Founded by the Romans in 179AD and one of the oldest towns in Germany, Regensburg is a mainstay of many cruise lines’ Danube voyages and lies in one of the northernmost points of the river. The city’s earliest origins go back as far as the Stone Age, when the first settlements there were built. In its time, Regensburg has been the capital of Bavaria, a key city during Charlemagne’s reign and unlike many of its fellow German cities, remained relatively unscathed from the allied bombing of the Second World War, meaning that much of its medieval city centre remains intact and able to explore.
Undoubtedly the city’s most famous and visible attraction is the Cathedral of St Peter’s. This 13th century, twin-towered structure is a beautiful example of gothic architecture, which boasts some eye-catching stained glass installations and a large pipe organ. It’s an exquisite building inside and out. The Alte Kapelle, or Old Chapel is another key faith structure, revered for its jaw-droppingly beautiful interiors. It’s so-named because it’s one of Bavaria’s oldest churches and despite its heritage it may not always be on your city tour excursion, so if you really want to see it make sure you build in time on your own.
The Walhalla Temple is also very popular with tourists, not least because of the beautiful scenery visitors can experience on their journey to it. Built to resemble the temples of ancient Greece and completed in 1842, it is a hall of fame for all manner of figures throughout German history. It’s worth a look inside if you have time and there are some great views to be had from the hill it is situated on, too.
Other architectural attractions in the city include the colourful old Altes Rathaus or Town Hall and Thurn and Taxis Palace; a fascinating former family home, which you can enjoy a detailed and informative guided tour of. If you love your golf, don’t miss the chance to visit the town’s Golfmuseum, a heritage-listed townhouse which tells the story of the sport from the Middle Ages right through to the present day.
Speaking of museums, the town is home to a number of them, including the History Museum, which tells the complete story of the region and the DoMschatz Museum, which is home to some beautiful golden treasures. One of the most popular and poignant historical sites in Regensburg is the Oskar Schindler House, once the home of the former Nazi party member who saved the lives of 1,200 Jews and whose story was immortalised in the film Schindler’s List.
Regensburg is big on beer and boasts three functioning breweries. There are plenty of traditional pubs in the town which serve a variety of local brews, from lighter pils to heavier Dunkels.