It owes its existence to a god: Marcus Aurelius was Rome's emperor, its highest priest, the supreme commander of its armies. At heart he was a philosopher, acknowledging the limits of power and of the human will. "You are a tiny soul encumbered by a mortal body", he wrote in his "Self-contemplations". And yet he had to rule and defend a vast empire, and in 179 A. D. he completed a fortified base for his legions beside the Danube, opposite the mouth of the Regen. This grew into Regensburg.
In Regensburg the visitor can sense the breath of two thousand years. He encounters bygone ages in the city's sights: a huge Roman gateway, a Carolingian palace, a mysterious Romanesque portal, a Gothic cathedral with soaring spires, Baroque and Rococo features glittering with gold, full of joy in life. This is how Regensburg presents itself, a city that has escaped destruction, a city to gaze at in wonder.
Travelling back in Time - without a Time Machine
Go sightseeing in Regensburg, this beautifully preserved mediaeval city originally founded by the Romans. Sightseeing? It's more a case of taking a walk through German history. Respectfully, you can stand before its birth certificate, engraved in stone by the Romans. You feel very insignificant gazing at the Porta Praetoria, the northern gateway of the Roman fortress. Fabulously wealthy citizens of Regensburg, who traded all over the world in the Middle Ages, have left us their great tower-like mansions in the city center.
The patrician residences erected by those merchants still rise above the city's roofs like mediaeval skyscrapers. The Italianate buildings make Regensburg seem like a bit of Southern Europe, transplanted here north of the Alps. The Gothic cathedral soars heaven-wards, its stained-glass windows a mass of glowing colors. A stone angel bestows a smile on the Blessed Virgin, the melodious voices of the Domspatzen, the cathedral choir, resound in the lofty vaulting. The ancient stone bridge, once considered one of the wonders of the world, has spanned the Danube for more than nine centuries now. The river flows swiftly through its arches, creating the whirlpools and eddies immortalized in a famous song about Regensburg.
Regensburg was a free imperial city for six centuries. In the magnificent town hall, its patricians danced in the great assembly room later chosen by Germany's rulers as the venue for an imperial diet. This diet, which continued to meet in Regensburg for 150 years and became known as the Perpetual Imperial Diet, was Germany's first parliament. The Prince of Thurn and Taxis, the Empire's hereditary postmaster-general, was the Emperor's permanent representative at the Diet. History awaits you at every corner. Sightseeing? Much more. A journey far back into the past - without a time machine.
Video recorded: December, 2003 HINT: If video starts/stops often, PAUSE the playback for 15-30 seconds to allow the video buffer memory to fill. To resume playback press PLAY.