I have been traveling all my life. Like many of my fellow travelers, COVID-19 brought all my adventures to an abrupt stop. Now, I spend lots of my time dreaming, thinking, and sometimes, even planning journeys for the future. The first country I plan to visit… is Germany. Unlike before, I don’t want to see the main highlights of Germany. I have seen and experienced the most obvious that the country has to offer. After COVID-19, I want to visit and explore new destinations that are off the beaten track.
While Munich, Berlin, and the Neuschwanstein Castle, there are many different things to see and visit in Western Europe’s largest countries. What is not known to many travelers, is that there are quite a few medieval German cities that even made it onto the UNESCO world heritage list. For this journey through Germany, I am only going for the best of the best: the cities that made it onto the UNESCO list. The destinations in this overview can also attract large crowds, but are not as well-known as ‘Standard destinations,’ such as, Berlin, or Munich.
I have always wanted to visit the unknown German medieval cities and it has become my first travel goal after the COVID-19 pandemic. So, this is exactly what I am preparing for. I am planning a journey that starts in the north of the country, and then, slowly make my way south. In this blog, I will take you on my planned journey from Wismar in the North to Regensburg in the South. On my trip through the country, I will visit the castle of Schwerin and Lubeck in the north as well as Goslar Quedlinburg and Weimar in the middle. Once I have made it to the south, I plan on visiting Bamberg and Regensburg.
All these destinations are beyond the most frequently travelled route in Germany. Although, all destinations can be considered off the beat track, all places are easily accessible by Germany’s great public transportation system. I will travel by train since all cities on my itinerary are connected by train. Trains run frequently, and train prices are reasonably low. More information can be found on www.deutschebahn.com
Situated all the way north, is the coastal town of Wismar. Situated on the Baltic Sea in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the city is a relatively small, but beautiful town with just over 42,000 inhabitants. Founded in the 13th century, it has played an important role in the history of both Germany and Sweden. Strategically situated at the Baltic Sea, the city has been a Hanseatic city and rose to its heyday in the 14th century.
While its most important days lay well in the past, Wismar is worth a visit, because it has one of the best-preserved medieval city centers of Germany. The medieval heart of the city has been added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2002. The main reason for including the town’s center in the list was to preserve the medieval layout of the city. The city boasts a unique street network and parcel structure, as well as, a well-preserved medieval port and artificial water house that runs right through the city, which is named a Grube.
I plan on staying in Wismar for two days. While in Wismar, I plan on a full first day on which, I want to fully embrace the medieval atmosphere of the city. I will do so by planning a long nice walk through the city. My walk will take me to:
- The Townhall and the cobbled market square, which is one of the largest markets with an area of about 10,000 m². The highlight of the square is the Wasserkunst an elaborate fountain in the middle of the square which has become the landmark of the city.
- The streets around the square, which all boost typical red brick gothic style houses.
- The so-called pit, an old artificial watercourse that runs through the city.
- Multiple architectural Gothic masterpieces including The Archdeaconate, St.Mary’s Church, St.Georgen Church, and St.Nicolai Church.
- A large park named The Lindengarden, which was built in 1815 on the side of the former Swedish Citadel.
- Finally, I will visit the old harbor with the watergate. From here, I plan on taking a boat tour and see the city from the water.
On my second day in Wismar, I plan on leaving the town for a trip to Schwerin, the capital of the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern area, and home to ‘Castle Neuschwanstein of the North’. From Wismar, the journey to Schwerin will take about half an hour by train. My main reason to visit Schwerin is to see the famous castle, which is a 20- minutes’ walk from the train station. The walk itself brings me through the historic old city to the shore of the lake on which the castle is located. The castle itself is said to look like something from a fairy tale and I dream of taking a nice long walk through the gardens of the castle and along the shores of the lake.
Images of Wismar
The Hanseatic League was the most important and powerful trading network of the middle Ages. The league was an alliance between merchant guilds, and merchant towns located in strategic positions in the Baltic Sea region. The league has had a long-lasting impact on Western History and became a pioneer of our modern understanding of the economy, the Hanse still shapes the politics, economy, and society of the European continent today. The Hansa territory stretched from the Baltic area to the North Sea, and was active from the 13th to the 17th century.
Soon after my visit to the castle, I plan on hopping on the second train ride of my journey. This time, I am heading west to visit the second city on my alternative destinations itinerary: Lubeck. By train, the journey from Wismar to Lubeck takes you through green fields, as well as, the north of Lake Schwerin and the small town Bad Kleinen. After 1.5 hours on the train, I will arrive in Lubeck in the state of Schleswig-Holstein. Like Wismar is also a Hanseatic city situated on the Baltic sea. The town is a bit bigger and has around 217,000 inhabitants.
Lubeck’s origins dates back to 1143 and the city played an important role in the history of the Hanseatic League. In the 14th century, Lubeck grew out to become the largest and most powerful member of the league, which earned the city the nickname as “The Queen of the Hanseatic League.”
Nowadays, Lubeck is known for its historic city centre, and it has become the most extensive UNESCO heritage site in Germany on which it was inscribed in 1987. The entire city is surrounded by water and the medieval atmosphere from the ages of the Hanseatic League has been fully preserved as the city is home to a large number of medieval-style buildings, narrow streets, and even smaller alleys. One of the most special sites in the city. Within its city centre, Lubeck has several large churches with seven major church towers. These seven prominent towers, specially are the presence of several big churches in the old city. With their 7 prominent towers, which gives a special silhouette to the city, which can be seen from miles away.
I plan on taking a long walk through the city during which, I plan on exploring everything the old town has to offer. On this walk, I want to see the following sites:
- The two remaining city gates: the Burgtor and the Holsteintor, which has become the city’s most famous landmark.
- I plan on visiting 3 churches, the oldest and greatest including the cathedral, Saint Mary’s church, and the church of St. Peter. I hope to get lucky and visit one of the famous organ concerts that are held regularly.
- The town hall with its Rococo council chamber.
- The Salzspeicher, Lubeck’s historic warehouses. The best way to see the warehouses is from the other side of the River Trave. Here, you can sit on a terrace with a nice view of those warehouses.
- The famous courtyards of Lubeck. There are about 50 courtyards accessible from the main streets. All courtyards boast of a special atmosphere and most are open to the general public.
- I also plan on visiting the park near the Muhlenbrucke. From the park, you can have a beautiful view of the city’s silhouette with the iconic seven church towers.
As I am visiting my second Hanseatic city, I also would like to educate myself a bit about the history of this league. I, therefore, plan on visiting the European Hansemuseum, which opened in Lubeck in 2015. At the museum, a modern museum merges with one of the most important monastery complexes in Northern Germany.
After visiting the museum, I plan to visit the Buddenbrookhouse in which the Mann family of Lubeck used to live. In this house, Thomas Mann grew up and it was the setting of the famous novel “Buddenbrook” from 10901. Thomas Mann received the 1929 Nobel Prize for literature for this novel.
Lubeck is much more than a historic town. It is also home to lots of restaurants and bars where I plan to relax after my explorative walks through the city. Foodwise, Lubeck is famous for its marzipan sweets. There is even a marzipan museum on the second floor of café Niederegger in the Breite Strasse. At this museum, the sweet history of marzipan is explained extensively. You can find more information about all that Lubeck has to offer on www.luebeck-tourismus.de.
Although, I prefer to move around, the weather might be good enough for the second day in and around Lubeck. If I get lucky with the weather, I would like to spend my second day at the seaside resort of Travemunde. Travemunde has been a famous German resort since 1802, and plays a role in Thomas Mann award-winning novel. At the resort, I want to make a long walk on the boulevard and rest in the characteristic roofed wicker beach chairs, where I want to slowly get ready for the next destination on my itinerary.
Images of Lübeck
The next destination on my alternative Germany itinerary, is the historic city of Goslar. To get to Goslar, I will take the longest train ride of my travels within the country. The journey from Lubeck to Goslar will take approximately 4 hours. Fortunately, the train ride will take me through a splendid natural landscape as we enter the northwestern slopes of the Harz mountain range in which Goslar is situated. The city currently has about 50,000 citizens, but it has a long and extensive history dating back over 1,000 yards.
In the area, Goslar became a medieval mining industry hotspot from which, it gives thanks to its historic and rich city center. Thanks to the mining income in the nearby Rammelsberg ore mines, Goslar achieved great prosperity in the late middle Ages during which, it became an important imperial residence and seat of government for centuries. Nicknamed “Rome of the North,” the town also played an important role in Christianity. Both the mines at Rammelsberg as well as the historic town of Goslar became UNESCO World Heritage sites in 1992. On top of that, the historic city center was also declared as UNESCO World Cultural Heritage due to its special conversation status of over 1,500 half-timbered houses. The imperial palace, which is located just outside the city center, is also UNESCO World Heritage.
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I plan on staying 1, 5 days in and around Goslar. Half a day on my arrival after the four-hour train ride and a full extra day after that. On the first (half) day, I plan on simply roaming around the town to soak in the medieval atmosphere, as well as, seeing the following highlights:
- The market square with its fountain crowned by the symbol of Goslar. This is an eagle from which the city got its name
- I also want to visit the Town Hall with the Hall of Homage which boosts a beautiful late-Gothic interior decoration.
- Next on my list is the Schuhhof, which probably is Goslar’s oldest market square and famous for the majestic half-timbered houses and the arcades of the Shoe Maker’s Guildhall.
- Nearby you can find the Frankenberger Plane which is a beautiful square with the old Holy Cross Hospital.
- Finally, I will walk out of town and see the imperial palace: the Kaiserpfalz. The Kaiserpfalz was built between 1040 and 1050 and stands on the grounds of the Imperial Palace of Goslar and served as the throne of Holy Roman Emperors. Not only is the sight very rich in history it is also a unique monument of secular architecture. Now a museum, you can see the original bronze imperial throne of Goslar.
After my busy first half day, I plan on tasting and experiencing the typical gastronomy of the Harz region. One of the things I plan on eating is the “Harzer Roller,” a typical cheese specialty that is served with onions and cumin. Another mouthwatering dish I hope to get on my plate is the “Hackus und Knieste:” potatoes with raw minced meat. When in Germany, I always want to try the local beer. In Goslar, Gose beer is brewed, which is based on an ancient recipe that includes coriander and salt.
The next morning, at the start of my second day in Goslar, I plan on visiting the ore mines of Rammelsberg. These are the only mines in the world that have been operating without interruptions for over 1,000 years. After a millennium of operations, the mine closed its doors in 1998 and were transformed into a museum as UNESCO World Heritage. At the mines, you can make multiple ours. The one I am most interested in is “The Roeder Gallery.” This tour leads you to the oldest tunnels in which a number of underground water wheels have been supplying power through water-based power for centuries
In the afternoon of my second day, I want to enjoy some of the beautiful nature of the Harz Mountains. I will do this by taking a trip to the nearby town of Hahnenklee. From here, I will take the funicular to the top of the Bocksberg Mountain (727m) from which, I am told that I will have a magnificent view over the Harz Mountain area.
Images of Goslar
Halfway through my journey through the heart of Germany, I will visit Quedlinburg. The once again historic town of Quedlinburg is situated close to Goslar. It will take me only just over an hour to get to Quedlinburg by train. In Quedlinburg, the arrival is said to be special. The train station is a tourist attraction by itself and part of the city’s extensive list of official cultural buildings. Built-in 1862, it has a Gothic Revival entrance building with stacked glass buildings.
Quedlinburg itself is a historic town that is situated just north of the Harz Mountains in the state of Saxony-Anhalt. It is a small town with just over 24,000 inhabitants. The town’s history is extensive and dates back to 922. Originally, the town was a small castle village with several separate settlements but over the years it developed into a full-fledged medieval town. The town plan from those early days is still intact and the town made it onto the World Heritage list as a result. According to UNESCO, Quedlinburg is an exceptional example of a medieval town due to the number of high-quality timber-framed buildings as well as the quality of those.
I plan on staying in Quedlinburg for a single day. I am looking forward to walking around through the winding cobble-stoned streets of the old town and to once again soak in the medieval atmosphere by admiring the countless historic buildings. The most beautiful buildings I hope to see include the old guild house “Zur Rose” from 1662, the merchant house “Weise Engel” from 1623, and the Klopstockhaus. I don’t want to miss the oldest house in town which is a half-timbered house that dates back to 1347 and has become a museum.
In Quedlinburg, there are also a lot of little shops selling regional products. Combined with many galleries this will make walking around a true pleasure. During my walk, I also want to see the market square in the heart of town. The square is surrounded by many colorful half-timbered houses and is home to the wonderful town hall that was built in the 14th century.
Like many European cities, I will also pass several churches on my walk. One of those churches is the Blassiikirch from which the oldest parts date from the 10th century. All in all, I expect my extensive walk to be a very romantic experience. Two places are unique for Quedlinburg and deserve more attention.
The first of those two is Castle Hill on which the almost 1,000-year-old St. Servation Church and the triple wing Renaissance Castle are located. The castle itself is surrounded by beautiful gardens and has an interesting museum. Standing on a sandstone cliff that watches over the city, this castle, which for centuries was the home of church women, has grown out to become the most prominent landmark of the city. From the castle, you can get a great panorama view of the buildings in the old town as you look over all the red clay tile roofs and see the many church spires.
The second location that deserves special attention on my exploration of the town is the Munzenberg, which literally translates into Mountain of Cones. This urban mountain has a special atmosphere with narrow streets and houses that are much smaller than those in the old town below. In past times, these streets were covered by beggars and Quedlinburg’s less fortunate citizens as beggars and other poor people were not allowed within the city walls. Forced out of the city, Quedlinburg’s less privileged citizens lived here on the streets and inside the tiny houses.
After my two long walks, I will get tired. When I do, I want to rest in one of the two beautiful parks of Quedlinburg. The Abteigarten at the foot of the Castle Mountain as well as Brühl Park which is situated next to it. Both parks are part of the so-called “Dream parks” of Germany’s Saxony-Anhalt state.
Images of Quedlinburg
Just three hours by train from Quedlinburg lies Weimar which is my next destination on our alternative journey through Germany. Weimar is a city in Germany’s federal state of Thuringia which lies in the heart of the country. The city has a population of around 65,000 citizens and is an important town in both ancient and modern German history. On top of that, the city boasts a large cultural heritage. Unfortunately, the town is also connected to the nearby Buchenwald concentration camp which is located about 8 kilometers from Weimar’s city center.
The city of Weimar can be found twice on the list of World Heritage Sites. The first record on the list is “Classical Weimar.” According to UNESCO, Weimar is of ‘outstanding universal value’ which can be attributed to the remarkable cultural hotspot that the city became in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. During this time, Weimar attracted many writers and scholars of which Goethe and Schiller are the two most noteworthy individuals. This blossoming culture is reflected in the architecture of the buildings. Weimar is home to many high-quality buildings and beautiful parks. The second inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list is attributed to the Bauhaus School of modern architecture which was first based in Weimar.
I plan on staying in Weimar for one and a half days. I expect to arrive in the afternoon on the first day and want to spend the last hours of the day walking through the old town while I already try to see the following characteristic buildings that define classical Weimar:
- Goethe’s residence with the national museum. Goethe lived in this baroque house from 1782 to 1832.
- Schiller’s residence
- The Wittums Palais
- The library of Duchess Anna Amalia. This is one of the famous libraries of the country and is especially renowned for its Rococo hall.
- Peter and Paul Church (Herder Church), which origins go back to the mid-13th century. It has many artworks is famous for the altar triptych of Lucas Cranach and his sone.
As I wake up the next morning I intend to visit the Buchenwald concentration camp which is a 20- minute’s bus ride from Weimar center. The camp has many outdoor facilities, but most importantly, it has a museum and visitor’s center where I want to educate myself more about the atrocities of the Second World War. On its website, the memorial foundation explains that ‘The Buchenwald memorial complex was built in 1957 and is intended to reflect the extent of the crimes, but it serves foremost as a national memorial.’ If you don’t have the time to visit the camp, there is also a Buchenwald Memorial Information Office at the Weimar Tourist Information Center where you can also educate yourself about the holocaust.
Buchenwald was a Nazi concentration camp near Weimar. It was one of the first and largest concentration camps within Germany’s 1937 borders. At the camp an estimated 56,545 prisoners were murdered. Today the remains of Buchenwald serve as a memorial and permanent exhibition and museum. If you don’t have the time to visit the camp, there is also a Buchenwald Memorial Information Office at the Weimar Tourist Information Center where you can also educate yourself about the holocaust. Website: https://www.buchenwald.de/en/69/
After spending a few hours at the Buchenwald Memorial, I plan on returning to the city of Weimar. Here I will continue my tour by visiting the following highlights:
- The Haus am Horn, the only building that was designed and constructed by the Bauhaus movement in Weimar.
- The Bauhaus Museum.
- The Hause Hohe Pappeln, which is an extraordinary “Gesamtkunstwerk” of which, the living area and garden can be visited.
After these three highlights, I want to spend the rest of the day in Weimar’s park where I can reflect on my journey to Buchenwald and the day in the city. Weimar is a green city and even said to be a “park wherein a city lies”, so picking a park to spend the rest of my time will not be a problem. Several of these spacious parks and gardens are part of the city’s cultural heritage. This is particularly the case for the parks of Belvedère Castle and Tiefurt Mansion. Since the Belvedère Castle stands on a hill south of Weimar that is not too far away from the city, I will choose that park. The park actually consists of multiple gardens: a British garden, a garden of joy, a Russian garden, a hedge garden, and the orangery, which is said to be the most beautiful of the five gardens.
Once I am fully rested I intend to walk back to the city through the Park on the river Ilm. This landscaped park is part of a kilometer-long stretch of greenery along the river. From here, I will have different beautiful views of the park as well as Goethe’s Garden House and the Roman House. I will conclude my two-day stays in Weimar by eating of the many specialties of the area: The Thüringer Bratwurst, the Thüringian Kloesse-Dumplings, and/or the Onion Pie.
Images of Weimar
Just over an hour by train from Weimar, I will reach my next destination: Bamberg. This little town in the North of Bavaria sits on the river Regnitz and has about 77,000 inhabitants. The city is built on seven hills with a church built on the top of every hill. As a result, Bamberg has been nicknamed the “Franconian Rome”.
Weimar’s history dates back to the 9th century and it has one of Europe’s old town center’s that has remained intact. This beautiful old town center was one of the reasons that Bamberg was inscribed onto the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1993. It earned that inscription due to its medieval layout and the well-preserved historical buildings. UNESCO acknowledges three different historical settlements on the list: the episcopal City on the hills with its impressive architecture; the civic island city with a medieval atmosphere and the Market Gardeners’ District with its long tradition of market gardening that still lives on today. The city also has a World Heritage Visitor Center where you can find detailed information including what is said to be, entertaining interactive show.
I want to stay 1,5 days in Bamberg. During the afternoon and evening of my first day, I want to spend my time in the Island District. This area is the heart of the town and this is where life takes place against an ancient and majestic backdrop. I believe it will be nice to wander around and to see many monuments that date back over a century.
In the Island District, all medieval architectural styles are represented. From Romanesque to Gothic and from Renaissance to Baroque. In the middle, I also hope to find some of the modern sculptures I have read about. In the city, you can find large famous artists such as Botero, Plensa and many others. I am especially interested in the bronze sculpture “Lady with fruit” that was created by Fernando Botero.
Although the sculptures are worth a visit to Bamberg, I am most looking forward to visiting the biggest attraction of Bamberg: the Bridge Town Hall which is known to be quite a curiosity. This especially due to its special location as it stands on an artificial island in the middle of the river. The building itself beautiful with Baroque frescoes on the facades. From the bridge, you should have a beautiful view of what is known as ‘little Venice’: an idyllic row of mostly medieval fisherman’s houses. This part of town is very lively with many beer gardens, bars, and restaurants.
Like many other towns in Germany, Bamberg is a real beer town with 9 operational breweries within the city. All beers can be considered craft beers although the breweries strictly stick to traditional recipes. Smokebeer is said to be especially special and is brewed by the brewery Schenkerla which can be found in the middle of the old part of Bamberg. Uniquely the smokey beer brewing operations are situated directly underneath the town’s cathedral. Here I plan to taste a smoke beer although I am not yet a fan. I guess it will take some time to get used to. The time I don’t have as my second and last day in Bamberg is about to begin.
On the morning of my second and last day in Bamberg, I intend to visit two of the seven hills on which the city has been built. Even though the distances are not great by themselves, I don’t think I will be able to walk everywhere. As the streets go up and down, it is too exhaustive to walk around in Bamberg. Fortunately, Bamberg has a good and extensive public transport system. City bus line 920 will take me directly from the Old Town Hall over Cathedral Square up to Michaelsberg. This is where I plan to make my first stop of the day. On the top of this hill is the St. Michael’s Abbey, a former Benedictine monastery. The view from the monastery over the city is said to be gorgeous.
After my visit to Michaelsberg, I plan on taking a bus to the next hill on my itinerary: Cathedral Hill. Here I will visit the Imperial Cathedral that gives the hill its name as well as the Old Court, the New Residence, and Rose Garden. The Imperial Cathedral, with its four spires, is one of Germany’s most impressive examples of Late Romanesque- early Gothic architecture. In this cathedral, Pope Clemens the Second, who died in 1047, is buried which makes this the only papal tomb north of the Alps. In the cathedral, I also hope to find the equestrian statue known as the Bamberg Horseman (Bamberger Reiterated) which serves as a symbol of the town.
After visiting the Cathedral, I will continue my exploration of the hilltop by going into the Old Court, the residence of the bishops in the 16th and 17th centuries. This building has a beautiful gateway and a romantic inner courtyard framed by half-timbered bindings. I also want to visit The New Residence, where the bishops moved to after the 17th century. This slightly more modern building has a unique Imperial Hall. Here I also hope to visit the beautiful rose garden that is said to have over 4,500 roses and from which I once again want to soak in the beautiful view of the city.
From Cathedral Hill I will slowly walk back into the town’s center. During the afternoon, I intend to visit the Market Gardener’s District which lies right in the heart of the city. This is an area with extensive cropland and typical single-story houses that have high pitched roofs, small windows, and large wooden gates. The fields that lie here have been used to grow vegetables since the middle Ages in the middle of the district. In this area of the city, I want to visit the main museum: the Market Gardeners’ and Wine Growers’ Museum. After my long and exhaustive day, I want to return to Island City and experience the special atmosphere during one last walk. After all of this, I want to rest in a beer garden and reflect on my two days stay in Bamberg.
Images of Bamberg
The last destination on my itinerary of alternative destinations in Germany is the southern city of Regensburg. Regensburg is about an hour away by train from Bamberg. The city lies in East Bavaria at the confluence of the rivers the Danube, Naab, and Regen from which it got its name. With 150,000 citizens the city is slightly bigger than some of the other destinations I have visited but not large at all.
Regensburg has a long and extensive history. The first settlements date all the way back to the Stone Age. As the Romans invaded most of Europe, they built a fort here. Long after, between 1135 and 1146 a stone bridge across the Danube was built which started a period of great prosperity for the city and the surrounding region.
Regensburg together with Stadtamthof was placed on the list of World Heritage sites in 2006. It is one of the largest medieval old cities north of the Alps and is very well preserved. It got the nickname “Italy’s most northern city”. I will stay in Regensburg for 1-5 days.
Once in town, I will go first to the other side of the river Danube. From there you must have a beautiful view of the silhouette of the city. And this silhouette with the spires of St. Peter’s cathedral and the house towers is the most striking of the city. Those house towers make Regensburg unique. In Regenburg’s Golden Age, in the 12th and 13th century, Regensburg was the residence of wealthy trading families. They competed with each other to see who could afford to build the highest tower in the city. It resulted in more than 70 of those towers. This made Regensburg “the Manhattan “ of the Middle Ages. 20 of those house towers remained, including the highest one, the Golden Tower of 50m high.
I will approach the town over the Old Stone Bridge. Built-in the 12th century this bridge is a highlight of medieval bridge building. The bridge leads directly into the old town.
Hence I will start a circular walk along with the highlights of the city. The walk will go through streets and squares with nearly 1500 buildings that offer a huge cultural diversity from Roman to modern times. I am particularly interested in the following highlights:
- Peter’s cathedral. It stands in the heart of Regensburg. It is the only Gothic cathedral in Bavaria. Special for the church is the silver high altar. Also special is the Cathedral Choir, the Regensburger Domspatzen. The choir was founded in 975. It sings in the high mass on Sunday. I intend to attend the high mass could I be there on Sunday.
- The Goliath House. It is built about 1260 and is the largest city mansion of Regensburg. On the building is a large painting of David and Goliath, from ca. 1573. It is one of the landmarks of the city.
- The Golden Tower, the highest remaining house tower. Its impressive courtyard is open to the public
- Neue Waag, a redish building from the 14th century that housed the municipal scale
- Porta Praetoria, the gateway to a former Roman encampment. It is Germany’s most ancient stone buildin
- The Old Town Hall, a three-section building complex, which consists of the Town Hall Tower, the Gothic Imperial Chamber Building, and the baroque Town Hall
- The Haidplatz, one of the oldest and most traditional squares
- The Cathedral square and the adjacent small Herb Market
- The Kohlenmarkt, surrounded by beautiful buildings, and the adjacent Zieroldsplatz
- The Old Chapel, rebuilt in the Bavarian rococo style with an impressive ceiling painting
Having completed my circular walk I will go back to the Stone Bridge to cross the river to see the little island Stadtamhof. Ever an independent medieval village, now a city district full of traces of the past. After my walk through Stadtamhof, I will sit on one of the terraces on the bank of the river Danube to enjoy with a good glass of beer once again the view of the silhouette of the city.
Once back in the old town I will visit the historic Sausage Kitchen of Regensburg. It has the reputation to be the oldest sausage house in the world.
The morning of the second day I will take a boat trip on the river Danube. My destination is the Walhalla. There is a regular boat service between Regensburg and the Walhalla.
The Walhalla is located in a dominant position high above the Danube. From the berth of the boat to the Walhalla it is 358 steps.
The Walhalla is a neoclassical building, built on the example of the Parthenon in Athens.
It was created by order of the Bavarian King Ludwig I who reigned from 1825 to 1848.
Inside it is a hall of fame with along the walls the busts and memorial plaques of great figures from the German (and Dutch and Belgian) history.
Back in town, I want to visit the St. Emmerans Church and Palace St. Emmeran. The St. Emmerans Church was built in the 8th century and is still in use. In the place where in the past the monastery St. Emmeran used to be is now a large and beautiful palace, still inhabited by members of the family Thurn und Taxis. That’s why the Palace also is called the Thurn und Taxis Palace. Parts of the palace can be visited but only under the guidance of a guide. There are several tours. On the premium tour, you will visit the Princely State Rooms, the House Chapel, the Cloisters, and the Crypt Chapel. Because it is often very busy, it is recommended to book a time slot well in advance. This can be done on www.thurnundtaxis.de
Thereafter I will have a drink on one of the terraces in town and to eat something. Choice enough. There are over 500 bars and restaurants in town. And that ends my imaginary journey through several special World Heritage cities in Germany
About the author
Henk Schrama has been traveling his entire life. Both professionally and privately. He loves traveling by train and has a passion for gardens, world heritage, and culture. Now retired, he is planning on revisiting Germany after the pandemic.