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Germany, Regensburg, Stone Bridge, 2011


Germany’s Medieval Miracle

Germany, Regensburg, Church of St. Ulrich, 2011 PHOTO ALLA WIEDENMANNP

The city of Regensburg rests at the scenic point where the river Regen runs into the Danube.

Germany’s only surviving medieval city remarkably intact over time holds 2000 years of historical legacy. Settled around fifth century BC by the Celtics as Radasbona, established by the Romans in 179 AD as Castra Regina, and designated as the first capital of Bavaria, Regensburg became a wealthy and influential center. Reichstag – the general assembly of the Imperial Estates of the Holy Roman Empire found in Regensburg its permanent location for over two centuries. Its significance as a political world stage and an international trading center defined an especially glorious period during the Middle Ages which left behind remarkable architectural and cultural sites.

Today this Bavarian city is said to be the most beautiful medieval city in Germany. With over 1200 outstanding historical monuments, Regensburg is considered to be a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site. The most important architectural monuments of the city such as the Gothic St. Peter’s Cathedral, the Town Hall, medieval burgess-houses, churches of mendicant orders, Roman sacral buildings and princely palaces are located in the Old Town. The Cathedral St. Peter is the centre of the cathedral city and one of the most significant and unique monuments in southern Germany. With its enormous building and its towers (105 meters), the cathedral reigns the townscape until today.

The Stone Bridge, built in the twelfth century by the Regensburg’s citizens and regarded as a symbol of their growing wealth, influence and determination, enjoys the status of being a unique masterpiece of medieval engineering. One of the major achievements of medieval bridge building, it was for many centuries the only stone bridge spanning the Danube between Ulm and Vienna. The first stone bridge and the Cathedral St. Peter still retain their original character in perfect intactness.

Richness of history and artistic wealth have made Regensburg an extraordinarily lively city and a varied cultural scene.  Its museums and art galleries are both meeting places and a settings for cultural events. The Stadttheater – municipal theatre, puts on performances of plays, music, opera and ballet on three stages across the town. The Regensburg Domspatzen or “Cathedral Sparrows” is one of the most eminent cathedral choirs in the world with over 1000 years of history which consists of boys and young men only has become an integral part of the Regensburg cultural life.

Please read full article in Winter issue