bavarian sausages with sauerkraut and local beer. Interestingly enough, the sausage place opened in the 12th century for the builders of Stone Bridge and has been attracting townspeople and visitors for several hundred years.

Of course, it is not the only worthy restaurant, there are plenty of them in the city, each of them is ready to offer its guests both international menu and dishes characteristic of the traditional Bavarian cuisine.

It will be hard to refuse a visit to one of the many beer houses, because for Bavarians beer is not just a drink, but a matter of national pride. How can you fail to take a few sips of their pride? Apart from the beer gardens, Regensburg has its own good coffee houses.

Entertainment, sightseeing and attractions in Regensburg

The city’s main and most recognizable landmark is the Stone Bridge, to which a mysterious legend is connected. The architect really wanted his creation to be outstanding, and even made a deal with the devil to help him. But when the construction of the bridge was almost finished, the architect broke the deal with the devil and paid the price: the devil decided to destroy the bridge. He failed – the bridge twisted, but withstood the pressure, stayed in its place. That is how that wonderful bridge across the Danube has been standing since the 12th century, one of the masterpieces of the world bridge construction, ahead of its time with the audacity of technical solutions.

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From 13 to 15 century the old town hall was built, which is a whole complex of buildings. It is not just an architectural monument, it was in the premises of the town hall in the 15th century, the official announcement of the dissolution of the Roman Empire. There was also a sinister “answer room” in the town hall, where lawbreakers were tortured.

In the old town there is also a huge palace, which for many years belonged to the princely dynasty of Thurn-und-Taxis. The palace is surrounded by a huge park, which in itself is a full-fledged attraction.

The Cathedral of St. Peter is the pride of Regensburg. Built in Gothic style, the cathedral is not only an ornament of the city, but also the center of its spiritual life. It is noteworthy that the Cathedral was built for nearly 600 years. In addition to the cathedral, the city has a large number of various churches, the most remarkable of which are Ulrich XIII Parish Church and Roman Basilica (built in the 12th century), which is inexplicably called the Scottish monastery.

In general, the Old Town is more than a thousand houses of the most diverse appearance, style and purpose. Walking through its streets – one of the many pleasures to be had in this distinctive, very clean, well-to-do city, you can endlessly admire the buildings, flower gardens, courtyards, ships that are moored off the Danube.

Best time to visit

In spring, midsummer, fall or even winter to visit the Christmas fair in the old town.

What to see

  • Historical Shipbuilding Museum on the north bank of the Danube opposite the old city – look out for the paddle steamers.
  • The Underground Museum in the city center, where you can see Roman ruins and the remains of a medieval Jewish quarter in Regensburg discovered in the 1990s.
  • The Golf Museum, where more than a thousand pieces of equipment and memorabilia are on display.
  • Unusual grotesque carved figures above the 12th century main entrance of St. James Church.
  • Take a boat ride to Valhalla outside of town. Here you’ll see a remarkable replica of a Greek temple built in the early 19th century.
  • You can also take any river cruise on the Danube.
  • The now called Schloss Thurn und Taxis giant castle of St. Emmeram from the 8th century is now a museum there.

Interesting fact

Pope Benedict XVI was professor of Theology at the University of Regensburg from 1969 to 1977.

18 highlights of Bavarian Regensburg

Regensburg is the fourth largest city in Bavaria, Germany. It perfectly combines antiquity and modernity. Here everyone finds something to do and places to visit. It all depends on the age of the tourist and what they are into. There are many monuments, attractions, and at the same time excellent modern infrastructure.

What to see in Regensburg in a day

If there is not enough time, the tour route can be composed as follows: St. Peter’s Cathedral; Sausage Kitchen; Stone Bridge; Old Town.

Located at the confluence of the rivers Danube and Regena, which divide it into two parts

If you have limited time, an introductory itinerary might look like this:

  • The first thing to do is to walk over the “Stone Bridge” and visit the “Bridge Tower”.
  • Then pay attention to the Salt House.
  • Then continue straight ahead and come out to the “House of Goliath”.
  • The next object of the tour is St. Peter’s Cathedral. To begin with, it’s worth taking a close look at the exterior of the church, and then go inside. Here it is necessary to visit the museum – the treasury.
  • After the tour is finished, walk around the cathedral from the right side and go to the next small square. Here you can see the Old Chapel.
  • Now we walk along the river and come to “Porta Praetoria” – the ancient Roman Gate.
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Regensburg is one of the oldest cities in the country with a wonderful historical heritage and the Alstadt is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

If you have more than one day, then you must visit the old town and take your time wandering through its narrow streets with lots of antique stores. This place can not be visited in a hurry, to enjoy the walk, you need time.

Historical Museum of Regensburg

The museum’s collection recreates the history of the region, from the caveman to the times of the Roman Empire and the merchants of the Middle Ages, right up to the townspeople of the nineteenth century.

Regensburg History Museum is located in the building of the former French monastery. The exhibits of the museum will tell you about each stage of the city’s development, beginning with the Stone Age. In the exposition of the history museum, there are very old art paintings on religious themes and paintings by German painters.

Church of the Intercession of the Theotokos

Archpriest Vasily Lebedev approached Metropolitan Seraphim in June 1945 with a request to create a parish for Russian immigrants and incorporate it into the German diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church.

The building itself was built in 1836, and previously housed a cemetery chapel. For a long time it had been abandoned, and then the believers asked the authorities to give them the building. This happened immediately after the end of hostilities in 1945. Parishioners made repairs there and began to hold services in the temple The temple of the Intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary is Orthodox and is located in the metropolis of the Russian Orthodox Church. For a long time, it was the only Russian-speaking congregation in Bavaria.

Golden Tower

Medieval tower, from the category of the so-called “family towers”, belonging to the patrician families

“The Golden Tower is located in the Old Town. It was built in the 13th century as a symbol of status. The tower is 50 meters high, and it towers above all the roofs of the city. Around the tower is built with Renaissance arcaded buildings. The tower is decorated with the city’s coat of arms. Currently, in the tower operates a dormitory for students.

Goliath house

The House of Goliath (Goliath-House) is one of the noteworthy old buildings, once belonging to the nobility of Regensburg.

The house once belonged to the Tundorfer family. There is an opinion that earlier it was a shelter for wandering poets.

It is located almost in the center of Regensburg, and to be exact, between Town Hall Square and Cathedral Square.

This house is one of the buildings of the city that deserves attention. It was built in the 13th century and belonged to the family of a noble nobleman. There is a suggestion that before that, it was inhabited by strolling artists and rebels. In 1573 a picture of scene from the Bible “David and Goliath” appeared on the wall of the building.

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The Bridge Tower

The tower decorated the southern part of the large bridge over the Danube, but its main function was to protect the old town and control the entrance to Regensburg

It is the only surviving tower of the stone bridge. The tower was built in the 14th century. It decorated the bridge, and with its help controlled the entrance to the city. The structure has not only an original form, but also expressive color – orange. Some rooms in the tower are occupied by the Danube Maritime Museum.

Old Chapel

Some researchers of the sacrament quite reasonably believe that the forerunner of this structure was the first Christian church in Bavaria

Through the efforts of the Baroque master Johann Michael Franz Velhorn – the court painter to Prince-Bishop Raymondo Antonio von Strasoldo – the Old Chapel became the “jewel” of Bavarian Rococo art (second only to the Wieskirche, according to some scholars).

One of the most beautiful churches in Regensburg is the Old Chapel or the Monastery Church of Our Lady. It is believed that the first Christian church in all of Bavaria was built on this site. The first record of the Old Chapel dates back to 875. Fans of the Rococo style will appreciate this church. In the Old Chapel is the miraculous face of the Virgin Mary with the child in her arms. It appeared in the church in the 15th century, and its original history is not known. According to legend, the icon was painted by the Apostle Luke.

Sausage Kitchen

“The Historische Sausage Kitchen” in Regensburg (Historische Wurstküche) is the oldest traditional catering establishment in Germany and a must visit for any traveler to this ancient Bavarian city

During archaeological excavations, it was discovered that this was the site of a similar eatery, which may have been the first

Sausages made with the freshest of meats roasted over an open grill in front of visitors

On the shore of the Danube, a bit away from the Stone Bridge, is the most unusual sight in the city – the Sausage Kitchen. It is almost 900 years old and was built as a kitchen for the people working on the construction of the Stone Bridge. The tavern is visited by those who want to eat and relax. It has a medieval atmosphere. As it was centuries ago, you can enjoy delicious cabbage with mustard, cooked over charcoal. But the most popular are the Bavarian sausages, which are cooked with love according to a special recipe. “The Sausage Kitchen gets around 6,000 visitors a day.

City center

In the center of the city there is a market with many outlets and craft shops. The main attraction, however, is the old marketplace in the area, where grain was sold several centuries ago.

The Salt House

This beautiful building dates back to the 17th century. It got such an original name because there used to be a salt shop there, and all the premises were filled with salt. Today in the building hold small exhibitions, designed to familiarize visitors with the history of the city.

Princely residence Schloss Thurn und Taxis

There is also a library with many books. Nearby is also open for viewing the stables and the upper room with objects of everyday life of peasants

And the residence got its name after a very influential and wealthy family by the name of Thurn und Taxis

The residence is called a palace, and for good reason. The large hall is decorated with aristocratic furniture in rococo style. Everything here sparkles with gilt. There is a large library with a huge number of books. Until the XIX century there was a monastery, which was later converted into a palace. There is an opportunity to visit a peasant’s house with elements of everyday life and stables. All this is located nearby.

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Porta Praetoria

In the center of modern Regensburg, not far from the waterfront, you can see the most ancient stone buildings in Germany

The best preserved to this day are the north gate of the Roman fortress Porta Praetoria, built by Roman legionaries in 179 under Emperor Marcus Aurelius of the Antoninus dynasty

“Porta Praetoria” is the name given to the northern gate which was erected during the reign of Emperor Marcus Aurelius. It took place in 179. Nearly two millennia ago the city was walled and the Porta Praetoria was one of the entrances.

Church of Scotland

The church is an example of Romanesque architecture: a three-nave basilica with three apses, towers on the east, and a transept on the west

Another place worth seeing is the Church of St. Jacob (Church of Scotland). The building was built in the XII century and used to belong to the Benedictine monastery. Now this church is the largest and tallest church in Bavaria. The church building is very strict and massive, and the main decoration is the entrance portal. The facade of the basilica is decorated with an ensemble of sculptures, bas-reliefs and ornaments. It depicts scenes of hell and paradise and the terrible trial. The interior decoration of the church is quite modest, and in the center there is an organ.

Evangelical Church

A small Protestant church, on Ambassador Street, where the envoys of the German princedoms were settled.Inside, the interiors are quite modest, but the main thing is the opportunity for 2 euros to climb the tower, which offers the best views of the city and surroundings

The Blessed Evangelical Church in Regensburg is one of the most important Protestant churches in the city. It is located in the old Jewish quarter. The facade of the building is in the Renaissance style. There are two tall towers in the Gothic style. The building catches the eye against the background of the buildings of the old city.

Basilica of St. Emmeram

The main altar is made in 1690. Decoration of the church features images of the baptismal ceremony of Duke Theodo II of Bavaria by St. Rupert

St. Emmeram Abbey (Kloster Sankt Emmeram) is a Benedictine abbey that was founded in Regensburg around 739 on the grave of Emmeram, the Franciscan bishop and revered martyr

Saint Emmeram Abbey has been the resting place of many famous and influential people, among them Saint Emmeram and Saint Wolfgang, King Arnulf of Carinthia of East Francia and his son Louis IV, Duke Arnulf the Wicked of Bavaria, Emma of Bavaria, wife of Louis II of Germany, King of East Francia, the Bavarian humanist scholar, historian and philologist Johannes Aventin

The monastery was built in the 8th century by Benedictine monks. It took place on the burial site of the martyr Emmeram. In the 10th century the basilica became one of the largest spiritual centers. After the city became Lutheran in the 16th century, the church fell into decline. On the territory of the basilica there is a crypt of the princely family of Thurn – and – Taxis.

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Valhalla Hall of Fame

According to the Scandinavian and German mythology Valhalla is a place of death chamber for the heroes who died in the battle and were taken there by warlike maidens – the Valkyries

The Neoclassical building is a copy of an ancient Greek temple. It was built by the architect Leo von Klenze, famous in Russia for the New Hermitage in St. Petersburg.

The building is a replica of the ancient Greek temple and is located 10 kilometers from Regensburg on the left bank of the Danube. According to ancient mythology the warlike Valkyrie maidens brought heroes who had fallen in battle here. The hall of fame features busts and plaques of great people who have made a name for themselves in various fields of art, literature, politics and science.The statues belong not only to German nationals, but also to people from other countries. There are also 4 busts of great people of Russia, including Catherine the Great Empress.

Stone Bridge

Regensburg needed a reliable stone bridge for trade development. It served as a crossing point for crusading knights of the Second and Third Crusades

The bridge is decorated with a sculpture of a boy (Bruckmandl), installed in 1446. The current version of the sculpture is dated April 23, 1854.

Construction of the bridge took 11 years. It was done in order to cross the Crusaders during the Second Crusade. For a long time, the bridge was the only way to get across. It used to be used by vehicles, but now the Stone Bridge is pedestrian. This bridge became the model for the Charles Bridge in Prague, which was built a century later. The Stone Bridge has an irregular, curved shape because, according to legend, it was built in collusion with an evil force, and after the architect did not want to fulfill the terms of the agreement, the devil tried to destroy the bridge.

St. Peter’s Cathedral

Before 1275 a Romanesque church, built in the 7th and 8th centuries, stood on this site. The Carolingian church burned twice and was rebuilt both times

It is decorated with statues of saints and the magnificent relief decoration, carved lancet archivolts and delicate stone lattices

The architectural complex, including the “Cathedral of St. Peter” and “Chapel of All Saints” was built in the XII century. All the structures of the cathedral are made in Gothic style. Its long pointed towers rise above the city and are visible from any part of it. Recently the Pope held a service within the walls of the cathedral.

City Hall

Old Town Hall stands on the site of the former craftsmen quarter, and before that – houses of the patricians, on the type of which the Old Town Hall was designed

The Old Town Hall complex began with the construction of the tower, to which the town hall and several buildings were added in the 14th century

Regensburg Town Hall was built in XIII century. The building was rebuilt several times and that is why at present the visitors can see a mixture of architectural styles that are not similar to each other. The old town hall is an ensemble of 4 wings and the main tower. They are all united around a beautiful courtyard. Formerly the basements of the Town Hall were used as cells for prisoners, but now there is a museum of the Holy Roman Empire. The most popular is the torture chamber in the basement.

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