Regensburg, Germany Attractions

Regensburg, Germany Attractions
Regensburg dates back to a Roman fort and is one of the oldest cities in Germany. It was largely spared the bombing that destroyed most German cities in World War II so it has one of the best preserved historic town centers in the country. The city center, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2006, and surroundings offer numerous attractions for visitors.

Historic Center

The medieval center of the city lies along the Danube River. Some of the old merchant houses are reminiscent of Italy and have helped Regensburg earn a reputation as "the northernmost city of Italy." The town squares and outdoor cafes reinforce this feeling in warm weather.

St. Peter's Cathedral

St. Peter's Cathedral, which was started in the thireenth century, is one of the country's best examples of pure Gothic architecture. Among other historic works of art, it features a tomb by the Germain Renaissance sculptor Peter Vischer. The cathedral choir, the Regensburger Domspatzen, dates back a 1,000 years and has become well-known in our times through its recordings. The brother of Pope Benedict XVI, Georg Ratzinger, was the group's choirmaster for 30 years.

Porta Praetoria

The Porta Praetoria is the gate that was part of the original northern wall of the Roman fort. It was rediscovered in 1885 during renovations on the site. Only some parts remain: the Western arch, a section of wall connected to the western tower, and the eastern tower, more than 30 feet high. It is the only remaining gate of a Roman fort north of the Alps.

Church of St. James

This basilica in a Benedictine abbey founded by Irish and Scottish monks, called Jacobskirche in German, is a fine example of twelfth century Romanesque architecture. The principle doorway is adorned with some grotesque sculptures that may represent the Antichrist. There is a medieval gate, Jacobstor, leading into the old town.

Imperial Diet

The Town Hall, dating in part from the fourteenth century, contains the rooms occupied by the Imperial Diet, the parliament of the Holy Roman Empire, from 1663 until the empire was dissolved in 1806.

Walhalla

Just outside Regensburg, on a bluff overlooking the Danube, is this imposing marble replica of the Parthenon built in the nineteenth century by Bavarian King Ludwig I. This unusual building, named after the home of the Norse gods, features marble busts of German luminaries, such as Goethe and Kant done up as ancient Romans with togas and laurel wreaths.

Article Written By Darrell Delamaide

Darrell Delamaide has written professionally for over three decades, having held staff positions with Dow Jones, International Herald Tribune, Institutional Investor, Bloomberg and AOL. He currently writes for publications including "MarketWatch," "Institutional Investor," "EnergyBiz" and "DSNews." A former Fulbright Scholar, Delamaide holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and Philosophy from St. Louis University.

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