Regensburg, Germany is a picture-perfect medieval town. Regensburg dates back to Roman times and is the oldest city on the Danube River. Sitting on the edge of the Black Forest and in Bavaria, Regensburg is in a beautiful location and is included on many European river cruise itineraries. Ships dock very near the old stone bridge, which was constructed in the mid 12th century, and passengers can easily walk into the pedestrian town. This 1017-foot long bridge has 16 arches and is an amazing piece of medieval construction.
A Charming River Town With Over 1000 Historical Buildings
Many river cruise passengers enjoy stopping at the sausage shop near the old stone bridge and clock tower for a tasty sausage roll. You can't miss the location; it's usually packed with tourists and locals.
Regensburg has many 12th-14th century patricians' houses, as well as interesting churches, squares, and towers. It also features narrow lanes and streets, perfect for strolling. Over 1000 buildings are historical and in varied styles across the centuries, including Roman, Gothic, and Romanesque. Regensburg was not bombed during World War II, so the town is one of the best-preserved medieval sites in Europe and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
One fascinating statue in Regensburg is that of Don Juan of Austria, the illegitimate son of a local girl from Regensburg and Austrian Emperor Charles V. Don Juan led the Spanish navy in the defeat of the Turks in the famous naval battle of Lepanto in 1571.
Like many tourist destinations, Regensburg gets very crowded in the summer, but even then it is worth a visit. River cruises always include a walking tour of the town, but it's also great fun to explore on your own (and have one of those sausage rolls).
Old Stone Bridge Over the Danube River
The Regensburg Stone Bridge was built between 1135 and 1146. The old stone bridge has 16 columns and is a marvel of medieval engineering. It was Regensburg's only bridge across the Danube until the 1930's. The bridge's low clearance prevents many modern ships from passing under it, so they use the Regensburg Regen-Danube Canal to bypass the old city.
After walking out onto the old stone bridge, be sure to turn around and take a photo of the clock tower. It's one of several clock towers found in Regensburg.
Oldest Town on the Danube River
Regensburg is the oldest town on the Danube River, and it has been very well preserved, with over 1000 buildings classified as historical.
St. Peters Cathedral
Although some visitors might claim the sausage shop by the Danube is Regensburg's most important landmark, the St. Peters Cathedral is also well-deserving of that claim. The Gothic church is the seat of the Regensburg Catholic diocese and the most important Gothic structure in southern Germany. A cathedral has been on this site since the 8th century, but the current building was significantly restored during this century.
Dom St. Peter
The two towering spires of Dom St. Peter can be seen all over the city of Regensburg.
Don Juan Statue
One of the many famous people with ties to Regensburg was Don Juan d'Austria.
Don Juan d'Austria was the illegitimate son of Emperor Charles V and his mistress Barbara Blomberg. Don Juan grew up to be a military hero of Spain.
David and Goliath Mural
The Regensburg David and Goliath Mural has been re-touched many times but dates back to the 16th century in Regensburg.