3 February 2008

The unspeakable beautiful city - Regensburg

I have been thinking about the most beautiful, interesting "medieval" cities in Europe, ones that could be an inspiration for your fantasy.
All those cities in Europe with Gothic Cathedrals and churches have some medieval accents. But they are sacral buildings not secular ones. There are lots of Walled cities in Europe such as Avila and Girona in Spain, Rhodes in Greece, York in England. But what I was looking for was a city that still has (as much as possible in this time) the authentic character of medieval time and one I had visited and seen with my own eyes. I was thinking about all those cities I have seen with some medieval character: Bruges, Sienna, Salzburg, Dubrovnik, Krakow, Prague, Edinburgh of course, Torun (beautiful medieval city in Poland). And suddenly I knew the name of the most unspeakable beautiful medieval city in Europe that I have ever visited- Regensburg.
Regensburg is one of the oldest cities in Germany; it is older than 2.000 years. With a moving political history, an ancient Christian tradition, an old history of art, one of the oldest stone bridges in Europe (the Steinerne Brϋcke = Stone Bridge) Regensburg on the Danube is a city that you should visit once in your life. I visited it in August 1998 (?); there was a lot happening then, such as: Festival of Silent Movies, Regensburg festival, great concerts, street events, and the biggest event of all- visits to a great Irish Pub. J) Nevertheless the weather was unpleasant (the year of the wettest summer in Central and East Europe) I had a great time and enjoyed myself enormously.

In the medieval time there were many unusual secular monuments built in Regenesburg. The character of the 13th and 14th centuries was moulded by a great number of citadels which possessed armed, reinforced towers. These towers which served also as living accommodation gave the city a unique and mellow patina. Especially Patrician Tower "am Watmarkt" is a beautiful creation. Another outstanding example of municipal Gothic architecture is the Rathaus (Town Hall). In the morning The Town Hall Square, especially when it basks in the golden rays of the morning sun, is an incredible spot of beauty where the past and the present engage in a perfect harmony. There are lots of great sculptures in the Gothic Cathedral and in the other Gothic and Roman Churches. The small streets and lanes as one finds in the Goliathviertal (Goliath Quarter) are very rare and remind you of the medieval time. Regensburg, Bavaria's medieval jewel, is a place so precious, that it has been named a UNESCO World Heritage.

I did some search online; I couldn't find any big tourist websites (the best cities, the most interesting cities in Europe etc) recommending this city. There are some small websites recommending holidays in Bavaria, mentioning Regensburg. I lived in Germany, Munich for a while. I have seen all the big cities and lots of historical towns in West en East Germany and I can say with honesty that Regensburg is perhaps on the most outstanding cities in the whole Germany. Just go and visit it. Believe me.

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