One might only think to sweep through Regensburg while en route to Munich or Vienna but it’s most certainly a stop worth making. Situated on the Danube in Bavaria, the small city with its almost entirely pedestrian centre has a density of medieval charms unrivalled in Germany.
I arrived the day of the Ironman competition, just as thousands of competitors were sprinting through the historic town, rounding the corners of Gothic and Romanesque buildings, and racing along the banks of the river. (To the best of my knowledge, the fellow in the photo below was not a contender in this past summer’s triathlon).
Regensburg is the only intact medieval city in Germany, for one, because it had been spared extensive damage in the bombing campaign during WWII. Its roots can be traced to a Roman military fortress and its well-preserved antique architectural monuments represent its former role as a trading centre. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it safeguards some 1000 structures, including its best-known ones like the Stone Bridge (Steinerne Brücke) and the impressive St. Peter’s Cathedral (Regensburger Dom).
It may not have quite the same prestige as a monastery or a Praetorian Gate but do make a point to check out the sausage kitchen ‘Historische Wurtsküche’. The lively tavern is a place of tradition, serving up its specialty bratwursts for the past 500 years. When ordering, just say the three magic words: “six with sauerkraut.”
The rolling countryside outside of Regensburg is also lovely to live in: sunflowers abound and it seems that every second home is kitted-out with solar panels.