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Regensburg – The first capital of Bavaria


The Stone Bridge in Regensburg
The Stone Bridge in Regensburg: a medieval architectural marvel - Picture: www.germany.travel

Due to its location at the confluence of the rivers Danube and Regen and its medieval charm, Regensburg is often nicknamed “the northernmost city of Italy”. The fourth largest city in Bavaria, located between Munich and Nuremberg, is the capital of Upper Palatinate and the gate to the Bavarian Forest. Its history goes back to the 5th century BC when the Celt settlement Radasbona was founded. Under the rule of the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, Castra Regina (literally “camp on the river Regen”) was built and became the first capital of Bavaria in the 6th century under the name of Reganespurc.

During the 12th and 13th century, its long-distance trading made Regensburg one of the most populated and most prosperous cities. The Gothic and Romance architecture left their marks on the old town’s appearance. As a former professor and vice-president of the university, Pope Benedict XVI belongs to the most famous citizens of Regensburg, along with mathematician and astronomer Johannes Kepler, who died there in 1630. Not to miss are the world-famous Regensburger Domspatzen (literally the "Cathedral's Sparrows"), a boys' choir that rivals the greatest around the world. Last but not least, Oskar Schindler, a German from the Sudetenland who saved 1.200 Jews from their death in concentration camps during the Second World War, lived in Regensburg from 1945 to 1950.

The old town of Regensburg was hardly destroyed during the American bomb attacks in 1945 and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2006. The city possesses many outstanding buildings such as the cathedral, a major work of Gothic architecture in Bavaria, the Stone Bridge, a medieval architectural marvel, and the former St. Emmeram’s Abbey, which is today the castle of the princely house of Thurn and Taxis. The Walhalla, a splendid hall of fame, is situated 10 kilometers down the river Danube. It was built by Ludwig I of Bavaria on the model of the Parthenon in Athens.

Source& more: http://www.regensburg.de