Regensburg

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Regensburg
Regensburg 08 2006 2.jpg
Coat of arms of Regensburg
Regensburg is located in Germany
Regensburg
Coordinates49°1′0″N 12°5′0″E / 49.016667°N 12.083333°E / 49.016667; 12.083333Coordinates: 49°1′0″N 12°5′0″E / 49.016667°N 12.083333°E / 49.016667; 12.083333
Administration
CountryGermany
StateBavaria
Admin. regionUpper Palatinate
DistrictUrban district
City subdivisions18 districts
Lord MayorHans Schaidinger (CSU)
Basic statistics
Area80.76 km2 (31.18 sq mi)
Elevation326 - 471 m
Population136,577 (31 December 2011)[1]
 - Density1,691 /km2 (4,380 /sq mi)
Other information
Time zoneCET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Licence plateR
Postal codes93001–93059
Area code0941
Websitewww.regensburg.de
 
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Regensburg
Regensburg 08 2006 2.jpg
Coat of arms of Regensburg
Regensburg is located in Germany
Regensburg
Coordinates49°1′0″N 12°5′0″E / 49.016667°N 12.083333°E / 49.016667; 12.083333Coordinates: 49°1′0″N 12°5′0″E / 49.016667°N 12.083333°E / 49.016667; 12.083333
Administration
CountryGermany
StateBavaria
Admin. regionUpper Palatinate
DistrictUrban district
City subdivisions18 districts
Lord MayorHans Schaidinger (CSU)
Basic statistics
Area80.76 km2 (31.18 sq mi)
Elevation326 - 471 m
Population136,577 (31 December 2011)[1]
 - Density1,691 /km2 (4,380 /sq mi)
Other information
Time zoneCET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Licence plateR
Postal codes93001–93059
Area code0941
Websitewww.regensburg.de
Old Town of Regensburg with Stadtamhof *
Regensburg
CountryGermany
TypeCultural
Criteriaii, iii, iv
Reference1155
Region **Europe and North America
Inscription history
Inscription2006 (30th Session)
* Name as inscribed on World Heritage List
** Region as classified by UNESCO
Imperial City of Regensburg
Reichsstadt Regensburg
Free Imperial City of the Holy Roman Empire
Duchy of Bavaria
1245–1803Archbishopric of Regensburg
CapitalRegensburg
GovernmentRepublic
Historical eraMiddle Ages
 - First settledStone Age
 - Gained Reichsfreiheit¹1245
 - City annexed by Bavaria1486–96
 - City adopted Reformation1542
 - Made permanent seat
    of the Reichstag

1663
 - Mediatised to new
    Archbishopric²

1803
 - Ceded to Bavaria on
    Imperial collapse

1810
Today part ofGermany
1: The Bishopric of Regensburg acquired Reichsfreiheit around the same time as the City. Of the three Imperial Abbeys in Regensburg, Niedermünster had already acquired Reichsfreiheit 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: [ˈʁeːɡənsbʊɐ̯k]; historically also Ratisbon, from Celtic Ratisbona, Latin: Castra Regina) is a city in Bavaria, Germany, located at the confluence of the Danube and Regen rivers, at the northernmost bend in the Danube. To the east lies the Bavarian Forest. Regensburg is the capital of the Bavarian administrative region Upper Palatinate. The large medieval centre of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Contents

History

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.[2] 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 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.[3]

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

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.

Classic Regensburg thaler showing a remarkably detailed view of the city

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

Regensburg was home to both a Messerschmitt Bf 109 aircraft factory and an oil refinery, and it was 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. Unlike most other major German cities, Regensburg 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.

Main sights

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

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 German 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

Regensburg is situated on the northernmost part of the Danube river at the geological crossroads of four distinct landscapes:

Economy

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.[4]

Transport

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 1.5 hours. 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

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Regensburg is twinned with:

See also

References

External links

Bibliography