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DEUTSCHLAND GERMANY
Bundesland: Freistaat Bayern Bavaria
Regierungsbezirk: Oberpfalz  
Stadt: Regensburg  

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Regensburg

en: Ratisbon es, eu, it, pt: Ratisbona fr: Ratisbonne pl: Ratyzbona lv: Rēgensburga lt: Rėgensburgas sk: Rezno cs: Řezno
el: Ρέγκενσμπουργκ
mk, sr: Регензбург bg, ru, uk: Регенсбург be: Рэгенсбург

1530 Regensburg 090 Regensburg Regensburg (in English formerly Ratisbon) is situated at an altitude of 337 m on the Danube river. It is the capital of the administrative region Oberpfalz (Upper Palatinate) and the district Regensburg. the city has a population of about 150,200 (2004) and thus is the fourth-largest city in Bavaria.

Regensburg is one of the oldest cities in Germany. Its documented history begins with the foundation of a Roman fort in 79 AD. The Celtic settlers who had inhabited the area already for some centuries had called the place Ratasbona or Ratisbona. In 179 AD the Romans founded the fort Castra Regina which became the main military base of the Raetia province. This fort existed for more than two centutries until, around 400 AD, it was abandoned during the times of the Migration of the Nations. Between about 500 and 788 it was the main seat of the Bavarian Agilolfinger dukes.

Regensburg also is one of the oldest dioceses in Germany. In 739 St. Boniface founded the diocese according to Canonic Law. Although the city became Protestant in 1542 it always remained a Catholic bishop's seat, although the bishopric at times was administered by other dioceses. Regensburg also was the location of one of the earliest Jewish communities in Bavaria, one of the most important in Europe during the Middle Ages. Its first mention dates back to 981 AD.

During the 9th century, Regensburg was one of the most important centres of the Carolinigian East Frankish Kingdom. Hemma (d.876), the wife of King Ludwig II ('the German'), as well as Arnulf of Carinthia (German King 887, Emperor 896, d.899) and his son Ludwig IV ('the Child') (German King 900, d.911), were buried here in the Benedictine monastery of St. Emmeram.

Between 1207 and 1256 Regensburg enjoyed the status of a Fere Imperial City. The economical independence of the town was also furthered by the profitable long-distance trade and the fact that the Bavarian dukes in 1255 moved their residence to Landshut and later to Munich. The attempts to get more independence finally got Regensburg in opposition to the Wittelsbacher dukes of Bavaria. In 1486 the town had to surrender to Upper Bavaria but had to be returned to the Emperor in 1496.

Since 1549 the diets of the Holy Roman Empire had only taken place in Regensburg. In 1663 the diet was not dissolved any more and thus became the 'Eternal Diet' which lasted until the dissolution of the Empire in 1806. About 70 embassies had their seat in Regensburg, the emperor was represented by 'Principal Commissionaries'. Since 1748 this function was a prerogative of the Princes of Thurn and Taxis. The last session of the diet took place in 1803 and ended with the publication of the 'Reichsdeputationshauptschluss' which reorganised the Empire after the loss to France of the countries left of the Rhine after the Peace of Lunéville of 1802 by reallocating the secularised ecclesiastical states and most of the former former free imperial cities to those princes that had lost their countries. Regensburg was made a new principality ruled by the former archbishop of Mainz. The territory consisted of the principality of Aschaffenburg (formerly the Electorate of Mainz), the bishopric and city of Regensburg itself, and the County of Wetzlar (formerly a Free Imperial City). In 1810, however, Napoleon dissolved the principality and handed it to the Kingdom of Bavaria, while Dalberg was given the new Grand Duchy of Frankfurt.

During the 19th century Regensburg gained importance again especially after the opening in 1859 of the railrods to Nuremberg and Munich. Although the town was severely hit by Allied bomb raids in 1945, the damages mostly hit the outer town districts around the Messerschmitt aircraft manufacture. The historic town of Regensburg today is the largest medieval town centre in Germany.

The cathedral Sankt Peter stands on a site that was occupied by an earlier church which had been destroyed around 1150. The present church was begun a century later, around 1250. It is one of the most important Gothic cathedrals in Germany. The 'Eselsturm' ('Donkey's Tower') on the north side of the church is a remainder of the previous, Romanesque church. The interior of the church was redecorated in Baroque style in 1697. The building works, however, continued until 1856 and were completed with the construction of the Neogothic tower roofs. During this last construction period the Baroque domed roof and the Baroque frescos were removed.

The second-most loved landmark of Regensburg is the Steinerne Brücke (Stone Bridge) [in the pictures on the glasses depicted to the left of the cathedral]. The bridge was constructed in record time between 1135 and 1146. For more than 800 years it remained the only bridge across the Danube in Regensburg. The construction later was used as a model for the Charles Bridge across the Vltava (Moldau) river in Prague. Fifteen of the original 16 spans (span widths of 10.5–16.6 m) are still visible; the first span and bridge pier on the southern (city) end was completely integrated into the construction of the Salzstadel ('Salt Barn') [depicted to the right of the bridge] in 1616–1620. Of the original three bridge gates only the southern Brückturm ('Bridge Tower') still exists today.

The two small additional pictures on glass no.090 [top right] show the Befreiungshalle [bottom left] at Kelheim (see there) and the Walhalla [bottom right] above Donaustauf about 10 km east of Regensburg. Like the Befreiungshalle the Walhalla was built by order of King Ludwig I of Bavaria. The Greek Revival temple was designed after the model of the Parthenon in Athens. The building was commissioned in 1816, but it took until 1842 to be completed. At the time of its inauguration it housed 96 busts and 64 commemorative plates to persons that were considered great figures in German history. Further 30 busts were added until today. Of the 190 persons glorified in the Walhalla, only twelve are women. The latest addition, unveiled in 2003, is the bust of Sophie Scholl, member of the White Rose resistance movement against the Nazi regime.


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