Regensburg Old Town

Regensburg, Germany

Located on the Danube River, the Old Town of Regensburg is an exceptional example of a central-European medieval trading centre, which illustrates an interchange of cultural and architectural influences. The property encompasses the city centre on the south side of the river, two long islands in the Danube, the so-called Wöhrde (from the old German word waird, meaning island or peninsula), and the area of the former charity hospital St Katharina in Stadtamhof, a district incorporated into the city of Regensburg only in 1924. A navigable canal, part of the European waterway of the Rhine-Main-Danube canal, forms the northern boundary of Stadtamhof.

A notable number of buildings of outstanding quality testify to its political, religious, and economic significance from the 9th century. The historic fabric reflects some two millennia of structural continuity and includes ancient Roman, Romanesque, and Gothic buildings. Regensburg's 11th to 13th century architecture still defines the character of the town marked by tall buildings, dark and narrow lanes, and strong fortifications. The buildings include medieval Patrician houses and towers, a large number of churches and monastic ensembles as well as the 12th century Stone Bridge.

The town is also remarkable as a meeting place of Imperial Assemblies and as the seat of the Perpetual Imperial Diet general assemblies until the 19th century. Numerous buildings testify to its history as one of the centres of the Holy Roman Empire, like the Patrician towers, large Romanesque and Gothic church buildings and monasteries – St Emmeram, Alte Kapelle, Niedermünster and St Jakob - as well as the cathedral St Peter and the late Gothic town hall.

The medieval centre of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a testimony of the city's status as cultural centre of southern Germany in the middle ages. Regensburg is among the top sights and travel attractions in Germany.

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Regensburg, Germany
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Details

Founded: 11th century
Category: Historic city squares, old towns and villages in Germany
Historical period: Salian Dynasty (Germany)

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

M x (4 years ago)
Very friendly waiters and beautiful outdoor places. You can enjoy your meal while looking to the beautiful old town hall
Tiffany Qiu (4 years ago)
It's a nice building in the old town with restaurants and cafés around
Brendan Burke (4 years ago)
Beautiful old German architecture. In the heart of the old town. Plenty of good picture opportunities with load of coffee shops and eateries close by.
Debbie Cole (4 years ago)
Charming walk from where the river boats are docked to this old Town Hall. On the must do tourist list of sites to see.
Renadeim (4 years ago)
Definitely one spot you need to visit on vacation in Regensburg!!!
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Château de Foix

The Château de Foix dominates the town of Foix. An important tourist site, it is known as a centre of the Cathars. Built on an older 7th-century fortification, the castle is known from 987. In 1002, it was mentioned in the will of Roger I, Count of Carcassonne, who bequeathed the fortress to his youngest child, Bernard. In effect, the family ruling over the region were installed here which allowed them to control access to the upper Ariège valley and to keep surveillance from this strategic point over the lower land, protected behind impregnable walls.

In 1034, the castle became capital of the County of Foix and played a decisive role in medieval military history. During the two following centuries, the castle was home to Counts with shining personalities who became the soul of the Occitan resistance during the crusade against the Albigensians. The county became a privileged refuge for persecuted Cathars.

The castle, often besieged (notably by Simon de Montfort in 1211 and 1212), resisted assault and was only taken once, in 1486, thanks to treachery during the war between two branches of the Foix family.

From the 14th century, the Counts of Foix spent less and less time in the uncomfortable castle, preferring the Governors' Palace. From 1479, the Counts of Foix became Kings of Navarre and the last of them, made Henri IV of France, annexed his Pyrrenean lands to France.

As seat of the Governor of the Foix region from the 15th century, the castle continued to ensure the defence of the area, notably during the Wars of Religion. Alone of all the castles in the region, it was exempted from the destruction orders of Richelieu (1632-1638).

Until the Revolution, the fortress remained a garrison. Its life was brightened with grand receptions for its governors, including the Count of Tréville, captain of musketeers under Louis XIII and Marshal Philippe Henri de Ségur, one of Louis XVI's ministers. The Round Tower, built in the 15th century, is the most recent, the two square towers having been built before the 11th century. They served as a political and civil prison for four centuries until 1862.

Since 1930, the castle has housed the collections of the Ariège départemental museum. Sections on prehistory, Gallo-Roman and mediaeval archaeology tell the history of Ariège from ancient times. Currently, the museum is rearranging exhibits to concentrate on the history of the castle site so as to recreate the life of Foix at the time of the Counts.