Regensburg: a Medieval Town on the Donau

Fall is in the air, and there’s no better way to embrace it than strolling through a bustling German city on the Donau (Danube) river on a crisp October day.

Well, it could be better if the sun came out for more than five minutes a day, but this is Germany.

Regensburg is the capital of the Upper Palatinate region of Bavaria. It has a little bit of everything I love about Germany: farmer’s markets, bakeries, trinket shops, Medieval churches, and the list goes on forever. It’s easy to get to by train, and extremely walkable. Most of the noteworthy attractions of Regensburg are located in Old Town, and you never have to walk far to get from one thing to the next.

Another great thing about Regensburg (if you love shopping) is the mall attached to the train station. My favorite gelato stand is in the Regensburg mall. Another item of note is the plethora of shops sprinkled throughout the city. It’s where we found our couch, where we go to buy cheap crap at Ikea, and where I discovered my favorite thing ever: TK Maxx. It’s like TJ Maxx, but with much better European clothes.

On Saturday, Lee and I went to Regensburg for a shopping trip at TK Maxx and H&M. We shopped for about an hour and spent the rest of the afternoon wandering around together. I have been to Regensburg on many occasions, but not with my camera. iPhones (although pretty great) just can’t win against my Nikon.

Saturday started pretty miserable, as per the usual–dark, cold, and drizzly. The rain let up once we got to town, but the clouds lingered for a while.

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It made for a pretty cool backdrop, though.

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We did a lot of window shopping, and started getting ideas for what we want to buy our family members for Christmas. It seems we weren’t the only ones gawking into store windows…

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These people are looking at the hats on display at Der Hutmacher, where custom hats are crafted for a wide range of famous people and actors (and normal people, too!). Some include Indiana Jones, Johnny Depp (as the Mad Hatter), and the Queen of England.

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Lee’s ambition is to buy a custom-fitted Indiana Jones hat at some point in the next three years. His piggy bank will have to be pretty full.

Something you will not need any money for in Regensburg is touring any of the churches. St. Peter’s Cathedral (also called Regensburg Cathedral) is the largest and most important, towering over the rest of Old Town.

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The first time I saw this church, my jaw basically hit the floor. I’d never seen anything like it in my entire life.

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The Gothic architecture is creepy but beautiful. It gives you the chills that something can be this massive but completely silent on the inside. The artistry of the stained glass windows is heart-stopping, and you could spend hours sitting in the quiet and admiring the care and detail that went into the church. I’m sure some people do.

Another incredible church in terms of artistic detail is Alte Kapelle.

It doesn’t look like a whole lot is going on outside…

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But then you walk in and get completely blown away by the chapel.

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There was a private baptism in progress that day, but visitors were still allowed to enter. I was afraid of breathing too loudly. During the week, the main part of the chapel is locked and you can only view it through an iron gate in the back of the room, which makes it extremely difficult to take photos. So, I was really enjoying this new freedom to move around (at least, a little bit). This church looks like the inside of a jewelry box. It’s so pristine, so shiny, and so bright. It almost doesn’t seem real. The sun even came out for a bit and cast a soft light towards the ceiling, like it was pointing to heaven.

There is also a smaller chapel right outside the main one.

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This smaller room is what you walk into if you enter through the back door.

Next, we strolled down to the Donau in the hopes of getting a bratwurst at the Historische Wurstküche (Sausage Kitchen), which sits right at the edge of the river.

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It’s the oldest restaurant in Regensburg, and I’ve also heard that it’s the oldest continuously open public restaurant in the world. It also appears to have the best sausages in the world, because the line is always 50 people deep! We decided to try again on another day. But I can say, the smells wafting around the banks of the Donau are phenomenal.

The view isn’t too bad either.

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We walked through the archway onto the 12th-century Old Stone Bridge.

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From the bridge, you get a really unique view of Old Town. You can easily see St. Peter’s, clusters of people enjoying their sausages from the Wurstküche, and colorful buildings stretching in both directions along the river.

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As we walked back to our car, the sun peeked out above the medieval rooftops just before disappearing for the day.

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It was the perfect ending to a cozy, colorful fall Saturday in Germany.

 

 

 

5 thoughts on “Regensburg: a Medieval Town on the Donau

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