The fourth largest city in Bavaria, located between Munich and Nuremberg, at the confluence of the rivers Danube and Regen, is the capital of Upper Palatinate and the gate to the Bavarian Forest.
Its history goes back to the 5th century BC when the Celt settlement Radasbona was founded. Under the rule of the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, Castra Regina (literally “camp on the river Regen”) was built and became the first capital of Bavaria in the 6th century under the name of Reganespurc.
During the 12th and 13th century, its long-distance trading made Regensburg one of the most populated and most prosperous cities. The Gothic and Romance architecture left their marks on the old town’s appearance and still give it its unique flair. The old town of Regensburg was hardly destroyed during the American bomb attacks in 1945 and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2006.
As a former professor and vice-president of the university, Pope Benedict XVI belongs to the most famous citizens of Regensburg, along with mathematician and astronomer Johannes Kepler, who died there in 1630. Not to miss are the world-famous Regensburger Domspatzen (literally the “Cathedral’s Sparrows”). Last but not least, Oskar Schindler, a German from the Sudetenland who saved 1.200 Jews from their death in concentration camps during the Second World War, lived in Regensburg from 1945 to 1950.
The city possesses many outstanding buildings such as St Peter’s cathedral, a major work of Gothic architecture in Bavaria, the Stone Bridge, a medieval architectural marvel, and the former St. Emmeram’s Abbey, which is today the castle of the princely house of Thurn and Taxis. The Walhalla hall of fame was built by Ludwig I of Bavaria on the model of the Parthenon in Athens and is located 10 km down the Danube.