Thursday, August 26, 2010

Enjoy the locally brewed beers of historic Regensburg

Regensburg, located along the confluence of the Danube and Regen rivers, lies to the west of the Bavarian Forest in Bavaria, Germany. Regensburg serves as the capital of the Bavarian administrative region of Upper Palatinate, and the city’s medieval center is a registered UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The first settlements in Regensburg date back to the Stone Age when the Celts originally settled near the present city. The Romans are accredited for founding the city in approximately AD 90 when they built a small cohort fort in what is now the Regensburg suburbs. The Roman fort Castra Regina, meaning “fortress by the river Regen,” was built for Legio III Italica in AD179 during the reign of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius. The fort’s location became the core of Regensburg’s Altstadt, or “Old City.” Saint Boniface re-established the Bishopric of Regensburg here in 739.
A stone bridge crossing the Danube from Regensburg was completed in 1146, securing the city’s role as a city of wealthy trading families. Regensburg became the cultural center of southern Germany, known for its gold work, fabrics, and beautiful town square.
Regensburg became the World War II Area Headquarters of Military District XIII in the early 1940s, but unlike most other major German cities, Regensburg survived the war relatively undamaged. The city’s slow economic recovery in the post-war era ensured that historic buildings were not torn down, and when the upswing came surged through the city in the 1960s, they mindset favored preservation and restoration of the city’s heritage and historical sites.
The fully-restored historical town square consists of many stunning sights, including the German Gothic Dom Cathedral originally founded in 1275, the Romanesque Basilica of Saint James, the old parish church of Saint Ulrich which houses the diocesan museum of religious art, the fourteenth century town hall, the Golden Tower, and the Gothic villa of the King of Bavaria. Visitors also enjoy visiting Saint Emmeram’s Abbey, now known as Schloss Thurn und Taxis, a huge castle owned by the powerful Thurn and Taxis families.
Although some wine is still grown on the river banks in Regensburg, the city’s main drink is surely beer. The city boasts three functioning breweries and two brew pubs, producing a variety of beer styles, from lighter Pils to heavy Dunkels; wheat beer (Weizen) is also locally made. A popular pub favored by the locals is the "Kneitinger" at the Arnulfsplatz 3. Also the beergardens near the Danube "Alte Linde" and "Spital Garten", both reachable from the Stone Bridge, offer a perfect way to taste Regensburg-brewed beer. The Bischofshof beer can be tasted next to the cathedral in the court of the “Bischofshof,” the brewery’s former location.

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