|o Lord mayor (2020–26)||Gertrud Maltz-Schwarzfischer (SPD)|
|o Total||80.76 km2 (31.18 sq mi)|
|o Density||1,900/km2 (4,900/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|Official name||Old town of Regensburg with Stadtamhof|
|Criteria||Cultural: ii, iii, iv|
|Inscription||2006 (30th Session)|
|Buffer zone||775.6 ha|
Regensburg[a] is a city in eastern Bavaria, at the confluence of the Danube, Naab and Regen rivers. It is capital of the Upper Palatinate subregion of the state in the south of Germany. With more than 150,000 inhabitants, Regensburg is the fourth-largest city in the State of Bavaria after Munich, Nuremberg and Augsburg. From its foundation as an imperial Roman river fort, the city has been the political, economic and cultural center of the surrounding region; it is still known in the Romance languages by a cognate of its Latin name of "Ratisbona" (the version "Ratisbon" was long current in English). Later, under the rule of the Holy Roman Empire, it housed the Perpetual Diet of Regensburg.
In 179, a major new Roman fort, called Castra Regina ("fortress by the river Regen"), was built for Legio III Italica during the reign of Emperor Marcus Aurelius. It was an important camp at the most northerly point of the Danube; it corresponds to what is today the core of Regensburg's Old City or Altstadt east of the Obere and Untere Bachgasse and west of the Schwanenplatz. It is believed that as early as 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 a ruling family known as the Agilolfings. 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 who condemned the heresy of adoptionism taught by their Spanish counterparts, Elipandus of Toledo and Felix of Urgell. After the partition of the Carolingian Empire in 843, the city became the seat of the Eastern Frankish ruler, Louis II the German. Two years later, fourteen Bohemian princes came to Regensburg to receive baptism there. This was the starting point of Christianization of the Czechs, and the diocese of Regensburg became the mother diocese of that of Prague. These events had a wide impact on the cultural history of the Czech lands, as they were consequently part of the Roman Catholic and not the Slavic-Orthodox world. 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 800 the city had 23,000 inhabitants, and by 1000 this had increased to 40,000.
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.
Imperial City of Regensburg
Reichsstadt Regensburg (German)
|Status||Free Imperial City of the Holy Roman Empire|
|Historical era||Middle Ages|
o Gained Imperial immediacy (Reichsfreiheit)a
o City annexed by Bavaria
o City adopted Reformation
o Made permanent seat of the Imperial Diet
|27 April 1803|
a: The Bishopric of Regensburg acquired Imperial immediacy around the same time as the City. Of the three Imperial Abbeys in Regensburg, Niedermünster had already acquired immediacy in 1002, St. Emmeram's Abbey did in 1295 and Obermünster in 1315.
b: The Bishopric, the Imperial City and all three Imperial Abbeys were mediatised simultaneously.
In 1245 Regensburg became a Free Imperial City and was a trade centre before the shifting of trade routes in the late Middle Ages. In 1486, Regensburg became part of the Duchy of Bavaria, but its independence was restored by the Holy Roman Emperor ten years later. The first Diet of Regensburg took place in 1541. 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.
A minority of the population remained Roman Catholic, and Roman Catholics were denied civic rights (Bürgerrecht). Although the Imperial city had adopted the Reformation, the town remained the seat of a Roman Catholic bishop and several abbeys. Three of these, St. Emmeram, Niedermünster and Obermünster, were free imperial estates 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. In addition, it was seen as the traditional capital of the region Bavaria (not the state), acted as functional co-capital of the Empire (second to the Emperor's court at Vienna) due to the presence of the Perpetual Diet, and it was the residence of the Emperor's Commissary-Principal to the same diet, who with one very brief exception was a prince himself (for many years the Prince of Thurn and Taxis, still resident in the town).
In 1803 the city lost its status as an imperial city following its incorporation into the Principality of Regensburg. It was handed over to the Archbishop-Elector of Mainz and Archchancellor of the Holy Roman Empire Carl von Dalberg in compensation for the territory of the Electorate of Mainz located on the left bank of the Rhine which had been annexed by France 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 Henri Gatien Bertrand and Napoleon himself and the 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. Robert Browning's poem Incident at the French Camp describes the battle from the French perspective, but is filled with historical errors.
The Jewish community was persecuted after the Nazi Party came to power in Germany in 1933, many Jews fled in the following years, and some were also expelled to Poland, however, thanks to a Polish-German agreement they were allowed to return to the city. On November 9, 1938, during the Kristallnacht, the Regensburg Synagogue and several Jewish homes and stores were destroyed, and around 220 Jews were arrested, some were also deported to the Dachau concentration camp. During World War II, many Jews emigrated to various countries, and in 1942, over 200 Jews were deported either to Piaski in German-occupied Poland or the Theresienstadt Ghetto in German-occupied Czechoslovakia. In the final months of World War II, in March and April 1945, the Regensburg subcamp of the Flossenbürg concentration camp was located in the city, with 460 forced laborers of various nationalities, 40 of whom died.
Regensburg was home to both a Messerschmitt Bf 109 aircraft factory and an oil refinery, which were bombed by the Allies on August 17, 1943, in the Schweinfurt-Regensburg mission, and on February 5, 1945, during the Oil Campaign of World War II. Although both targets were badly damaged, Regensburg itself 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 not rebuilt (the belfry survived). Also, Regensburg's slow economic recovery after the war ensured that historic buildings were not torn down and replaced by newer ones. When the upswing in restoration[clarification needed] reached Regensburg in the late 1960s, the prevailing mindset had turned in favour of preserving the city's heritage.
Between 1945 and 1949, Regensburg was the site of the largest displaced persons (DP) camp in Germany. At its peak in 1946-1947, the workers' district of Ganghofersiedlung housed almost 5,000 Ukrainian and 1,000 non-Ukrainian refugees and displaced persons. With the approval of U.S. Military Government in the American Allied Occupation Zone, Regensburg and other DP camps organised their own camp postal service. In Regensburg, the camp postal service began operation on December 11, 1946.
At the beginning of the 1960s, Regensburg invested heavily in technical and social infrastructure to attract industry. Siemens was the first multinational company to come to Regensburg, a significant step in the city's development after World War II. In 1965, Regensburg University was founded; Regensburg University of Applied Sciences was established in 1971. The second multinational company, BMW, arrived in 1986 and set up a large production plant. Since the 1990s, several well-known hightech companies have been located in Regensburg, such as Infineon and OSRAM, contributing to the city's current wealth.
The World Heritage Committee listed Regensburg's Old Town a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2006. It is one of the largest medieval old towns north of the Alps and very well preserved, with the nickname "Italy's most northern city". Close to the Stone Bridge, the city of Regensburg established a World Heritage Centre in the historic Salzstadl in 2007, where detailed information on Regensburg's 2000-year history is given.
Regensburg is situated on the northernmost part of the Danube river at the geological crossroads of four distinct landscapes:
Regensburg straddles the humid continental (Dfb) and oceanic (Cfb) climate zones under the Köppen climate classification. While the average temperature of 8.5 °C (47.3 °F) in the period from 1971 to 2000 is slightly above the German average (7.8 °C or 46.0 °F), still only 5 of the 80 cities in Germany above 100,000 inhabitants are colder. The average precipitation of 636 millimetres (25.0 inches) per year ranges slightly below the German average (approximately 700 millimetres or 28 inches ). For the newer period from 1981 to 2010 the average temperature and precipitation rose up to 8.9 °C (48.0 °F) respectively 658 millimetres (25.9 inches). As this increase in the average temperature can also be seen in the other cities, Regensburg still ranks fifth place (shared with Ingolstadt and Kiel) in the above-mentioned ranking. With a total of 1670 sunshine hours per year, Regensburg is roughly 120 hours above German average.
The warmest month of the year, on average, is July. The coolest month of the year, on average, is January.
|Climate data for Regensburg|
|Average high °C (°F)||2.6
|Average low °C (°F)||-2.6
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||51
|Average relative humidity (%)||88||84||78||72||71||71||70||74||79||84||88||89||79|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||44||73||140||194||211||226||240||194||158||105||45||37||1,667|
|Source 1: World Meteorological Organisation|
|Source 2: German Weather Service|
Weltenburg Abbey (Kloster Weltenburg), a Benedictine monastery, is located in Weltenburg near the town of Kelheim. The abbey is situated on a peninsula of the Danube, by what are known as the "Weltenburg Narrows" or "Danube Gorge". The monastery, founded by Irish or Scottish monks in about 620, is said to be the oldest monastery in Bavaria.
Regensburg is on the designated heritage route, the Route of Emperors and Kings.
There are 20 museums in Regensburg. The Regensburg Museum of History covers the history, culture and arts of Regensburg and Eastern Bavaria from the Stone Age to the present. The Imperial Diet Museum (Reichstagsmuseum) in the Old Town Hall presents life during the Holy Roman Empire. Its main attractions are an original torture chamber and the Reichssaal, the rooms occupied by the Imperial Diet from 1663 to 1806. The Kepler Memorial House (Keplergedächtnishaus) illustrates the life of the famous astronomer and mathematician Johannes Kepler. The Municipal Art Gallery (Leerer Beutel) houses art collections, film events and cultural festivals. The city has also added several outdoor museums, known as "Document" sites, which give an overview of specific topics such as Roman, Jewish and Bavarian history.
In addition, there are the Diocese Museums (Bistumsmuseen) of Regensburg and a branch of the Bavarian National Museum located in St. Emmeram's Abbey, which contains the Princely Treasure Chamber of the Thurn und Taxis family. The Domschatzmuseum where church treasures, monstrances and tapestries are displayed is in St. Peter's Cathedral. Other museums include the Kunstforum Ostdeutsche Galerie, the Naturkundemuseum Ostbayern, the Reptile Zoo, the Regensburg Museum of Danube Shipping (Donau-Schiffahrts-Museum), the Public Observatory Regensburg as well as the Watch Museum (Uhrenmuseum), the Golf Museum, the Post Museum and the Dinoraeum. To celebrate its centenary in 2018, the State of Bavaria opened the Museum of Bavarian History in Regensburg. There are also guided tours of most of the historical monuments in Regensburg, as well as organized tours of the city available in several languages.
The Theater Regensburg on the Bismarckplatz was established in 1804 and is the city's most important theater. Operas, operettas, musicals and ballets are performed there. In the summer open-air performances also take place. While the theater on the Bismarckplatz is the city's oldest and largest, the Theater Regensburg also has four other stages with programmes that complement each other. In the Neuhaussaal of the theater on the Bismarckplatz, concerts by the Philharmonic Orchestra Regensburg take place. The Velodrom Theater presents musicals and plays. In the Haidplatz Theater it is mainly literary and modern plays that are performed, whereas the Turmtheater at the Goliathplatz puts on cabarets, musicals and plays for children as well as modern plays.
Regensburg is home to the famous Regensburger Domspatzen. The Regensburger Schlossfestspiele has been held in the inner courtyard of the St. Emmeram's Abbey every July from 2003, sponsored by the former princely house of Thurn und Taxis. Meanwhile, those were attracting musicians like Elton John, David Garrett, Tom Jones, or Plácido Domingo. Modern music styles, especially jazz, are presented every summer during the Bavarian Jazz weekend during which over a hundred bands, combos, and soloists perform in the Old Town. In 2015, the House of Music was opened, giving a home to skilled musicians and their education.
The international short film season is hosted annually in Regensburg. It is a non-profit event and takes place every March, being one of the most important of its type in Germany. Aside, there are several cinemas, such as CinemaxX, the largest one showing blockbusters and arthouse films, and smaller independent cinemas such as Garbo, Ostentor Kino and Regina Filmtheater. Regensburg has two open air cinemas as well.
Although the German language is of course Germany's official language, Regensburg is considered a part of the Bavarian dialect language area (bairischer Sprachraum) which encompasses much of Bavaria, Austria, and the South Tyrolean region of northern Italy. More specifically, the dialect attributed to Regensburg is called Central Bavarian (Mittelbairisch). A 2019 report estimates that about half of Bavaria's 12 million inhabitants speak a variation of the Bavarian dialect.
The oldest dictionary in the world based on a dialect is thought to be Johann Ludwig Prasch's Glossarium Bavaricum. Published in Regensburg in 1689, it contains 500 words from the Bavarian variation spoken in Regensburg. Regensburg's Bauerntheater, a type of farmers' or folk theater, has staged plays delivered in Bavarian for over 90 years. Moreover, premiering in 2011, Joseph Berlinger's play "Mei Fähr Lady," a story about three "students" taking a crash course in Bavarian dialect, has been performed at Regensburg's Turmtheater over 300 times. In fact, the role of the dialect professor is played by Ludwig Zehetner, professor emeritus in Bavarian dialectology at University of Regensburg. Manfred Rohm, whose pen name Sepp Grantelhauer takes on the Bavarian verb granteln for "to complain," writes a weekly satirical column solely in Bavarian for the Regensburger Rundschau.
The Old Town of Regensburg with nearly 1,500 listed buildings offers a huge cultural diversity from Roman to modern times.
The Old Town of Regensburg is surrounded completely by a green belt. Numerous inner-city parks like the City Park (Stadtpark), the Herzogspark, the Dörnbergpark, the Villapark or the university's botanical garden are a source for recreation and leisure.
Particular to Regensburg are the so-called Stolpersteine (stumbling stones) in honor of Jews deported during Nazism.
Twice a year the Regensburg Dult takes place. This is the city's Volksfest, which is Bavaria's fourth largest. The Bürgerfest (citizen celebration) in the Old Town is held every two years, attracting over 100,000 visitors. Every second weekend in July, people dressed as knights and other medieval characters come together at the Regensburg Spectaculum, a medieval market, near the Stone Bridge. Every December, there are several Christmas markets all over the city.
With over 500 bars, restaurants, clubs, and other venues in the inner city alone, Regensburg provides a rich and diverse nightlife due to its young population.
In May 2017, Regensburg had 164,896 inhabitants, making it the fourth largest city in Bavaria. Over the last hundred years, the city has experienced a strong increase in population, surpassing 100,000 inhabitants in 1945 due to Germans who were ethnically cleansed from eastern parts of the Third Reich, especially from the Sudetenland. Today, Regensburg is one of the fastest-growing cities in Germany.
|Nation||Population (31.12 2019)|
A majority of Regensburg's population is Catholic. In 2017, about 51.4% of the city's inhabitants identified with the Catholic Church, 13.1% were registered Protestants and about 35.5% identified with other religions or did not have any registered religious affiliation.
The mayor and the City Council are elected for a period of six years. Both elections take place at the same time. The City Council is composed of 51 members and includes the mayor, two deputy mayors, five counsellors and the other council members.
|Social Democratic Party||33.7%||+12.2||17||+6||X|
|Christian Social Union||32.8%||-7.1||16||-4|
|Ecological Democratic Party||6.4%||-0.5||3||-|
|Free Democratic Party||3.0%||-2.4||2||-1||X|
|Christian Social Federation||1.5%||-2.3||1||-1|
After 18 years of a City Council with a conservative majority, the social-democratic candidate, Joachim Wolbergs, became mayor of Regensburg in May 2014. He was succeeded by Gertrud Maltz-Schwarzfischer in May 2020, who is also a social-democratic politician.
Regensburg is subdivided into 18 boroughs (Stadtbezirke): Innenstadt, Stadtamhof, Steinweg-Pfaffenstein, Sallern-Gallingkofen, Konradsiedlung-Wutzlhofen, Brandlberg-Keilberg, Reinhausen, Weichs, Schwabelweis, Ostenviertel, Kasernenviertel, Galgenberg, Kumpfmühl-Ziegetsdorf-Neuprüll, Großprüfening-Dechbetten-Königswiesen, Westenviertel, Ober- und Niederwinzer-Kager, Oberisling-Graß, Burgweinting-Harting. Each borough contains a number of localities (Ortsteile), which can have historic roots in older municipalities that became urbanized and incorporated into the city.
There are several multinational corporations located in Regensburg, such as BMW, Continental, E.ON, General Electric, Infineon, Osram, Schneider Electric, Siemens, Telekom and Toshiba as well as hidden champions (Krones, MR).
BMW operates an automobile production plant in Regensburg; the Regensburg BMW plant produces 3 Series, 1 Series and (previously) Z4 vehicles. Continental AG, with the headquarters of its car component business, Osram Opto-Semiconductors and Siemens as well as Infineon, the former Siemens semiconductor branch, provide a high level of innovation and technical development in Regensburg. Other well known international companies, such as AREVA, Schneider Electric and Toshiba, have built plants in or near Regensburg. GE Aviation founded a greenfield site to innovate, develop and produce turbinemachinery components with a new manufacturing casting technology. Amazon.com located its first German customer service centre in Regensburg. The hidden champions Maschinenfabrik Reinhausen (MR) and Krones both are headquartered in or close to Regensburg and are among the major employers.
Aside from the industrial sector, tourism contributes a lot to Regensburg's economical growth, especially since 2006, when the city gained status as UNESCO World Heritage Site. The University of Regensburg, the Regensburg University of Applied Sciences and mercantile trade also play major roles in Regensburg's economy. Increasingly, biotech companies were founded in Regensburg over the last two decades and have their headquarters and laboratories in the city's "BioPark". Another focus is on information technology, with the city running a start-up centre for IT firms. One of these former start-ups, CipSoft GmbH, now is a known video game company still based in Regensburg.
OTTI, the Eastern Bavaria Technology Transfer-Institut e.V., is headquartered in Regensburg.
The city recorded 912,238 overnight hotel stays and 531,943 hotel guests in 2012. Tourism figures have nearly doubled within the last 15 years and Regensburg has become one of the most-visited German cities from 100,000 to 500,000 residents. In 2014, Regensburg was ranked as a Top-30 travel attraction in Germany by international tourists.
Regensburg Hauptbahnhof (central station) is connected to lines to Munich, Nuremberg, Passau, Weiden and Hof and Ingolstadt and Ulm. The city lies also on two motorways, the A3 from Cologne and Frankfurt to Vienna, and the A93 from Holledau to Hof.
The local transport is provided by a bus network run by the RVV (Regensburger Verkehrsverbund).
Regensburg's energy is mainly supplied by the German company E.ON, one of the world's largest electric utility service providers. Its subsidiary Bayernwerk runs the local hydropower station in the Danube River. In 2012, about 9.1% of the total electricity consumption was generated by renewable energy sources, about 5.1% of the total heat consumption were generated by renewables. Both figures show, that Regensburg is behind other Bavarian cities in this context. Therefore, the municipal government presented an energy plan in 2014, which should enhance the transformation towards renewable energy sources over the next decade.
Regensburg has one of the most modern university hospitals in Europe, the Universitätsklinikum Regensburg. In addition there are several other well-known hospitals such as the Krankenhaus Barmherzige Brüder and the St. Josef-Krankenhaus. Psychiatric illnesses are treated in the Bezirksklinikum. With 19.4 hospital beds per 1000 residents, Regensburg has the fourth-highest ratio of beds to residents in Germany as well as the third-highest ratio of medical doctors to residents in Germany (339 per 100,000 residents).
Regensburg is known for its higher education institutions, the largest being the University of Regensburg. Founded in 1962, it is one of Germany's newest universities and ranked among the Top 400 universities worldwide. Among the prominent intellectuals associated with the university are Pope Benedict XVI, Udo Steiner and Wolfgang Wiegard. The campus is situated in a single location together with the Regensburg University of Applied Sciences.
Since 1874 there has been a College of Catholic Music in the city, the Hochschule für Katholische Kirchenmusik und Musikpädagogik Regensburg.
In addition to the research centres and institutes of the universities, there are several research institutions situated in the city of Regensburg. Among them are the Leibniz-Institute for East and Southeast European Studies (IOS), the Regensburg Centre for Interventional Immunology (RCI), the Fraunhofer Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine (ITEM) and the BioPark, the Bavarian biotech cluster.
There are eighteen elementary schools in Regensburg. The city also has several secondary education institutions, both public and private, representing all levels of the German school system. There are eight Gymnasien, five Realschulen, six Hauptschulen and four vocational schools (Berufsschulen). In addition, there are several folk high schools with different specialisations.
SSV Jahn Regensburg is the local football club and attracts a fairly large local following. The team was part of a larger sports club founded in 1889 as Turnerbund Jahn Regensburg which took its name from Friedrich Ludwig Jahn, whose ideas of gymnastics greatly influenced German sport in the 19th century. The football department was created in 1907. The footballers and swimmers left their parent club in 1924 to form Sportbund Jahn Regensburg.
Regensburg Legionäre is the baseball and softball club from Regensburg. The team is also known as Buchbinder Legionäre, following a sponsorship of the Buchbinder company. The club plays in the German Bundesliga and is one of the most famous and most successful baseball clubs in Germany. Several players now in the MLB formerly played at the club. Its arena, Armin-Wolf-Arena, was built in 1996 and has a capacity of 10,000 spectators, making it to Germany's largest baseball stadium.
The local athletics club, LG TELIS FINANZ Regensburg, offers a wide range of different competitions and is counted among the most successful clubs in Germany.
The Interior of Regensburg Cathedral
Monument of Don Juan de Austria
Dampfnudel bakery in the Baumburger Turm
The Stone Bridge