|| Bavaria | bavaria north
|Regensburg is just a beautifully preserved medieval town, and is one of our favorite spots in Bavaria. In the Middle Ages, Regensburg was a wealthy city on the Danube, and a center of trade between the Orient and Europe. Today, kids can wander through narrow streets lined with clock towers and blue, green, orange, yellow buildings, walk across the Danube on a stone bridge, and climb up an ancient watchtower.
|Walk through Regensburg – This is a great walk through town to get a feeling for its long history. Starting at the Steinerne Brucke (Steinerne Bridge), walk south along the Danube to Villa Park. There are grassy areas, benches, and crenellated stone ramparts, where you can look out over the river. Walk across Villa Park to the Ostentor (Eastern Gate), a 14th century stone gateway with two eight-sided turreted towers. Then walk back along the Ostengasse, continuing on Unter den Swibbogen, past the Roman gate, Porta Praetoria, with chunky blocks of rock sticking out. Keep going straight, along Goliath Strasse to the Rathausplatz. At the square, is the old town hall (Altes Rathaus) and an impressive Gothic clock tower.
|Dom (Regensburg Cathedral) – Step into the Dom, a soaring Gothic cathedral, with really fine stained glass windows and a high altar totally encrusted with silver. Don’t miss the statues of the “Smiling Angel, ” Virgin Mary, and Archangel Gabriel. The cathedral is also famous for its boys choir, the Domspatzen (if you come at Christmastime, there are always concerts).
|Steinerne Brucke (Steinerne Bridge) – This solid stone bridge with fifteen arches was one of the few bridges across the Danube in the Middle Ages.
|Brucketurm – Inside the bridge watchtower, climb to the top, and look out over the Danube (kids can imagine they’re guarding the river). There’s also a small museum with very cool dioramas of the bridge over the centuries, and a view of the clock mechanism.
|Walk across the bridge – Walk east across the bridge, which crosses two islands. there are paths going north and south along the first little island. Take the path south, it goes along the river under the shade trees, and ends at a small playground.
|Ships Museum (Schiffahrts Museum) – This small museum has two ships, one a steamboat that chugged up and down the Danube. Go down into the hold to see the two steam engines that powered each of the wheels, the big steam boilers, and plus exhibits and dioramas about boats on the Danube. Museum is open April to October, located just south of the Steinerne Bridge.
|Danube River boat trips –
|April to October, take a 50 minute boat ride down the Danube to the Strudel (whirlpool), once a dreaded hazard on the river.
|For a longer trip, 45 minutes each way, cruise down to Walhalla, a monument (modeled after the Parthenon) to celebrate famous Germanic people in history. Walhalla has quite a collection of busts of Goethe, Haydn, etc. but kids may enjoy a walk in the green woods and views of countryside more than the monument itself (we brought a picnic lunch). The Danube is one of the great river freeways, and on your boat trip, you’ll see everything from large barges, to people canoeing and kayaking.
|Try local Regensburg sausages with mustard on a roll, and at Christmas time, gingerbread and cookies.