|Admin. region||Upper Palatinate|
|• Lord Mayor||Joachim Wolbergs (SPD)|
|• Total||80.76 km2 (31.18 sq mi)|
|Elevation||326 - 471 m (−1,219 ft)|
|• Density||1,700/km2 (4,500/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)|
|Old Town of Regensburg with Stadtamhof|
|Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List|
|Criteria||ii, iii, iv|
|UNESCO region||Europe and North America|
|Inscription||2006 (30th Session)|
|Imperial City of Regensburg|
|Free Imperial City of the Holy Roman Empire|
|Historical era||Middle Ages|
|-||First settled||Stone Age|
|-||Gained Imperial immediacy (Reichsfreiheit)¹||1245|
|-||City annexed by Bavaria||1486–96|
|-||City adopted Reformation||1542|
|-||Made permanent seat
of the Imperial Diet
|-||Mediatised to new
|-||Ceded to Bavaria on
|Today part of||Germany|
|1: The Bishopric of Regensburg acquired Imperial immediacy around the same time as the City. Of the three Imperial Abbeys in Regensburg, Niedermünster had already acquired Imperial immediacy in 1002, St. Emmeram's Abbey did in 1295 and Obermünster in 1315.
2: The Bishopric, the Imperial City and all three Imperial Abbeys were mediatised simultaneously.
Regensburg (German pronunciation: [ˈʁeɡənsbʊɐ̯k]) is a city in Bavaria, Germany, at the confluence of the Danube and Regen River. To the east lies the Bavarian Forest. Regensburg is the capital of the Bavarian administrative region Upper Palatinate. The medieval centre of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 2014, Regensburg was ranked among the top sights and travel attractions in Germany (28th) by international tourists. Generally known in English as Ratisbon until well into the twentieth century, the city is known as Ratisbonne in French.
|Largest groups of foreign residents|
|Serbia (incl. Montenegro)||710|
In 179, the Roman fort Castra Regina ("fortress by the river Regen") was built for Legio III Italica during the reign of Emperor Marcus Aurelius. It was an important camp on the most northern point of the Danube: it corresponds to what is today the core of Regensburg's Altstadt ("Old City") east of the Obere and Untere Bachgasse and West of the Schwanenplatz. It is believed that even in late Roman times the city was the seat of a bishop, and St Boniface re-established the Bishopric of Regensburg in 739.
From the early 6th century, Regensburg was the seat of the Agilolfing ruling family. From about 530 to the first half of the 13th century, it was the capital of Bavaria. Regensburg remained an important city during the reign of Charlemagne. In 792, Regensburg hosted the ecclesiastical section of Charlemagne's General Assembly. The bishops in council condemned the heresy of Adoptionism taught by the Spanish bishops, Elipandus of Toledo and Felix of Urgel. After the partition of the Carolingian Empire, the city became the seat of the Eastern Frankish ruler, Louis II the German in 843. Two years later, fourteen Bohemian princes came to Regensburg to receive baptism there. This was the starting point of Christianization of the Czech people, and the diocese of Regensburg became the mother diocese of Prague. These events had a wide impact on the cultural history of Czech lands, as they were consequently incorporated into the Roman Catholic and not into the Slavic-Orthodox world. The fact is well remembered, and a memorial plate at St John's Church (the alleged place of the baptism) was unveiled a few years ago, commemorating the incident in the Czech and German languages.
In 800 AD the city had 23,000 inhabitants and by 1000 AD this almost doubled to 40,000 people.
Between 1135 and 1146, the Stone Bridge across the Danube was built at Regensburg. This bridge opened major international trade routes between northern Europe and Venice, and this began Regensburg's golden age as a residence of wealthy trading families. Regensburg became the cultural centre of southern Germany and was celebrated for its gold work and fabrics.
Free Imperial City
In 1245 Regensburg became a Free Imperial City and was a trade centre before the shifting of trade routes in the late Middle Ages. At the end of the 15th century in 1486, Regensburg became part of the Duchy of Bavaria, but its independence was restored by the Holy Roman Emperor ten years later. The city adopted the Protestant Reformation in 1542 and its Town Council remained entirely Lutheran. From 1663 to 1806, the city was the permanent seat of the Imperial Diet of the Holy Roman Empire, which became known as the Perpetual Diet of Regensburg. Thus, Regensburg was one of the central towns of the Empire, attracting visitors in large numbers.
A minority of the population remained Roman Catholic, and Roman Catholics were denied civil rights ("Bürgerrecht"). But the town of Regensburg must not be confused with the Bishopric of Regensburg. Although the Imperial city had adopted the Reformation, the town remained the seat of a Roman Catholic bishop and several abbeys. Three of the latter, St. Emmeram, Niedermünster and Obermünster, were estates of their own within the Holy Roman Empire, meaning that they were granted a seat and a vote at the Imperial Diet (Reichstag). So there was the unique situation that the town of Regensburg comprised five independent "states" (in terms of the Holy Roman Empire): the Protestant city itself, the Roman Catholic bishopric, and the three monasteries (mentioned previously). In addition, it was seen as the traditional capital of the region Bavaria (not the state), acted as functional co-capital of the Empire (second to the Emperor's court at Vienna) due to the presence of the Perpetual Diet, and it was residence of the Emperor's Commissary-Principal to the same diet, who with one very brief exception was a prince himself (longstandingly the Prince Thurn and Taxis, still resident in the town).
In 1803 the city lost its status as a free city, following its incorporation into the Principality of Regensburg. It was handed over to the Archbishop of Mainz and Archchancellor of the Holy Roman Empire Carl von Dalberg in compensation for Mainz, which had become French under the terms of the Treaty of Lunéville in 1801. The archbishopric of Mainz was formally transferred to Regensburg. Dalberg united the bishopric, the monasteries, and the town itself, making up the Principality of Regensburg (Fürstentum Regensburg). Dalberg strictly modernized public life. Most importantly, he awarded equal rights to Protestants and Roman Catholics alike. In 1810 Dalberg ceded Regensburg to the Kingdom of Bavaria, he himself being compensated by the award of Fulda and Hanau to him under the title of "Grand Duke of Frankfurt".
Between April 19 and April 23, 1809, Regensburg was the scene of the Battle of Ratisbon between forces commanded by Baron de Coutaud (the 65th Ligne) and retreating Austrian forces. The city was eventually overrun, after supplies and ammunition ran out. The city suffered severe damage during the fight, with about 150 houses being burnt and others being looted.
World War II
Regensburg was home to both a Messerschmitt Bf 109 aircraft factory and an oil refinery, which were bombed by the Allies on August 17, 1943, by the Schweinfurt-Regensburg mission, and on February 5, 1945, during the Oil Campaign of World War II. Although both targets were badly damaged, Regensburg itself suffered little damage from the Allied strategic bombing campaign, and the nearly intact medieval city centre is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city's most important cultural loss was that of the Romanesque church of Obermünster, which was destroyed in a March 1945 air raid and was never rebuilt (the belfry survived). Also, Regensburg's slow economic recovery after the war ensured that historic buildings were not torn down, to be replaced by newer ones. When the upswing in restoration reached Regensburg in the late 1960s, the prevailing mindset had turned in favour of preserving the city's heritage.
Regensburg Displaced Persons Camp
Between 1945 and 1949, Regensburg was the site of the largest Displaced persons (DP) camp in Germany. At its peak in 1946–1947, the workers' district of Ganghofersiedlung housed almost 5,000 Ukrainian and 1,000 non-Ukrainian refugees and displaced persons. With the approval of U.S. Military Government in the American Allied Occupation Zone, Regensburg and other DP camps organised their own camp postal service. In Regensburg, the camp postal service began operation on December 11, 1946.
- The Dom (Cathedral) is an example of pure German Gothic and counts as the main work of Gothic architecture in Bavaria. It was founded in 1275 and completed in 1634, with the exception of the towers, which were finished in 1869. The interior contains numerous interesting monuments, including one of Peter Vischer's masterpieces. Adjoining the cloisters are two chapels of earlier date than the cathedral itself, one of which, known as the old cathedral, goes back perhaps to the 8th century. The official choir for the liturgical music at St Peter's Cathedral are the famous Regensburger Domspatzen.
- The stone bridge, built 1135–1146, is a highlight of medieval bridge building. The knights of the 2nd and 3rd crusade used it to cross the Danube on their way to the Holy Land.
- Remains of the Roman fortress' walls including the Porta Praetoria.
- The Church of St. James, also called Schottenkirche, a Romanesque basilica of the 12th century, derives its name from the monastery of Irish Benedictines (Scoti) to which it was attached; the principal doorway is covered with very singular grotesque carvings. It stands next to the Jakobstor, a medieval city gate named after it.
- The old parish church of St. Ulrich is a good example of the Transition style of the 13th century, and contains a valuable antiquarian collection. It houses the diocesan museum for religious art.
- Examples of the Romanesque basilica style are the church of Obermünster, dating from 1010, and the abbey church of St. Emmeram, built in the 13th century, remarkable as one of the few German churches with a detached bell tower. The beautiful cloisters of the ancient abbey, one of the oldest in Germany, are still in a fair state of preservation. In 1809 the conventual buildings were converted into a palace for the prince of Thurn and Taxis, hereditary postmaster-general of the Holy Roman Empire.
- The Adler-Apotheke, located nearby the Regensburg Cathedral, was founded in 1610 and is one of the oldest Pharmacies in Regensburg. Even today you can take a look at the ancient interior and historical vessels.
- Wealthy patrician families competed against each other to see who would be able to build the highest tower of the city. In 1260, the Goldener Turm (golden tower) was built on Wahlenstraße.
- The Town Hall, dating in part from the 14th century, contains the rooms occupied by the Imperial diet from 1663 to 1806.
- A historical interest is also attached to the Gasthof zum Goldenen Kreuz (Golden Cross Inn), where Charles V made the acquaintance of Barbara Blomberg, the mother of Don John of Austria (born 1547).
- Perhaps the most pleasant modern building in the city is the Gothic villa of the king of Bavaria on the bank of the Danube.
- Among the public institutions of the city are the public library, picture gallery, botanical garden, and the institute for the making of stained glass. The city's colleges (apart from the University of Regensburg) include an episcopal clerical seminary, and a school of church music.
- The Botanischer Garten der Universität Regensburg is a modern botanical garden located on the University of Regensburg campus. Herzogspark also contains several small botanical gardens.
- St. Emmeram's Abbey, now known as Schloss Thurn und Taxis, is a huge castle owned by the powerful Thurn and Taxis family.
Near Regensburg there are two very imposing Classical buildings, erected by Ludwig I of Bavaria as national monuments to German patriotism and greatness. The more imposing of the two is the Walhalla, a costly reproduction of the Parthenon, erected as a Teutonic temple of fame on a hill rising from the Danube at Donaustauf, 15 km to the east. The interior, which is as rich as coloured marble, gilding, and sculptures can make it, contains the busts of more than a hundred Germanic worthies. The second of King Ludwig's buildings is the Befreiungshalle at Kelheim, 30 km above Regensburg, a large circular building which has for its aim the glorification of the heroes of the 1813 War of Liberation.
Regensburg is situated on the northernmost part of the Danube river at the geological crossroads of four distinct landscapes:
- to the north and northeast lies the Bavarian Forest (Bayerischer Wald) with granite and gneiss mountains and wide forests.
- to the east and south-east is the fertile Danube plain (Gäuboden) which are highly cultivated loess plains
- the south is dominated by the tertiary hill country (Tertiär-Hügelland), a continuation of alpine foothills
- to the West is Franconian Jura (Fränkische Jura)
BMW operates an automobile production plant in Regensburg; the Regensburg BMW plant produces 3-series, 1-series and Z4 vehicles. Other major employers are Siemens, with its subsidiary, Osram Opto-Semiconductors, and Siemens VDO (now Continental AG), with the headquarters of its car component business. Infineon, the former Siemens semiconductor branch, has a medium-sized factory in Regensburg. Other well known companies, such as Maschinenfabrik Reinhausen, Toshiba, and Krones, have built plants in or near Regensburg. Amazon located its first German customer service centre in Regensburg.
The University of Regensburg and mercantile trade also play major roles in Regensburg's economy. Some high tech biotech companies were also founded in Regensburg and have their headquarters and laboratories in the city's "BioPark".
CipSoft GmbH is a video game company that is based in Regensburg.
OTTI, the Eastern Bavaria Technology Transfer-Institut e.V., is headquartered in Regensburg.
GE Aviation founded a greenfield site to innovate, develop and produce turbinemachinery components with a new manufacturing casting technology.
Regensburg Hauptbahnhof (central station) is connected to lines to Munich, Nuremberg, Passau, Hof and Ingolstadt and Ulm. It can easily be reached from Munich by train, which takes about 1 hour 30 mins. The city lies also on two motorways, the A3 from Cologne and Frankfurt to Vienna, and the A93 from Munich to Dresden. The city is also connected by "Bundesstraßen", namely the B8, B15, and B16.
The local transport is provided by an intensive bus network run by the RVV (Regensburger Verkehrsverbund).
SSV Jahn Regensburg is the local football club and attracts a fairly large local following. The team was part of a larger sports club founded in 1889 as Turnerbund Jahn Regensburg which took its name from Friedrich Ludwig Jahn, whose ideas of gymnastics greatly influenced German sport in the 19th century. The football department was created in 1907. The footballers and swimmers left their parent club in 1924 to form Sportbund Jahn Regensburg.
- Pope Benedict XVI, professor of theology at the University of Regensburg from 1969 to 1977, who retains the title, honorary professor; he is not a former resident of the city of Regensburg, but his house, less than 1 kilometer from the city, lies in Pentling in the district of Regensburg. He has been an honorary citizen since 2006.
- Albrecht Altdorfer (printmaker, painter of landscapes, historical and Biblical subjects of the Renaissance)
- Willie Duncan (Spider Murphy Gang)
- Ulrich Eberl, science and technology journalist
- The Rev. Dr. Franz Xaver Haberl, one of the most important Roman Catholic musicians in history, teacher of Perosi. (See also Cecilian Movement.)
- Johannes Kepler (mathematician and astronomer)
- Konrad of Megenberg, scholar and academic
- Simone Laudehr (German national team footballer, women's world cup champion 2007)
- Albertus Magnus (13th century polymath)
- Judah ben Samuel of Regensburg, a 12th-13th century rabbi and mystic, founder of Chassidei Ashkenaz
- Maximilian Oberst, physician who introduced the Oberst method of block anesthesia
- Petachiah of Ratisbon, a 12th-13th century rabbi, best known for his extensive travels throughout Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and the Middle East.
- Walter Röhrl (racing driver)
- Saint Emmeram, Christian bishop and a martyr, St. Emmeram's Abbey
- Emanuel Schikaneder (Librettist of The Magic Flute)
- Oskar Schindler (after World War II until his emigration to Argentina)
- Ulrich Schmidl (supposed co-founder of Buenos Aires)
- Anton Vilsmeier, chemist best known for the Vilsmeier-Haack reaction, born in Burgweinting, which is now part of Regensburg, and attended the Altes Gymnasium in Regensburg
- Charles von Hügel, army officer, diplomat, botanist, and explorer
- Ulrich of Zell, a Cluniac reformer of Germany, abbot, founder and saint
- Wolfgang of Regensburg, Bishop of Regensburg
- Elisabeth Elli Erl, winner of German Pop Idol 2004 - singer and teacher at a German secondary school in Düsseldorf
Twin towns — Sister cities
Regensburg is twinned with:
- "Fortschreibung des Bevölkerungsstandes". Bayerisches Landesamt für Statistik und Datenverarbeitung (in German). 31 December 2013.
- "Statistisches Jahrbuch der Stadt Regensburg". Stadt Regensburg - Amt für Stadtentwicklung. Retrieved 2014-07-24.
- "Iron Age Braumeisters of the Teutonic Forests". BeerAdvocate. Retrieved 2006-06-02.
- The Biographical Dictionary of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, Vol. III, Part II (page 623), printed by William Clowes and Sons, Stamford Street, London, 1844
- Tellier, L.N. (2009). Urban World History: An Economic and Geographical Perspective. Presses de l'Universite du Quebec. p. 266. ISBN 9782760522091. Retrieved 2014-10-10.
- Herald of Destiny by Berel Wein. New York: Shaar Press, 1993, page 144.
- Karen Lemiski, Focus on Philately: The stamps of Regensburg, Camp Ganghofersiedlung in The Ukrainian Weekly, February 4, 2001, No. 5, Vol. LXIX
- "OTTI - Ostbayerisches Technologie-Transfer-Institut e.V.". otti.de. Retrieved 2014-10-10.
- "Book of Nature". World Digital Library. 1481-08-20. Retrieved 2013-08-27. Check date values in:
- "Who is Aberdeen twinned with?". Aberdeen City Council. Retrieved 2008-03-02.
- "National Commission for Decentralised cooperation". Délégation pour l’Action Extérieure des Collectivités Territoriales (Ministère des Affaires étrangères) (in French). Retrieved 2013-12-26.
- David L. Sheffler, Schools and Schooling in Late Medieval Germany: Regensburg, 1250–1500 (Leiden, Brill, 2008) (Education and Society in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, 33).
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Regensburg". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Regensburg.|
|Wikisource has the text of the 1920 Encyclopedia Americana article Ratisbon.|
- City website (in German with international pages)
- Virtual tour of Regensburg
- Stone Bridge of Regensburg Digital Media Archive (creative commons-licensed photos, laser scans, panoramas), mainly covering the medieval Stone Bridge but also including surrounding areas, with data from a Christofori und Partner/CyArk research partnership
- Regensburg – Pictures, Sights and more
- Great privilege for Regensburg by King Philip of Swabia for Regensburg from 1207 taken from the collections of the Lichtbildarchiv älterer Originalurkunden at Marburg University