Regensburg

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For the similarly named Swiss municipality, see Regensberg.
Regensburg
Regensburg 08 2006 2.jpg
Coat of arms of Regensburg
Coat of arms
Regensburg   is located in Germany
Regensburg
Regensburg
Coordinates: 49°1′N 12°5′E / 49.017°N 12.083°E / 49.017; 12.083Coordinates: 49°1′N 12°5′E / 49.017°N 12.083°E / 49.017; 12.083
Country Germany
State Bavaria
Admin. region Upper Palatinate
District Urban district
Subdivisions 18 districts
Government
 • Lord Mayor Joachim Wolbergs (SPD)
Area
 • Total 80.76 km2 (31.18 sq mi)
Elevation 326 - 471 m (−1,219 ft)
Population (2012-12-31)[1]
 • Total 138,296
 • Density 1,700/km2 (4,400/sq mi)
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes 93001–93059
Dialling codes 0941
Vehicle registration R
Website www.regensburg.de
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Old Town of Regensburg with Stadtamhof
Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List
Regensburg
Type Cultural
Criteria ii, iii, iv
Reference 1155
UNESCO region Europe and North America
Inscription history
Inscription 2006 (30th Session)
Imperial City of Regensburg
Reichsstadt Regensburg
Free Imperial City of the Holy Roman Empire
Duchy of Bavaria
1245–1803 Archbishopric of Regensburg
Capital Regensburg
Government Republic
Historical era Middle Ages
 -  First settled Stone Age
 -  Gained Imperial immediacy (Reichsfreiheit 1245
 -  City annexed by Bavaria 1486–96
 -  City adopted Reformation 1542
 -  Made permanent seat
    of the Imperial Diet

1663
 -  Mediatised to new
    Archbishopric²
1803
 -  Ceded to Bavaria on
    Imperial collapse

1810
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. Generally known in English as Ratisbon until well into the twentieth century. The city is known as Ratisbonne in French.

History[edit]

Largest groups of foreign residents[2]
Nationality Population (2011)
 Turkey 1,735
 Romania 884
 Serbia (incl.Montenegro) 710
 Poland 696
 Bulgaria 672

The first settlements in Regensburg date to the Stone Age. The Celtic name Radasbona was the oldest name given to a settlement near the present city. Around AD 90, the Romans built a fort there.

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.[3] 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.

On 8 December 899 Arnulf of Carinthia, descendant of Charlemagne, died at Regensburg (known as Ratisbon at the time), Bavaria, Germany.[4]

In 800 AD the city had 23,000 inhabitants and by 1000 AD this almost doubled to 40,000 people.[5]

In 1096, on the way to the First Crusade, Peter the Hermit led a mob of Crusaders that attempted to force the mass conversion of the Jews of Regensburg and killed all those who resisted.[6]

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.

The remains of the East Tower of Porta Praetoria from Ancient Roman times

Free Imperial City[edit]

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.

Ceremonial arrival at the Imperial Diet, 1711

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 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[edit]

Regensburg was home to both a Messerschmitt Bf 109 aircraft factory and an oil refinery, and they 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[edit]

Circular cancel by the Ukrainian Camp Post at Regensburg DP 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.[7]

Main sights[edit]

Dom—the Regensburg Cathedral
Side view of the Regensburg Cathedral
Photo-textured 3D laser scan image of medieval Regensburg Stone Bridge facing the historic Salzstadl
Kohlenmarkt with Town Hall, site of the Perpetual Diet from 1663 to 1806.
Tower of the Agilolfing ducal residence at the Alter Kornmarkt
St. Emmeram's Abbey, now Schloss Thurn und Taxis, a huge palace
Dampfnudel bakery in the Baumburger Turm
Klenze's Walhalla, built in 1842
16th Century Danube landscape near Regensburg, by Albrecht Altdorfer
  • 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.

Geography[edit]

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)

Economy[edit]

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.[8]

Transport[edit]

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).

Notable residents[edit]

International relations[edit]

Twin towns — Sister cities[edit]

Regensburg is twinned with:

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Fortschreibung des Bevölkerungsstandes". Bayerisches Landesamt für Statistik und Datenverarbeitung (in German). 31 December 2012. 
  2. ^ "Statistisches Jahrbuch der Stadt Regensburg". Stadt Regensburg - Amt für Stadtentwicklung. Retrieved 2014-07-24. 
  3. ^ "Iron Age Braumeisters of the Teutonic Forests". BeerAdvocate. Retrieved 2006-06-02. 
  4. ^ 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
  5. ^ http://books.google.dk/books?id=cXuCjDbxC1YC&pg=PA266&dq=london+population+in+1300+ad+100,000&hl=da&sa=X&ei=D_AxU4WAIaLl4gTtiICIDg&ved=0CC0Q6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=london%20population%20in%201300%20ad%20100%2C000&f=false
  6. ^ Herald of Destiny by Berel Wein. New York: Shaar Press, 1993, page 144.
  7. ^ Karen Lemiski, 'Focus on Philately: The stamps of Regensburg, Camp Ganghofersiedlung' in The Ukrainian Weekly, February 4, 2001, No. 5, Vol. LXIX
  8. ^ http://www.otti.de/en/home.html
  9. ^ "Book of Nature". World Digital Library. 1481-08-20. Retrieved 2013-08-27. 
  10. ^ "Who is Aberdeen twinned with?". Aberdeen City Council. Retrieved 2008-03-02. 
  11. ^ "National Commission for Decentralised cooperation". Délégation pour l’Action Extérieure des Collectivités Territoriales (Ministère des Affaires étrangères) (in French). Retrieved 2013-12-26. 

References[edit]

  • 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).
  • Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Regensburg". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 

External links[edit]